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by Pushkin Industries

Incubation is a new podcast that traces the history of humanity through viruses. We’ve all seen how the SARS CoV2 pandemic changed just about everything — from family life to work to politics –– but that’s just the latest installment in a long line of virus shake-ups. Other viruses –– influenza, HPV, smallpox, RSV –– have dramatically changed or endangered life as we know it. In many cases, scientists have been able to change the odds in favor of humanity. But deadly viruses persist — and containing them remains a scientific and technological challenge that each successive generation must take on.

Author andWhat’s Your Problemhost Jacob Goldstein takes us on a journey with leading medical researchers, doctors and historians to trace key moments in our battles with viruses, breakthroughs in vaccine research, and the impact of vaccination campaigns. These stories will help us better understand the evolutionary contest between humans and viruses, and how vaccines and new technologies are changing the score. Incubation drops weekly on Thursdays starting September 7.

Copyright: 2024 Puskin Industries


Phages: Bacteria’s Worst Nightmare

30m · Published 26 Oct 10:30

Can bacteriophages help us in the fight against antibiotic-resistant infections? Author Tom Ireland joins the show to discuss the fascinating world of bacteriophages, also known as phages – viruses that attack bacteria.. Then, Ben Chan, a researcher with a fridge full of phages, tells the story of what it was like putting them to use in a high-stakes case.

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Herpes: Symptoms and Stigma

22m · Published 19 Oct 10:30

Why do we all know so little about the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), despite the fact that herpes infections are common and chronic? First, we get some Herpes 101 from researcher Anna Wald. Then, we speak with Ella Dawson, a sex and culture critic who is one of the billions of people living with HSV–1.

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HPV: Unpacking Papilloma

27m · Published 12 Oct 10:30

What can the mythical jackalope teach us about HPV? Author Michael Branch tells the story of how scientists first discovered horned rabbits, and how their findings paved the way for the study of all different kinds of papilloma viruses. Then, Elena Conis joins the shows to discuss the rollout of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine in the US and Americans’ complicated relationship with vaccine mandates.

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Influenza: In the Wild

27m · Published 05 Oct 10:30

What risk does H5N1 pose to humans? We hear from David Quammen, author of “Spillover,” about the vast and complicated interplay between influenza, the environment, animals, and humans. Then, molecular virologist Wendy Puryear helps us understand why seals on a remote island can be an early warning system.

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The Common Cold: A Viral Mystery

29m · Published 28 Sep 10:30

What do we know – and not know – about the suite of viral infections known as “the common cold”? We speak with curator Katie Dabin about the UK’s Common Cold Unit, where volunteers signed up over the course of decades to get infected with colds. Then we enlist top virologist Gary McLean for some advice on what we can do to help ourselves feel better.

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RSV: The Quest for a New Vaccine

23m · Published 21 Sep 10:30

What is ‘structure-based’ vaccine design? Before scientists used these techniques to design vaccines against Covid, they were testing them in the lab to combat RSV. Keren Landman joins the show to talk about how this respiratory virus endangers the lives of babies and the elderly. Then, we hear about an early RSV vaccine trial that cast a shadow over modern research, and how scientists, including our guests Jason McLellan and Barney Graham, later figured out how to create and stabilize a viral antigen’s spike protein to fight RSV.

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Polio: The Last Mile

27m · Published 14 Sep 10:30

Why has polio been so challenging to eradicate? Karen Torghele tells the story of two polio vaccines and the two rival scientists who developed them: Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk. Then, Dr. Ananda S Bandyopadhyay explains our best bet for eliminating the disease worldwide.

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Smallpox: Gone but Not Forgotten

26m · Published 07 Sep 10:30

What can we learn from the centuries-long quest to eradicate smallpox, once the scourge of humanity? And how did it set the stage for all vaccines to come? First we meet Edward Jenner, a doctor in 18th century Britain who learned about the folk practice of “variolation” and found a safer way to inoculate people against smallpox. Then, Donald Hopkins of the Carter Center takes us back to the 1960s in Sierra Leone, where he discovered that successfully eradicating smallpox could be a feasible goal worldwide.

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Introducing: Incubation

1m · Published 31 Aug 10:30

A new podcast that traces the history of humanity through viruses. New episodes weekly starting September 7.

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Incubation has 9 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 3:35:35. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on September 14th 2023. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on February 22nd, 2024 07:41.

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