Latest Podcasts
October 20, 2017
Agriculture

104 – Postharvest Solutions in Food Security

October 14, 2017 0

Simple solutions can sometimes have tremendous impacts.  In this episode Bret Rierson from the World Food Programme discusses a solution to enhancing food security in Africa and around the world.  Most African farmers are small […]

Agriculture

103 – RNAi Crop Protection Strategies

October 7, 2017 0

The evolution of weed and insect resistance to traditional controls has brought about the need for new approaches in crop protection.  Today’s guest is Dr. Doug Sammons (@wiltedweeds) is a biochemist from the Monsanto Company.  […]

Breeding

102 – Restoring the American Chestnut

September 30, 2017 0

The American Chestnut dominated the Appalachian landscape, ranging from Georgia all the way to Maine.  In the late 1800’s a pathogen imported on a tree to the Bronx Zoo spread rapidly into wild populations, destroying […]

Agriculture

101 – Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moth

September 23, 2017 0

The diamondback moth is a formidable agricultural pest, causing tremendous losses on farms and requiring significant cultural and chemical-based management on both conventional and organic farms.  Dr. Tony Shelton has studied the diamonback moth for […]

Agriculture

100 – Kevin Folta’s Research and SciComm

September 16, 2017 0

Any podcast’s 100th episode is reason to celebrate.  In Talking Biotech’s 100th episode Chris Barbey interviews its originator, Dr. Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida.  They […]

Agriculture

099 – Glyphosate and Human Health

September 9, 2017 9

The herbicide glyphosate has been used for over 40 years and is a relatively safe and effective method to control weeds on the farm, in municipal areas and around the home.  It has been approved […]

Animals

098 – Domestication and Radiation of Cats

September 2, 2017 0

Modern cats are a lot like their wild counterparts, with specific traits that were gained through domestication.  Prof. Eva-Maria Geigl is a paleo-geneticist who examines ancient DNA sequences from mummified cat remains, and has reconstructed […]

Agriculture

097 – Environmental and Economic Impacts of Biotech Crops

August 26, 2017 1

   The annual report by agricultural economists Brookes and Barfoot is a helpful resource to understand the impacts of agricultural biotechnology.  The peer-reviewed report is dense, and contains substantial information about crop use, yields, production […]

Agriculture

096 – Biotech Regulatory Affairs

August 19, 2017 1

Regulation of new technology in food crops is important for many reasons. It is critical to ensure safety, but a robust regulatory system also shapes consumer sentiment.  Today’s guest is Dr. Robert Potter.  Dr. Potter […]

Food

093 – Ben and Jerry’s Roundup

July 29, 2017 2

A story exploded in the New York Times claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and a potent herbicide, was detected in 10/11 flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  The anti-biotech universe propagated the […]

Agriculture

090 – Collateral Neonic Impacts

July 8, 2017 0

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a class of insecticides based on natural plant compounds that disrupt the insect nervous system. They are used because they have relatively low toxicity on non-insects.  They are applied as seed coatings, […]

Agriculture

089 – de novo Domestication

July 1, 2017 0

Domestication Dr. Lazaro Peres    De novo domestication also has the potential to expand genetic diversity in crops, potentially conferring additional roles in food security.   Like the podcast?  Please subscribe and write a review!  Stitcher […]

Agriculture

088 — Food Evolution, the Movie

June 21, 2017 0

The representation of crop biotechnology in film has been an asymmetrical assault on science and reason.  Food Evolution breaks that trend. The film tells several stories of biotech applications, where “GMO” crops are the centers […]

Agriculture

087 – Glyphosate Risk and the IARC Decision

June 17, 2017 1

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has been used as a non-selective (kills all plants) herbicide since 1970.  It blocks a necessary step in plant metabolism and the plant dies, yet it has […]

Communication

086 – “Know GMO” the Movie

June 10, 2017 0

The documentary space is filled with disparaging films about food science, including those that target biotechnology.  Many of these films feature artistic flair, and tell a compelling story through the lens of the camera– even […]

Agriculture

083 – Controlled Environment Agriculture

May 19, 2017 0

In the race to feed 10 billion people by 2050 some agricultural production will shift to where people live.  The idea of vertical farms or repurposing urban space for agriculture is becoming increasingly feasible, as […]

Agriculture

082 – GE Crop Regulation in Uruguay

May 13, 2017 0

Uruguay is a major producer of soy and corn from genetically engineered seeds, with over 2.5 million acres in production.  Dr. Paul Vincelli talks about the regulatory framework in Uruguay with Dr. Alejandra Ferenczi, Head […]

Agriculture

81 – Potatoes; Past, Present and Future

May 7, 2017 0

In the industrialized world the potato is defined as one of a few varieties of tuber crops.  But there is tremendous diversity available to be exploited, and potato breeders are folding that into modern germplasm […]

Agriculture

80 – Sweet Potato, Nature’s GMO

April 29, 2017 0

The sweet potato has special seasonal or fast-food application in the industrialized world, but in many parts of the world it is an important part of the daily diet.  The sweet potato is botanically distinct […]

Communication

079 – Technology and Society

April 22, 2017 0

The issues of biotechnology benefit from examination from social scientists.  There are scientists that help define the social reaction to science and the way that scientists need to communicate issues in technology.  Dr. Matthew Harsh is […]

Agriculture

078 – Specialty Crops (Fruits, Veggies, & Nuts!)

April 15, 2017 0

What are Specialty Crops?  These are the crops of the produce aisle, fruits, vegetables, nuts.  These are high-value crops that receive relatively little research funding compared to other types of the big-ag crops, things like […]

Genetic Engineering

077 — Cancer Immunotherapy

April 8, 2017 4

The newest and most promising therapies for challenging cancers are adopting molecular-biology strategies.  Brain tumors are especially problematic because of their location impedes patient function and presents formidable barriers to surgical treatments.  But new molecular […]

Agriculture

076 – Transgene Flow

April 1, 2017 0

This week’s podcast is an important discussion, a cautionary tale of what can happen when genetically-engineered crops are introduced to the environment.  Circumstances may lead to release of the transgene into sexually compatible wild plants, […]

Agriculture

074 – Decreased Fungal Food Toxins with RNAi

March 19, 2017 0

Aflatoxins are trace compounds produced by certain fungi, and represent a legitimate food safety risk.  These fungi grow on corn, peanuts and other crops, especially in warm, humid areas that lack fungal control measures.  They have […]

Agriculture

073 – Agriculture, Butterflies and Bees

March 11, 2017 0

  The effects of farm insect controls on butterflies and bees are important to understand.  Dr. Ric Bessin is an Extension Professor from the University of Kentucky is an entomologist that has studied this relationship. […]

Agriculture

072 – Your Questions Answered

March 4, 2017 7

We get lots of comments that the favorite episodes are when Kevin Folta answers your questions about food, farming, and genetic engineering.  Not to disappoint, this entire episode is dedicated to your questions. Except for […]

Agriculture

071 – The Farmer Voice in Social Media

February 25, 2017 0

How do biotech seeds affect the end user?  If you listened to the “experts” they’d tell you that farmers were forced to buy seeds they didn’t want, because companies controlled their farms. Tell that to […]

Agriculture

070 – Pears; Speeding Tree Production

February 18, 2017 0

Pears are favorite tree fruits, yet they are limited in varieties and availability.  Dr. Amit Dhingra from Washington State University explains the roots of pear domestication, its improvement, and why we see so few varieties. […]

Agriculture

069 – Fighting Plant Viruses with RNA – and Clay!

February 11, 2017 1

   There are no compounds that can be sprayed to fight plant viruses, so plant protection requires managing the insects that spread them.  This means use of insecticides that cost money and have potential impacts, […]

Agriculture

067 – The National Academies Report on Genetic Engineering

January 28, 2017 0

The National Academies of Science is one of the most respected scientific organizations on the planet, composed of well-established scientists and other scholars that perform important functions in vetting scientific claims and steering scientific agendas […]

Genetic Engineering

066 – Adjusting Plant Defenses to New Pathogens

January 21, 2017 0

  Following on last week’s episode, plants contain a family of genes called “R genes” that play important roles in resistance to disease. They are part of an evolutionary arms race between plants and pathogens. […]

Agriculture

065 — Plant R Genes and their Applications

January 14, 2017 0

Plants contain a family of genes called “R genes” that play important roles in resistance to disease.  Plants and pathogens exist in an evolutionary arms race, each developing new means to attack or defend against the […]

Communication

064 – Communicating Effectively with Critics

January 7, 2017 3

When we discuss new technology with the public, there is inevitable fear and push back with at least a fraction of those we are trying to reach. How we address this is critical to our own […]

Communication

063 Effective Science Communication in 2017

December 24, 2016 0

I’ll always remember 2016 as an eclectic mix of hell and success.  We learned a lot about how to engage the public and got lots of practice.  We took a lot of heat, suffered lots of […]

Animals

062 DNA Evidence and Dog Domestication

December 17, 2016 0

  Experts agree that dogs have evolved from the gray wolf, but after that there are many questions and debates about how and why they became our prized companions.  Prof. Greger Larson applies the lessons […]

Agriculture

061 Terminator Genes! and High School Biotech Outlook

December 10, 2016 0

Discussion of biotechnology risks and benefits frequently cites “terminator genes” as a reason to oppose the technology. The fear is that these plants contain genetic information that can release widespread plant sterility, leading to the […]

Agriculture

059 Engineering Efficiency in Photosynthesis

November 26, 2016 0

Increasing efficiency in photosynthesis has been one of the desired goals of plant biology.  A recent paper in the journal Science presents work by a team led by Dr. Stephen Long from the University of Illinois/University […]

Agriculture

057 Corn Origins and Domestication

November 12, 2016 1

Corn. It ultimately has a role in so much of what we eat.  From a sweet corn cob on the 4th of July, to the calories that made the steak possible, to fuel in our […]

Communication

056 Teaching Biotech with Journey of a Gene

November 5, 2016 0

 The processes of biotechnology can be a bit of a black box, and that does not help further its understanding or acceptance.  Journey of the Gene is an interactive, multimedia resource that can aid in […]

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