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This netcast explores the rapidly changing world of biotech, with a penchant towards getting a better understanding of who we are and where we are going. The living world will soon be a true substrate for engineering. Our world will change, and so will we. 
We bring a first hand account from the scientists that are moving us into this new technological era: the era of biotech. 

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    FiB Episode 001 - Protein Folding: At the Crossroads of Evolution, Disease, and Nanotechnology with Susan Lindquist

    Dr. Susan Lindquist describs how protein folding modulates the rate of evolution...

    Choosing a title for Episode 001 was next to impossible after speaking with our guest Dr. Susan Lindquist. Hard at work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences at MIT, she leaves no stone unturned with respect to protein folding. Her discoveries have lead to paradigm shifts in modern genetics and medicine, including how a protein called HSP90 acts as a capacitor to modulate evolution, a process that can even be addressed pharmacologically and possibly used as a strategy in some forms of cancer! Her work also contributes to both our understanding of several protein folding diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's and seeks to tackle them head on. Lastly, we discussed her discovery on how to transform yeast prions (similar to the misfolded proteins linked to mad cow disease) into nanowires as used in nanotechnology.

    Though not mentioned on the show, Dr. Lindquist's work has even provided definitive evidence of non DNA/RNA mediated inheritance, where proteins act as genetic elements. We hope to have her back to discuss this and some of her other great discoveries...

    For more on Dr. Lindquist's work please visit the Lindquist Lab

    Dr. Lindquist on Morning Edition WGBH Boston
    Discovery Offers New Insight Into Parkinson's
    Brain 'traffic jams' drive Parkinson's symptoms (Nature)
    Parkinson's traits reversed in rat brain cells (NewScientist)
    Protecting Neurons from Parkinson's Disease (Technology Review)

    And also thanks to the Band Gunther from Cyclone Records for the permission to use their song Wrecking Ball as a theme for FiB!


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      Education procedures are getting elevated as the time is passing. Individuals are getting integrated in enlightening exercises. They are now giving a very good amount of time to their education.

    Reader Comments (24)

    Great podcast! I've been waiting for this particular podcast ever since Leo mentioned it was in the works. I don't think it was too technical, but it was good that you and Leo would stop and define the terms used.

    Sound quality was good, the length was good for the material covered and it appears as if you and Leo work well together.

    June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterD. Persson

    Many thanks, I will also have to learn how to breath in a mic!

    June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    Was this really posted May 9th?

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll be hearing from everywhere soon what a great podcast that was. I think it will appeal to a lot of techies because we don't know much about it, but it appeals to us in a really similar way to how hardware and software design appeals to us. That's my experience, anyway.

    So, best of luck, and don't worry about the breathing thing!

    June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteridempotent

    So, what's on the gel?

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTollie Williams

    One the plate? I grabbed a plate of E. coli for the photo. We use E. coli to grow up DNA of our favorite genes, which in this case it is a rat gene engineered to be expressed in a frog egg for some physiological work. Of course we used the rat gene because we had it in the freezer, otherwise it is almost identical to the respective human gene.

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    Sorry typo - on the plate -

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    Excellent idea for a show, excellent guest, and you are a friendly and very smart guy.

    I have some constructive criticism. My advice would be to keep things pleasant without jokes. They sometimes interrupted or halted explanations. Also dumb yourself down. Some of your questions were a bit tangential and technical and again, interrupted or halted explanations of more fundamental or central concepts. (Notably, one of Leo's questions was not fully answered because of this). If you must ask a question, write a note to yourself and ask it when the explanation is finished. Maybe explain to the guests beforehand that you will come more from a layman's, conceptual approach instead of a technical one so that you don't feel the impulse to try to show you are knowledgeable and clever to the guest during the show. What might also help is to ask them to correct you if you misspeak and be prepared to take the corrections in stride. That takes the pressure off you to be perfect and will allow you to speak more smoothly because you are not trying to both formulate sentences and edit them at the same time that they are coming out of your mouth.

    A good idea would be to review the show, pick out terms, and put them in a glossary. Some terms like chaperone were nicely analogized to and differentiated from the usual sense in the interview, but I am sure lots of people had no idea what was meant by library or they did not realize that they did not really know what it meant. See if you can get permission from the publisher of a major textbook to quote their glossary terms directly (so it is less work for you and fewer misconceptions crop up). I give that advice because there is an evolution podcast in which the guy tries to define things from the top of his head and he misses things while talking in a halting way. I bet the publisher will go for it if you give an advertisement for their book. You can consider reading out the glossary and pasting it in to the front of the podcast. Or if you leave it as online notes, include pictures or links for more information. Doing some 101 type shows with Leo but without guests might be worth considering too (in the manner of Security Now).

    Practice acting like a smooth radio announcer. (I'm serious, tape yourself improvising on any topic, just don't make it too much of a caricature.) Taking on such a persona will slow you down enough that you don't have to struggle to formulate sentences (which ends in sputtering and making the communication take twice as long anyway).

    See if you can get a prescription for a beta adrenal blocker and take a small dose half an hour before taping. I've heard medical students do that when having to do presentations to block the adrenalin while still keeping them mentally sharp. (Unlike Valium).

    As to learning to breathe into a mike, the point is to not do it. The whole trick is to place the mike so that it is near your mouth, but out of the path of your breath, whether nasal or oral. Test it by breathing heavily from both conduits before the show starts.

    Finally, know that despite my detailed criticism, the imperfections are quite forgivable because it was a great show. Relaxing is the main thing, since as we heard in the show, stress causes many distortions.

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRED

    Those are some amazing suggestions! They are greatly appreciated, many thanks! It sounds like you have done this before. We've discussed doing some 101 shows - but getting the inventors or pionneers on to discuss... Again thank you for the suggestions and advice!

    June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    Very nice podcast! Not as smooth as a typical NPR show, but much more interesting and detailed. I don't know how big the audience is for a show like this, but for me it's great.

    I think it'd be great if you could do a show on one of the protein folding distributed computing projects: Rosetta or Folding. It'd really hit the intersection between biology and tech as well.

    June 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

    Great show!!!! I really enjoyed it as I am working towards my Biomed Engineering degree. I really enjoyed Dr. Lindquist and the work she is doing. How can we help you get the word out about the podcast?

    June 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMrWags3

    You tell your class mates, and I'll line up the best scientists I can get.

    June 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    Well even though I am studying Ecology and Geology at university, I am extremely interested in Biotechnology and where it can take us.

    Great show, hope to hear more in the future. It was good that Leo would ask for some defining of terms when needed.

    I look forward to making this another podcast to learn and broaden my horizons on Science, as I see podcasts a way of teaching and keeping people up to date with anything. And science is a great one at that, especially if someone who criticises Biotech comes and listens and learns a thing or two, opening them up to the idea that this can really help us.

    June 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

    Haven't even listened to the rest of the show yet, but I had to say I love your theme song. It came as a total surprise as I've been friends with this band since high school and didn't realize anyone outside the city listened to them.

    Well I'm off to hear the show, hope it's as good as the song

    June 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterstalman

    Loved it. When is the next one and who have you got lined up?

    June 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

    Very soon - Marc Vidal from Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Pretty extreme biotech! Cheers!

    June 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Marc F. Pelletier

    I used e. coli this year in the lab and it smelled wrank lol. What should I expect though, from a bacterium that lives in your intestines.

    June 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

    I'm a grad student in neuroscience and I really liked this podcast. I thought the technical level was just right. I did have some constructive criticism (which I think is really important) but I see "red" has already voiced my concerns (I agree with him almost to a T) so I'll just leave it at that.

    Anyway, I really hope this is successful and wish you guys the best of luck.

    June 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfr0g

    Show was ok, but looking forward to future one sounds good with the cloning of 19000 genes.

    Must be a lot of work Marc, but keep going with it. Was also great having Leo on the show.

    July 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

    just a suggestion... how about you guy invite expert from around the world.. for example from my own country (malaysia).

    July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersyawal

    FYI I have addressed some of this in a recent episode of my Nuclear Medicine and Molecular medicine podcast.
    Rob Williams

    July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternucmed

    This is a great podcast and addition to the TWIT network.

    I'm a techie and support the World Community Grid(WCG) with every spare CPU cycle from all my PC's (too embarrassed to tell you how many but it's a double digit). Accordingly, episode 1 got me totally hooked.

    I think you'll have a lot more listeners i.e. Folding@Home and WCG types once they find your podcast.

    I really hope this is a weekly podcast - episode 3 is overdue. I can already feel withdrawl pains.

    This is a great podcast. Please keep them coming.

    August 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

    This is a great podcast and addition to the TWIT network.

    I'm a techie and support the World Community Grid(WCG) with every spare CPU cycle from all my PC's (too embarrassed to tell you how many but it's a double digit). Accordingly, episode 1 got me totally hooked.

    I think you'll have a lot more listeners i.e. Folding@Home and WCG types once they find your podcast.

    I really hope this is a weekly podcast - episode 3 is overdue. I can already feel withdrawl pains.

    This is a great podcast. Please keep them coming.

    August 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

    Cool podcast interviews with Marc Vidal- Though I am PhD student in Molecular biology I had always thought 'interactomics' were too 'extreme ' for me till this podcast .. but what happened to the final episode just as things were getting interesting? Or do I have to reading through a pile of paers to find out ;-)

    September 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

    This podcast has been an inspiration!, it has furthered my enthusiasm for science and have recently applied to do biomedical science at university, if only i could be anything like dr.lindquist when im older!.. Thanks leo & mark

    October 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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