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genetics

CRISPR and the Genetic Astronaut

In 1960, scientists Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes envisioned a spacefaring cyborg, technologically augmented to endure the rigors of space travel. The subsequent six decades of space exploration largely ignored this radical suggestion, but the advent of gene editing tools like CRISPR present raise new questions. Might genetic alterations give future astronauts the 'right stuff?' What would the physiology of a genetically-augmented space traveler even look like? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

Undead Genes: Genetic Activation After Death

While more elaborate visions of the afterlife view mortal existence as a sort of larval stage in a grander human timeline, science tells us that death is the end. The human mind blinks out of existence as the brain dies. The vast multicellular, microbiota-colonized empire collapses into decay. And yet, as things fall apart, certain genes have been observed to activate. Join Robert and Joe as they explore the world of ‘undead genes.’

A New Kingdom of Life: Synthetic Biology

Genomic maps unfurl before us and edited genetic codes alter the expression of life. The past few decades have seen tremendous advancements in genetic engineering, but exactly what takes place in modern gene-editing? What is synthetic biology and how soon might we see the first synthetic human genome? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Akademgorodok: Siberia's Super Science Town

Hidden away in the cold of Siberia's forest is an alternative to Silicon Valley, what some refer to as Russia's Silicon Forest. You can think of it as Russia's Eureka or Limetown -- maybe even the Siberian scientific Hogwarts, but Akademgorodok has encapsulated Russia's scientific dreams since the 1950s. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss the place some describe as a "scientific utopia."

Grand Theft Genome: Genestealers in the Wild

When it comes to gene transfer, most organisms -- yourself included -- play by the rules and stick to sexual and/or asexual reproduction. But then there are the genestealers, organisms that just take the genes they want from other species. Join Robert and Joe as they discuss the mind-bending world of horizontal gene transfer.

Space Music: In the Flesh with Blanck Mass

Monster of the Week: The Tyranid Genestealer

Designer Genes

Gene therapy, DNA analysis and genetically modified organisms are increasingly part of our everyday reality. But where is this road taking us and how will it change us on the way? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Geneticists Plot Hyper-Aggressive Wasps

Scientists are exploring aggressive genes in wasps and, yes, they're looking to possibly create a hyper-aggression wasp.

Carrot and Stick: A Genetic Santa Story

Santa or Krampus? Gifts or a stocking full of coal? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie look at negative and positive reinforcement and a new study that looks at the genetics behind each.