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BioScience Talks

American Institute of Biological Sciences

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BioScience Talks
BioScience Talks

BioScience Talks

American Institute of Biological Sciences

1
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

A monthly podcast that features in-depth discussions of recently published BioScience articles. Each episode of the interview series will delve into the research underlying a highlighted article, providing the listener with unique insight into the author's work.

Latest Episodes

Threshold-Dependent Gene Drives in Wild Populations

By altering the heritability of certain traits, gene drive technologies have the potential to spread desired genes through wild populations. In practice, this could lead to mosquito populations that, for example, bear traits making them resistant to the spread of malaria. Despite the huge potential for improving human well-being, concern exists that gene drives could fail in the wild or spread beyond their intended target populations. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Greg Backus, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, and Jason Delborne, Associate Professor of Science Policy and Society at North Carolina State University's Genetic Engineering and Society Center, describe a potential solution. Threshold-dependent gene drives could limit the spread of wild-released gene drives to target populations, increasing control and reducing the risk of unchecked spread. The authors joined us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the potential of these gene drives—and also some of the questions of controllability, spread, and ecological uncertainty that relate to them. Read the article. Listen to our previous podcast on gene drives. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter..

25 MIN6 days ago
Comments
Threshold-Dependent Gene Drives in Wild Populations

Bridging the Gap between Behavioral Science and Animal Ethics

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Christine Webb of Harvard University joins us to talk about the potential for widening the involvement of scientists who study animal behavior in ongoing discussions about animal treatment. She argues that because their work is often used to advance ethical arguments about animals, such as those concerning animal personhood, behavioral scientists are uniquely well positioned to engage more widely in these conversations, with potential benefits accruing to both fields. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Learn more about comms training at ASGSR. Register for the ASGSR meeting and training.

38 MINSEP 11
Comments
Bridging the Gap between Behavioral Science and Animal Ethics

Readying the National Park Service for Change

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Mark Schwartz, of the University of California, Davis, joins us to talk about the National Park Service, and in particular, the challenges facing its oversight of over 400 individual units and 85 million acres of land. Park Service lands are faced with the same ecological difficulties that other wildlands are, and cultural and procedural shifts will be needed to face them, particularly in light of the rising specter of climate change. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

37 MINAUG 14
Comments
Readying the National Park Service for Change

Better Governance for Better Resource Management

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Derek R. Armitage of the University of Waterloo, Jennifer J. Silver of the University of Guelph, and Daniel K. Okamoto of Florida State University come on the show to talk about natural resource management. In their recentBioSciencearticle, our guests and their coauthors described the integration of governance with quantitative measures--with an eye toward better managing natural resources to meet desirable social and ecological outcomes. Today, they join us to describe the article and provide some practical examples from fisheries management. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

38 MINAUG 7
Comments
Better Governance for Better Resource Management

Advancing Opportunities for Convergence at NSF BIO

Joanne S. Tornow was selected as assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in February 2019, following almost two decades with the foundation. Her duties ranged from program management to high-level leadership and strategic development, and she previously served as the head of BIO in an interim capacity. Prior to her time at the NSF, Tornow served on the faculty at Portland State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. She joins us onBioScience Talks to discuss the directorate's current operations and future plans. A written version of this conversation is available online and will be published in an upcoming issue ofBioScience.Both versions have been edited for clarity. Read the written version. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

40 MINJUL 11
Comments
Advancing Opportunities for Convergence at NSF BIO

The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Invasive species are a hot topic, both in scientific circles and among the public at large. Still, the mechanics of invasions are often opaque, and a broader understanding will be required in order to prevent—and respond to—future species introductions. In a world with ever-increasing trade and changing climate that often renders native species vulnerable, the need for this expanded understanding is acute. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Mitch Cruzan, of Portland State University, in Oregon, describes the history of a particular invasive species, the slender false brome. Originally introduced in Oregon as part of a US Department of Agriculture program, the grass has undergone a hybridization process that enabled it to take hold in much of the state. By understanding the rapid adaptation of the false brome to Oregon's landscapes, it may be possible to unravel the mechanics of future invasions, before they endanger native species. Read the article. Learn about Evolutionary Biology: A Pla...

38 MINJUN 12
Comments
The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

The concept of resilience is an important one in conservation science and resource management. However, the term itself is often poorly understood, or understood differently by different parties, with potentially troublesome effects for land managers, researchers, and others. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Phillip Higuera (University of Montana), Dr. Alex Metcalf (University of Montana), and their colleagues suggest that a more holistic framework would consider the crucial human element of social-ecological systems. By doing so, managers could work toward outcomes that best fit the ecological needs and human priorities inherent in the system. The work they describe here is focused on fire-prone landscapes, but the approach is broadly applicable across a range of systems. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

31 MINMAY 29
Comments
Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

At the beginning of November 2018, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks once again hit the road to attend ASGSR's Annual Meeting. This year's event was held in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. Once again, we had the opportunity to speak with numerous eminent presenters and participants at the meeting, who discussed numerous topics on the cutting edge of space-related research. The topics ranged from the epigenetics of plants in space to zero-gravity plumbing—and just about everything in between. Interviewees included: Robert Ferl, University of Florida Samantha McBride, ASGSR Student President Michael Roberts, International Space Station National Laboratory Mark Weislogel, Portland State University Kasthuri Venkateswaran, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Learn more: Join ASGSR! Attend the 2019 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Listen to archived webcasts of the 2018 meeting. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Closing music courtesy of Lakey Inspired.

46 MINMAY 8
Comments
ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Natural history specimens housed in museums, herbaria, and other research collections are revolutionizing science—largely as a result of growing efforts to digitize samples and share data among many users. To meet the robust promise of digital collections, the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) has developed a national agenda that leverages new techniques and capabilities to create what they call the Extended Specimen Network. Members of BCoN join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to describe the newly conceived network and to talk about its potential to change the way science is performed—both now and in the future. Pictured above are our guests at a National Press Club briefing where they formally released their report (from left to right: David Jennings, Andrew Bentley, Linda Ford, Anna Monfils, Jennifer Zaspel, John Bates, Barbara Thiers, and Robert Gropp). Photograph: Samuel Hurd. Download the report. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

28 MINAPR 10
Comments
Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Inequality and the Human Right to Food

The importance of human access to adequate food could not be more clear; however, many questions surround the provision of food among and within countries. What obligations do nations have to provide food for their citizens? Is inequality in food availability a problem that requires political action, or is it simply an unfortunate side effect of food distribution systems and landscapes' ability to produce calories for those who live on them? Writing in BioScience, Dr. Paolo D'Odorico of the University of California, Berkley, and his colleagues present these questions through the framework of human rights, delving into the various ways in which food availability and inequality are affected by trade. Drawing from a wealth of data, the authors find that, broadly speaking, trade tends to reduce food inequality. But joining us in this episode of BioScienceTalks, Dr. D'Odorico cautions that more complex phenomena may lie beneath the surface, confounding simplistic explanations. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

21 MINMAR 13
Comments
Inequality and the Human Right to Food

Latest Episodes

Threshold-Dependent Gene Drives in Wild Populations

By altering the heritability of certain traits, gene drive technologies have the potential to spread desired genes through wild populations. In practice, this could lead to mosquito populations that, for example, bear traits making them resistant to the spread of malaria. Despite the huge potential for improving human well-being, concern exists that gene drives could fail in the wild or spread beyond their intended target populations. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Greg Backus, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, and Jason Delborne, Associate Professor of Science Policy and Society at North Carolina State University's Genetic Engineering and Society Center, describe a potential solution. Threshold-dependent gene drives could limit the spread of wild-released gene drives to target populations, increasing control and reducing the risk of unchecked spread. The authors joined us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the potential of these gene drives—and also some of the questions of controllability, spread, and ecological uncertainty that relate to them. Read the article. Listen to our previous podcast on gene drives. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter..

25 MIN6 days ago
Comments
Threshold-Dependent Gene Drives in Wild Populations

Bridging the Gap between Behavioral Science and Animal Ethics

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Christine Webb of Harvard University joins us to talk about the potential for widening the involvement of scientists who study animal behavior in ongoing discussions about animal treatment. She argues that because their work is often used to advance ethical arguments about animals, such as those concerning animal personhood, behavioral scientists are uniquely well positioned to engage more widely in these conversations, with potential benefits accruing to both fields. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Learn more about comms training at ASGSR. Register for the ASGSR meeting and training.

38 MINSEP 11
Comments
Bridging the Gap between Behavioral Science and Animal Ethics

Readying the National Park Service for Change

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Mark Schwartz, of the University of California, Davis, joins us to talk about the National Park Service, and in particular, the challenges facing its oversight of over 400 individual units and 85 million acres of land. Park Service lands are faced with the same ecological difficulties that other wildlands are, and cultural and procedural shifts will be needed to face them, particularly in light of the rising specter of climate change. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

37 MINAUG 14
Comments
Readying the National Park Service for Change

Better Governance for Better Resource Management

In this episode ofBioScience Talks, Derek R. Armitage of the University of Waterloo, Jennifer J. Silver of the University of Guelph, and Daniel K. Okamoto of Florida State University come on the show to talk about natural resource management. In their recentBioSciencearticle, our guests and their coauthors described the integration of governance with quantitative measures--with an eye toward better managing natural resources to meet desirable social and ecological outcomes. Today, they join us to describe the article and provide some practical examples from fisheries management. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

38 MINAUG 7
Comments
Better Governance for Better Resource Management

Advancing Opportunities for Convergence at NSF BIO

Joanne S. Tornow was selected as assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in February 2019, following almost two decades with the foundation. Her duties ranged from program management to high-level leadership and strategic development, and she previously served as the head of BIO in an interim capacity. Prior to her time at the NSF, Tornow served on the faculty at Portland State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. She joins us onBioScience Talks to discuss the directorate's current operations and future plans. A written version of this conversation is available online and will be published in an upcoming issue ofBioScience.Both versions have been edited for clarity. Read the written version. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

40 MINJUL 11
Comments
Advancing Opportunities for Convergence at NSF BIO

The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Invasive species are a hot topic, both in scientific circles and among the public at large. Still, the mechanics of invasions are often opaque, and a broader understanding will be required in order to prevent—and respond to—future species introductions. In a world with ever-increasing trade and changing climate that often renders native species vulnerable, the need for this expanded understanding is acute. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Mitch Cruzan, of Portland State University, in Oregon, describes the history of a particular invasive species, the slender false brome. Originally introduced in Oregon as part of a US Department of Agriculture program, the grass has undergone a hybridization process that enabled it to take hold in much of the state. By understanding the rapid adaptation of the false brome to Oregon's landscapes, it may be possible to unravel the mechanics of future invasions, before they endanger native species. Read the article. Learn about Evolutionary Biology: A Pla...

38 MINJUN 12
Comments
The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

The concept of resilience is an important one in conservation science and resource management. However, the term itself is often poorly understood, or understood differently by different parties, with potentially troublesome effects for land managers, researchers, and others. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Phillip Higuera (University of Montana), Dr. Alex Metcalf (University of Montana), and their colleagues suggest that a more holistic framework would consider the crucial human element of social-ecological systems. By doing so, managers could work toward outcomes that best fit the ecological needs and human priorities inherent in the system. The work they describe here is focused on fire-prone landscapes, but the approach is broadly applicable across a range of systems. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

31 MINMAY 29
Comments
Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

At the beginning of November 2018, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks once again hit the road to attend ASGSR's Annual Meeting. This year's event was held in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. Once again, we had the opportunity to speak with numerous eminent presenters and participants at the meeting, who discussed numerous topics on the cutting edge of space-related research. The topics ranged from the epigenetics of plants in space to zero-gravity plumbing—and just about everything in between. Interviewees included: Robert Ferl, University of Florida Samantha McBride, ASGSR Student President Michael Roberts, International Space Station National Laboratory Mark Weislogel, Portland State University Kasthuri Venkateswaran, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Learn more: Join ASGSR! Attend the 2019 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Listen to archived webcasts of the 2018 meeting. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Closing music courtesy of Lakey Inspired.

46 MINMAY 8
Comments
ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Natural history specimens housed in museums, herbaria, and other research collections are revolutionizing science—largely as a result of growing efforts to digitize samples and share data among many users. To meet the robust promise of digital collections, the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) has developed a national agenda that leverages new techniques and capabilities to create what they call the Extended Specimen Network. Members of BCoN join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to describe the newly conceived network and to talk about its potential to change the way science is performed—both now and in the future. Pictured above are our guests at a National Press Club briefing where they formally released their report (from left to right: David Jennings, Andrew Bentley, Linda Ford, Anna Monfils, Jennifer Zaspel, John Bates, Barbara Thiers, and Robert Gropp). Photograph: Samuel Hurd. Download the report. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

28 MINAPR 10
Comments
Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Inequality and the Human Right to Food

The importance of human access to adequate food could not be more clear; however, many questions surround the provision of food among and within countries. What obligations do nations have to provide food for their citizens? Is inequality in food availability a problem that requires political action, or is it simply an unfortunate side effect of food distribution systems and landscapes' ability to produce calories for those who live on them? Writing in BioScience, Dr. Paolo D'Odorico of the University of California, Berkley, and his colleagues present these questions through the framework of human rights, delving into the various ways in which food availability and inequality are affected by trade. Drawing from a wealth of data, the authors find that, broadly speaking, trade tends to reduce food inequality. But joining us in this episode of BioScienceTalks, Dr. D'Odorico cautions that more complex phenomena may lie beneath the surface, confounding simplistic explanations. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.

21 MINMAR 13
Comments
Inequality and the Human Right to Food