Life Sciences

The show where real doctors tell you what’s real, what’s not, and what’s maybe possible in your favorite movies and TV shows.

Episodes

November 6, 2020

Episode 20: Braaaainnnns

SUBJECTIVE

We've made it to the end of season 2! In the final episode of this season, we're dipping into the world of iZombie to talk about Romeros, misguided proteins, and an unexpected reason why you shouldn't mix drugs and energy drinks.. Now that you know how to make zombies and unmake them, how do you keep one fed and happy? Or at least just fed. There's only so much you can do about undead happiness levels.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 3 out of 5 for pneumothorax corner, 5 out of 10 tainted Utopium vials
  • Jen: 3 out of 5 lack of stethoscopes for pneumothorax corner, 5 out of 10 cans of Max Rager

PLAN

And that's a wrap for season 2! We'll be taking a short break before coming back with season 3. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next time!

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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SUBJECTIVE

Now that we've talked about making a zombie, let's talk about unmaking one. In the second of our three zombie episodes, we'll discuss lone microbiologists, dried scab powder, and the power of therapeutic stabbing. Sure, manufacturing a zombie cure from your own blood is impressive, but unless you have detailed lab notes, it basically didn't happen. We're looking at you, Will Smith.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 1 out of 10 congealed tubes of Will Smith's blood
  • Jen: 0 out of 10 missing lab notebooks

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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October 9, 2020

Episode 18: Making a Zombie

SUBJECTIVE

It's spooky season, which means it's time to talk about spooky things! Like the LIVING UNDEAD! (I want you to picture a clap of thunder and flash of lightning here.) As with vampires, "zombies" is just too broad a topic to cover in one episode, so we're giving you three! In the first episode of our zombie trilogy, we're going to talk about how you make a zombie. Or at least, how Cambridge scientists made zombies and also destroyed all of the UK in 28 days. We'll discuss not-living-not-dead pathogens, RAGE, and why no one should use Ebola as a viral vector for gene therapy.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

How 28 Days Later makes zombies

  • Deepa: 3 out of 10 product placement Pepsi cans
  • Jen: 1 out of 10 infected eye blood drops

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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September 25, 2020

Episode 17: Alien vs. Parasite

SUBJECTIVE

In this episode, we're heading back into outer space to talk about maybe the most iconic alien of all time — Alien! I mean, the xenomorph! From Alien! What a great and confusing movie. Why is everything so wet on that spaceship? Why didn't the crew have fire safety training? Why are we storing milk and spaghetti inside robots??? Really, we're left with more questions than answers. We'll discuss why you should be careful what you put in your mouth (Spoiler: the answer is worms), mutagenic tumor fluid, and how bad company policies can create more than just a toxic work environment.

Sidebar:

  • We mention that malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum, and this is true! But there are four other species of Plasmodium (specifically, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi) that can also infect humans and cause malaria! They usually cause milder disease. A lot of the discussion about malaria is about P. falciparum because that is the species responsible for the vast majority of deaths from malaria.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

Of the parasite life cycle in Alien:

  • Deepa: 4 out of 10 spaghetti robots in milk
  • Jen: 3 out of 10 highly mutagenic fluids

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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BONUS EPISODE!

We joined Laurel Hechanova and Audrey Nieh on their show Podcast of a Lady on Fire, which is a cathartic exploration of the filmmaking, themes and community involved in Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, to discuss 18th century French abortions, ineffective butt kicks, and usefully toxic teas.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, we just have four words for you: Lesbian. Period. Romance. Drama.

Once you do see it, be on the lookout for Post-PoaLoF Syndrome. Symptoms include ennui, the profound urge to stare at the ceiling, downloading Duolingo, mild heart pain and shortness of breath, tearfulness, and a sense that you'll never be the same.

Our recommendations: Lie down. Elevate your feet, preferably on an embroidered pillow. A good cup of (non-toxic) tea and a croissant. Watch Portrait on Hulu eleventy billion times, and listen to Podcast of a Lady on Fire to join the awesome community around this film.

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 10 out of 10 twigs out of the paste
  • Jen: 10 out of 10 wobbly step stools

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

Also, if you also love Portrait of a Lady on Fire, then listen to Podcast of a Lady on Fire! You can find them here: https://linktr.ee/poalof

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SUBJECTIVE

In this episode, we're taking a trip to Westeros to examine the cutting edge medical practices of Samwell Tarly. It turns out he has shockingly sharp scalpels and shockingly bad PPE practices. We'll discuss greyscale and greyscale-esque infections, why you shouldn't operate during a candle shortage, and rock people (again). Also, we'll give you yet another reason why colonialism is bad. As if you needed any more.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 6 out of 10 pasty greyscale ointment packets
  • Jen: 4.5 out of 9 banded armadillos for Sam's lack of precautions, 9 out of 9 banded armadillos for Sam's precipitating the discovery of sterile technique

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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August 28, 2020

Episode 15: Beep Boop

SUBJECTIVE

In this episode, we move on from vampires to talk about robots! Specifically, robot organs. Like, why does a robot need organs? And if it did need organs, why would it need human organs? We'll discuss robot face putty, building biosynthetic organs, and some incredible applications of 3D printing. Also, can we PLEASE change the stylistic standards of scientific papers to allow for some ENTHUSIASM??? This stuff is amazing!

Sidebar:

  • Regarding the Pregnancy and Birth episodes, we wanted to apologize for the gendered language we used throughout our discussions. We know that nonbinary, genderqueer, and transgender people can also get pregnant and give birth. The way we talk about it is a relic of our training, and we're trying to do better. We're sorry if we hurt anyone through our carelessness.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 3 out of 10 silver/blue/clear Playskool organs
  • Jen: 3 out of 10 flubber skin putties

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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SUBJECTIVE

We have finally arrived at the culmination of our very own Twilight saga! In this episode, we discuss the infamous Bella Swan birth scene, placenta separation anxiety, and why postpartum hemorrhage kills. ...especially if you don't do anything to stop it. It turns out venoms, uteruses, and rocks really don't mix, no matter how many syringes full of morphine you have on hand.

Sidebar:

  • Interested in playing Pregnancy/Birth Trope Bingo? Here's a bingo card for you to download and use!

    SFF_prenancy_and_birth_trope_bingobgcd7.png

Edited to add: Regarding the Pregnancy and Birth episodes, we wanted to apologize for the gendered language we used throughout our discussions. We know that nonbinary, genderqueer, and transgender people can also get pregnant and give birth. The way we talk about it is a relic of our training, and we're trying to do better. We're sorry if we hurt anyone through our carelessness.

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 2 out of 10 syringes full of venom because the equipment is set up properly
  • Jen: 0.5 out of 10 extremely aggressive scalpel incisions for the OB suite

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

Theme Music and SFX: Kevin MacLeod (CC BY) - RetroFuture Clean, Danse Macabre-Big Hit 2

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SUBJECTIVE

In the second of our three Twilight related episodes, we discuss pregnancy tropes, tumors with teeth, and Deepa's favorite YouTube video. Sometimes pregnancy is not as simple as one egg and one sperm. Especially when that sperm is presumably made of rock. ...suspended in venom? If there's one thing we've figured out so far, it's that you shouldn't think too hard about the physiology behind the Cullen clan.

Sidebar:

  • Regarding the Pregnancy and Birth episodes, we wanted to apologize for the gendered language we used throughout our discussions. We know that nonbinary, genderqueer, and transgender people can also get pregnant and give birth. The way we talk about it is a relic of our training, and we're trying to do better. We're sorry if we hurt anyone through our carelessness.

 

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 1 out of 10 hyperechoic embryonic sacs for Bella's Swan's pregnancy, 8 out of 10 sunken cheek temporal wasting Kristen Stewarts for the makeup and CG effects
  • Jen: 0.5 out of 10 styrofoam cups filled with blood for Bella Swan's pregnancy, 10 out of 10 for winning pregnancy trope bingo

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

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SUBJECTIVE

In this episode, we talk about the vampire's curse, vampire epidemics, and... rocks? Does the vampire legend have its roots in real life disease? Probably not, but we'll tell you about some interesting ones anyway! Ultimately, this ep came to be because we want to talk about a very specific scene in Twilight, but figured it would be good to provide some folkloric context first. Little did we know, all of the vampire research we did has little to nothing to do with the Cullens — oh well!

OBJECTIVE

Resources, Citations, and Mentions:

ASSESSMENT

  • Deepa: 1 out of 5 non-blinking eyes
  • Jen: 0 out of 5 diamond teeth

PLAN

Subscribe to our medical ramblings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Rate, review, and tell your friends!

Got a question or suggestion? Find us on Twitter @DocsWatchPod, or visit us at docswatchpod.com.

Theme Music and SFX: Kevin MacLeod (CC BY) - RetroFuture Clean, Danse Macabre-Big Hit 2

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