We are Anaëlle and Helena, third year Microbiology Phd students at the University of Copenhagen. To distract ourselves from the dauntingly fast approaching deadline, we decided to produce a podcast series called “Please explain!”, where we talk about different science topics in an easily digestable way.
Merry Microbes, everyone!
This episode is all devoted to the jolliest of the seasons! Independant of you counting yourself to the group of people starting to indulge in mulled wine and cookies with the first cold day of the year (guilty!) or are more a supporter of Team Grinch, we hereby serve you 20min of wintery fun facts about microbes! Interesting for people with and without previous knowledge about microbiology!
In case we tickled your fancy, here some links where you can read more about the topics:
Semi-sarcastic rants about Santa Claus (really fun read!):
How Pseudomonas is making it snow:
Learning about those parasitic poop twigs:
The effect of having Christmas with in-laws on health:
Why microorganisms are a key factor in chocolate production:
Microbial production of vanillin:
How chocolate might help you stay healthy:
Learn about inequalities in chocolate production and why we recommend to buy fair trade/UTZ certified chocolate:
Why we like lichens:
Some interesting facts about reindeers:
In our second episode of "Please explain!", Helena explains why eating hot soup might be the only cure for your obligatory autumn cold. We also talk about how vaccines work and why they are so important for global health. Bonus: showing off our incredible sound effect skills while taking you on a time travel to 17th century England.
And of course here as well some links in case you want to know more about some of the topics we touch upon:
- How do vaccines work? https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines/how-do-vaccines-work
- The story of Edward Jenner and the development of the vaccine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/
- Where does the false belief of autism being induced by vaccines come from? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908388/
- If you need more reasons why vaccines are awesome: https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/2/07-040089/en/
- List of available vaccines https://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/en/
- How much does it cost to develop a vaccine? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24160863/
- Life expectancy https://www.who.int/news/item/04-04-2019-uneven-access-to-health-services-drives-life-expectancy-gaps-who#:~:text=In%20low%2Dincome%20countries%2C%20life,have%20been%20disaggregated%20by%20sex
- About the smell of summer rain https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/07/28/geosmin-why-we-smell-air-after-storm-13240
- More fun facts about sea otters https://aquarium.org/a-sea-otters-toolkit/
In our very first episode of "Please explain!" we are talking about what antimicrobials are, how they work and why you should always follow the prescription advice. And yes, there might or might not be fun facts about squids (#Schroedinger's squid).
Since we take our science serious, here a list of the references we used to produce this episode:
- The evolution of the peppered moth : https://evolution-outreach.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1007/s12052-008-0107-y
- Antimicrobial resistance and One Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP): https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html
- About the use of antimicrobial agents in animals and humans in Denmark: https://www.danmap.org/downloads/reports
- Helenas paper about antibiotic resistant bacteria from Danish chicken meat: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857918300979WHO
- Pros and con of phage therapy: https://www.healthline.com/health/phage-therapy
- Some more info on Pseudomonas aeruginosa: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/pseudomonas.html
- Some more info on Listeria monocytogenes: https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html
- The Hawaiian bobtail squid and its symbiont Vibrio fischeri: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/comments/S0960-9822(08)01137-8