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The Helyx Show

The Helyx Show

By The Helyx Initiative
Explore different areas of science through guest interviews, blog posts, and join host Chris Jung in full-episode productions.

All posts and production are student-run under the nonprofit The Helyx Initiative.
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Saha and Bose in The Golden Age of Indian Science
In 1905, India’s air was filled with the throbbing pulse of rebellion, the cobblestone streets of Bengal dreaming of freedom and enlightenment. Science was no longer reserved for those brilliant white men in stiff wigs and a few titles in front of their name - through science it was possible to do things and improve them. At the forefront of this flame were two men, one of them an only son of a middle-class Bengali Kayastha family, and the other the fifth child of a poor shopkeeper. Their names were Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha, who would pass on their legacy to the namesake bosons that structure our universe, theoretical Bose-Einstein condensate and statistics, and the Saha equation used by astrophysicists around the world. Today on the Helyx Show, Chris examines how the paths of Meghnad Saha and Satyendra Nath Bose crossed and how both men revitalized India's scientific revolution and cemented their names in the history of science for the years to come. If you are enjoying this podcast, please follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Youtube for future episodes and please leave a rating or review. And please send me an email at for any comments questions, or concerns. Sound Credits: "Amar Sonar Bangla" sung by Sraboni Sen from the film Nirbashito Zapsplat for royalty-free sound effects. Script, recording, and production by Chris Jung. 
December 30, 2021
Newton's Year of Wonders: Pandemics and Productivity
In 1665, The Great Plague of London ravaged England, killing around 100,000 people - a quarter of London's population - in eighteen months. It spread through rat-infested alleys in the bites of fleas with the Yersinia pestis bacterium all the way to the walls of the great burgeoning city. When the bubonic plague spread throughout the city, one soon-to-be-world-famous college student, Isaac Newton, was finishing his bachelor's at Cambridge. In response to the plague, he withdrew to his childhood home, Woolsthorpe Manor and began what is known as his "Year of Wonders". Today on The Helyx Show, join Chris for a dive into the life of a genius and what aspects apply to us today. Music: "It's Only a Lifetime" by FINNEAS
November 29, 2021
Tygers and Lambs - What can Evolution tell us?
In 1794, William Blake asked one of the most famous questions in all of poetry - "Did he who make the lamb make thee?". In this episode, Chris dives into the question of what makes ferocious tigers and innocent lambs so different from each other from an evolutionary view, and what that means for humans today with one of the species verging on extinction. Please send all questions, comments, and inquiries to, and leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts if you are enjoying this podcast!
October 31, 2021
Colleen Golja: Can we engineer our way out of climate change?
In the 2013 film Snowpiercer, directed by Bong Joon Ho, humanity has been reduced to a segmented caste system on a single train that travels through the unhabitable, icy world. In order to combat global warming, scientists in the movie launched a compound called CW7 into the atmosphere. The intention of CW7 was to reflect the sun's heat and reverse global warming, but instead, the CW7 sent the planet into an ice age. Could this plot happen in real life? On today's episode, Colleen Golja, a PhD student at the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering, talks about her work on the controversial ScopEx project and the radiative forcing of aerosols for use in geoengineering. Colleen also talks about her inspiring journey with science and her personal concerns and outlook on solar geoengineering research. Find more about ScopEx here: Colleen's Twitter: @colgol9 Thank you so much for listening to The Helyx Show. If you're enjoying this podcast, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, or shoot me an email at, to let me know any questions, comments, or future episode or music ideas! Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
October 07, 2021
Trivia, Teaching, and Talent with (Jeopardy) Jason Zuffranieri + September Giveaway
Math teacher Jason Zuffranieri broke headlines when he won $532,496 in a 19-Game Winning Streak on Jeopardy! in 2019. He joins host Chris Jung to tell his story competing in the show and his thoughts as a Quizbowl, Science Bowl, and Math Team coach, as well as being a math teacher and a competitive puzzle solver. Youtube Link: (Needed to enter the giveaway):
September 06, 2021
Analyzing Pseudoscience with Dr. James and Alison Kaufman
Who can we trust when it comes to scientific integrity in a headline-chasing, "fake news" world?  Dr. James and Alison Kaufman, esteemed psychology professors at the University of Connecticut and authors of Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science, join host Chris Jung for a conversation about pseudoscience in the history of science, social media, and even established journals. Buy  Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science -  Dr. James C. Kaufman's website:  Dr. James Kaufman's twitter: @JamesKaufman   Spotify: Apple Podcasts:
August 28, 2021
Science Goes to the Movies with Dr. David A. Kirby
Science media expert Professor David A. Kirby discusses the history of science in films, the changing representation of scientists in media, and how science and entertainment industries both can both help and harm each other through science consulting and public attention with host Chris Jung on The Helyx Show. Professor Kirby's Cal Poly site: The Science and Entertainment Lab:   Lab Coats in Hollywood: Listen on...  Anchor - Spotify - Apple Podcasts - Youtube Playlist -
August 07, 2021
Haley Wahl: Pulsars, Physics, and Pressures in Academia
Haley Wahl, a PhD student studying pulsars and astrophysics at West Virginia University, joins us today on The Helyx Show. Haley's main topic of research is pulsar polarization and emission, and she is an active advocate for mental health and science communication. She talks with Chris about her path in astrophysics, unhealthy pressures in academia, her work to make science accessible, and her undeniable knack for baking.   Haley's website:    Find Haley's work on astrobites:  Find Haley on Twitter: @hwahl16 and @PulsarBakes   The Pulsars and Profiteroles Project:  Shoot me an email at for comments and suggestions, and please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts! See you next time on The Helyx Show!
July 31, 2021
Gary Siuzdak: Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics, and Memories
Dr. Gary Siuzdak is a Professor of Chemistry, Molecular and Computational Biology and Director of the Center for Metabolomics at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where he and his team are leading researchers in developing mass spectrometry-based technologies for understanding metabolism. In this interview, Dr. Siuzdak talks about new techniques in mass spectrometry, the applications of metabolomics, and the importance of balance as he looks back at his "regrets" and recollections. Check out our episode on our YouTube Channel for visuals and timestamps!
July 22, 2021
Episode 4: Offshore Wind Farms - Our Best Bet
In 1991, eleven fully constructed turbines were lifted into the waters between 1.5 and 3km from the southeast shores of Denmark. Compared to today’s standards, these turbines were elementary structures mounted on concrete, and yet DONG Energy’s construction of the very first offshore wind farm, called Vindeby, revolutionized renewable energy for the coming years. What impact do offshore wind farms have on our growing search for renewable energy sources? What is the science driving the rapid interest and funding in this technology?  Script Credits: Rushank Goyal and Chris Jung Song Credits: Beethoven String Quartet in C# minor, Op 131, performed live in Alice Tully Hall by the Danish String Quartet "In My Place", Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
June 30, 2021
Aashika Jagadeesh: Machine Learning vs. Social Media Bias
Aashika Jagadeesh is a rising junior at Fair Lawn High School and student researcher passionate about AI Ethics and revealing the impact of social media algorithms on mental health. She joins our host, Chris Jung, for a conversation about her research project and FreeFeed website designed to reduce the damaging effects of social media for all its users. Read Aashika's paper here:
June 18, 2021
Episode 3: Parallel Universes
The concept of a multiverse may seem like a paradoxical myth reserved for Marvel movies and science fiction, but they could actually exist. Join Chris Jung as she talks about the principles behind the multiverse theory and what it means to question absurd phenomenon. Be sure to email for any questions or comments! Script written by Mili Thakrar and Chris Jung. Music Credits: "The Planets, op. 32, IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity". Performed by the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band in a transcription by Merlin Patterson, edited by Capt. Lang and MSgt Aldo Forte for their 1998 C.D. Frontiers "Read My Mind", The Killers
May 28, 2021
Siya Goel: Science Fairs and Student Research
Siya Goel is a junior at West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School, three-time ISEF finalist, and has notable experience in research and will attend the Research Science Institute this summer. She joins our host, Chris Jung, for a conversation about her experiences in research and gives invaluable advice for students enamored by research and searching for opportunities.
April 09, 2021
Episode 2: Einstein vs. Heisenberg and the Theories of Relativity
German physicists Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg fundamentally changed the way we think about the nature of the universe. Join Chris Jung as she talks about Einstein’s theories and discusses his feud with Heisenberg’s principles. Song Credits: “Also Sprach Zarathustra” - Einleitung, Richard Strauss, Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - inspired from watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?”, Chicago (Please listen to the version with the piano intro by Robert Lamm). “Gravity”, Sara Bareilles. “Speed of Sound”, Coldplay.  “Time is on My Side”, The Rolling Stones.
April 07, 2021
Episode 1: Synaptic Plasticity and our Ability to Change
Steinbeck once wrote that "change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass." We are familiar to constant changes in our life - from learning how to walk, moving out to go to college - and we desire change in our habits, our personalities, and our long-term goals. And yet, we are also familiar with hardened prejudices and the lull of learned behaviors, intrusive thoughts. The human brain is intricate and contradictory, and the nature of our plastic brain has perplexed philosophers and scientists alike for many years. In this episode, Chris dives into the basis of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission, and shares her thoughts and experience with this fascinating concept of human adaptability.  Find out more about The Helyx Initiative on, or by following us on instagram @TheHelyxInitiative. Send any comments, suggestions, or concerns to Music Credits for this Episode:  1: "In My Life", The Beatles 2: "Landslide", Fleetwood Mac 3: "Rhapsody in Blue", George Gershwin, conducted by Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic (1976) 4: "We Never Change", Coldplay 5. "The Lark Ascending", Vaughan Williams, conducted by Vernon Hadley with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and David Nolan on violin.
February 28, 2021
Episode 0: Scientist - What’s in a word?
In 1833, William Whewell (1888-1965) Cambridge University historian and philosopher, coined the term “scientist” to describe someone who studies the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. What does it mean to be a scientist and what role does science play in our lives? Join Chris Jung, a wildly unqualified host, as she attempts to answer this question and more on the first podcast episode of The Helyx Show. Find out more about The Helyx Initiative on, or by following us on Instagram @TheHelyxInitiative. Send any comments, suggestions, or concerns to
January 31, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: Gut Microbes and Mental Health
Learn about the bacteria in our guts—and how they affect our mental health. Aya Hilal.
January 25, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: Telomeres: Key to Immortality?
Sarah Gao:
January 04, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: How the Brain Communicates
Joanne Lee.
January 04, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: Stress and the Body
Written by Joanne Lee.
January 04, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: Antibiotic Resistance and Phage Therapy Written by Sid Udata
January 04, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: An Introduction to Drug Discovery By Andrew Gao.
January 04, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: The Mozart Effect and Its Efficacy Written by Mritika Senthil.
January 03, 2021
Bite-Sized Blog: Uncovering the Structure of DNA
By Malik, our awesome Helyx member. 
July 07, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Unconventional Applications of CRISPR
Interesting podcast by our member, Divya Nori, from Georgia!
July 07, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Remembering Dreams Part 2 — Jalen Patel
Based off blog article by Alisha Gomes
June 17, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Remembering Dreams Part 1 Based off of blog article by Alisha Gomes.
June 17, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Discovery of DNA Part 2
By Malik Rida
June 15, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Discovery of DNA Part 1
By Malik Rida
June 15, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Triboelectric Nanogenerators ⁠
Andrew Gao. Based off this article:
June 13, 2020
Bite-Sized Blog: Personalized Medicine
Learn all about personalized medicine in this engaging podcast by Helyx member, Divya Nori!
June 12, 2020