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Mosaic Science Podcast

The Mosaic Science Podcast - audio documentaries and audio versions of our weekly longread. Mosaic is a digital magazine that publishes compelling stories exploring the science of life. Produced by the Wellcome Trust. More at mosaicscience.com.
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Sep 26, 2016

"Gomez is one of Achatz's regular patients at the A C Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, Brazil. He is extraordinarily susceptible to cancer. So too are many members of his extended family; cancer is so common among them - and premature death so painfully familiar - that until they learned very recently of the cause, some believed their family was cursed. Gomez's is not the only family affected. The 'cure' afflicts hundreds of thousands of people in Brazil."

The startling discovery that hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have a genetic mutation that undermines their ability to resist cancer is helping labs worldwide in their search for new treatments for the disease. Sue Armstrong reports."

Written by Sue Armstrong, read by Pip Mayo, audio editing by Jen Whyntie.

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Decisions-on-a-knife-edge by Charlotte Huff, also available as a podcast.

 

#brazil #cancer #mutation #genetics #disease #health #society #saopaolo #genes

Sep 16, 2016

"Kim is unique. Throughout her life she had built up a constellation of values and impulses - endurance, single-mindedness, self-reliance and opposition to authority - that all clicked in when she was confronted with her twin diagnoses. She was predisposed to win. Not everyone is. But as genetic information becomes cheaper, more accessible and more organised, that barrier may lower."

When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why.

Written by Ed Yong, read by Segun Akingbola and produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Cradle-of-resistance, Ed Yong's report from the Thai-Myanmar border, one of the last bastions in the fight against malaria drug resistance.

 

Sep 12, 2016

"The best way to get Brian to do something is to tell him that he can’t. Within a year of the accident, Brian was back on the slopes, skiing with disabled ski teams. In his first year he made it to the International Paralympic Committee’s Alpine Skiing World Cup, and came in seventh in the world. But it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t the same."

Brian Bartlett lost his leg at 24. Rose Eveleth hears how a man who just wanted to ski again invented a new kind of knee.

Written by Rose Eveleth, read by Kirsten Irving and produced by Jen Whyntie.

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Sep 5, 2016

"By the time you read this, I’ll be recovering from the Brighton Marathon. What I’ve learned is that running a marathon isn’t about running a marathon. I mean, it is and it isn’t. I’ll explain what I mean later. But I began by asking what it takes to run 26.2 miles – are hard work and determination enough, or is there something else? Something you’re born with?"

 

What drives people to run a marathon? Join Hayley Birch as she tackles 26.2 miles, aided by science.

 

Written by Hayley Birch, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, edited by Geoff Marsh

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend Brazil's billion-dollar gym experiment by Catherine de Lange, also available as a podcast. 

 

Sep 1, 2016

"In Canada at least, wheelchair basketball is a chance for disabled and able-bodied athletes to compete with and against each other. I knew in advance that some of the players I was watching do not use wheelchairs off the court, and that these chairs are sporting kit like hockey sticks or bicycles. Yet seeing those players stand up still profoundly challenged my preconceptions. I am so accustomed to thinking of wheelchair use in binary terms: you either use one or you don’t. Now I’m struggling to unlearn that notion."

 

In Canada, wheelchair basketball brings people together regardless of their abilities. Lesley Evans Ogden asks whether this kind of integration could help dispel stigma, discrimination and misconceptions about disability more widely.

 

Written by Lesley Evans Ogden, read by Kirsten Irving, audio editing by Jen Whyntie.

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend City cycling: health versus hazard by Lesley Evans Ogden, also available as a podcast. 

 

Aug 16, 2016

They were the forgotten army. Taken captive during World War 2, this is a tale of detainment and disease through internment and ingenuity long unspoken and told through the voices of those who survived.

Audio producer: Chris Chapman
Sound designer: Eloise Whitmore
Assistant producer: Ellie Pinney
Fact checker: Laura Dawes
Editor: Mun-Keat Looi

Hear and read accompanying extras and a full transcript for this story on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

If you liked this story, we recommend Voices in the dark: what it's like to hear voices, another Mosaic audio documentary also available on our podcast.

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

 

Aug 15, 2016

"Research has shown that disabled people are less likely to have a long-term partner or marry than non-disabled people, although this is very dependent on impairment type. When a 2014 newspaper poll asked Britons if they had ever had sex with someone who had a physical disability, 44 per cent said ‘No, and I don’t think I would’.  

So how can we shift the negative images of disability and sexuality that still dominate society’s attitudes? Disabled people and their allies have been campaigning for change for decades. While it is not going to be easy, change is on the way, but with it comes new controversies."

 

What can disabled bodies teach us about sex, and why should we listen? 

 

Written by Katharine Quarmby, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

 

Read the full text original and accompanying 'DVD extras', published on Mosaic.

 

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend The future of sex by Emily Anthes, also available as a podcast. 

 

 

Aug 8, 2016

"For almost an hour, the residents of this neighbourhood will stretch, balance, sweat and lunge. It's hard to spot the instructor through the throng, wedged in as she is between the church wall and a parked mini camper van, her disembodied voice counting down the exercises above and around the crowd. Children, parents, grandparents - most of them in lycra shorts and trainers - have gathered today, as they do five days a week, not to pray but to work out."

 

Can a grand vision of 4,000 free public gyms overcome inequality and fight Brazil's health crisis? Catherine de Lange reports.

 

Written by Catherine de Lange, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb.

 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend City cycling: health versus hazard by Lesley Evans Ogden, also available as a podcast. 

Aug 1, 2016

"Rabies is a vicious killer, a virus transmitted through saliva. Any warm-blooded mammal is susceptible. Dogs can become infected through a bite by a rabid wild animal or fellow canine; in turn, a bite from an infected dog is the most common method of human infection."

 

The WHO wants to eliminate rabies in Asia by 2020. But how, when rabid dogs are running India ragged? Mary-Rose Abraham reports.

 

Written by Mary-Rose Abraham, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Jen Whyntie, audio editing by Geoff Marsh.

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend Can India's urban future be a healthy one by Michael Regnier, also available as a podcast.

Jul 25, 2016

"Pontoon boats were enlisted. Donning an orange life jacket, the Monroe County medical examiner boarded one, along with a gaggle of sheriff’s deputies. They hoisted the kayaker’s gruesome find from the chilly lake into the vessel and noted the meagre facts: Adult white male. No ID. Wearing an overcoat, even though it was 26 June."

 

 

For decades, unidentified bodies have been consigned to the back rooms of morgues and all but forgotten. Now a handful of campaigners are on a quest to find out who they are and where they come from. Deborah Halber reports.

 

Written by Deborah Halber, read by Pip Mayo, audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend This is what happens after you die by Moheb Costandi, also available as a podcast.  

 

Jul 18, 2016

"There are several main ways that sperm are harvested, including needle extraction. As the name suggests, this method involves inserting a needle into the testis and drawing out some sperm. It’s often used in live patients but, because minimising invasiveness does not matter the same in dead people, doctors tend to use other methods post-mortem."

 

What drives the partners of men who have died to try and have their babies? Jenny Morber delves into the legally and ethically fraught world of post-mortem sperm donation.

 

Written by Jenny Morber, read by Pip Mayo, audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend This is what happens after you die by Moheb Costandi, also available as a podcast.  

 

 

Jul 11, 2016

"In Canada at least, wheelchair basketball is a chance for disabled and able-bodied athletes to compete with and against each other. I knew in advance that some of the players I was watching do not use wheelchairs off the court, and that these chairs are sporting kit like hockey sticks or bicycles. Yet seeing those players stand up still profoundly challenged my preconceptions. I am so accustomed to thinking of wheelchair use in binary terms: you either use one or you don’t. Now I’m struggling to unlearn that notion."

 

In Canada, wheelchair basketball brings people together regardless of their abilities. Lesley Evans Ogden asks whether this kind of integration could help dispel stigma, discrimination and misconceptions about disability more widely.

 

Written by Lesley Evans Ogden, read by Kirsten Irving, audio editing by Jen Whyntie

 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

 

Subscribe to our podcast:
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If you liked this story, we recommend City Cycling: health versus hazard by Lesley Evans Ogden, also available as a podcast.  

Jul 4, 2016

"Today, after just one miscarriage, the statistics tell me that I have an 80 per cent chance of my next pregnancy being successful. Regardless, I have been worrying that my miscarriage was the result of something that might make me prone to it happening again. I simply don't know, and it's the same for most women experiencing miscarriage, whether their first or their fifteenth."

 

Holly Cave wants to know why her pregnancy ended at nine weeks. There are no easy answers, but talking about miscarriage could help us change the way we think about it.

 

Written by Holly Cave, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Jen Whyntie.

 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend On menopause by Rose George, also available as a podcast. 

 

 

Jun 27, 2016

"Charles is an African giant pouched rat, a species endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. He's also a pioneer, one of 30 of his species that live and work here in Morogoro, a few hundred kilometres west of Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, on a programme to sniff out tuberculosis (TB)."

 

Rats can smell tuberculosis. Dogs can smell cancer. Now they're being trained to save your life. Emma Young reports.

 

Written by Emma Young, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Jen Whyntie.

 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend What the nose knows by Emma Young, also available as a podcast.

Jun 20, 2016

"In Myanmar healthcare and politics are inextricably linked. The repressive military junta that took power in the early 1960s choked off funding for health and other social services, and even though its ruling generals ceded power to a nominally civilian government in 2011, experts say the health system will take years - probably decades - to recover from half a century of neglect."

As Myanmar prepares for a historic election on 8 November 2015, its leadership is rolling out plans for dramatic health sector reforms. But there are enormous obstacles, including the legacy of war and a rising threat of drug-resistant infectious diseases in restive border areas. Mike Ives reports.

Written by Mike Ives, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Jen Whyntie. 

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

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If you liked this story, we recommend Cradle of Resistance: How Malaria defeats our drugs by Ed Yong, also available as a podcast.

Jun 13, 2016

"Below the surface, the bottom of Pavilion Lake is dotted with something resembling coral reefs: domes and cones and weird shapes much like artichokes. These are not corals, though, which are colonies of tiny animals: they are rock formations called microbialites, made by and coated in cyanobacteria. Sometimes misleadingly referred to as 'blue-green algae', these bacteria probably even made the rocks they live on, absorbing nutrients from the water and leaving stone behind. Like plants, they live on sunlight, and they thrive in shallow waters down the steep underwater slope to the point where sunlight fades to gloom.

They are the reason for NASA's interest, and my visit. The people I've come here to see have even bigger things in mind. They want to know what the rare formations in Pavilion Lake might tell us about the origins of life on Earth, life on other worlds and, indeed, what life is, exactly."

If we met new life – on this planet or the next – would we know it when we saw it? Matthew Francis investigates.

Written by Matthew Francis, read and produced by Barry J Gibb.

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

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If you liked this story, we recommend People are animals too by Peter Aldous, also available as a podcast.

Jun 6, 2016

"The results were part of a well-known and seemingly mundane phenomenon that has been driving a quiet revolution in immunology. Its proponents hope that by cutting drug doses, it will not only minimise harmful side-effects but also slash billions from healthcare costs, transforming treatment for conditions such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. The secret? Teaching your body how to respond to a particular medicine, so that in future it can trigger the same change on its own."

Jo Marchant asks if we can harness the mind to reduce side-effects and slash drug costs.

Written by Jo Marchant, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh.

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

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If you liked this story, we recommend Hacking the nervous system by Gaia Vince, also available as a podcast.

May 30, 2016

Priyanka Pulla asks if there can ever be legitimacy in ‘quackery’.

 

Written by Priyanka Pulla

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend Reservoir dogs and furious rabies by Mary Rose Abraham.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

May 16, 2016

Some people suffer eye pain so excruciating they feel suicidal, yet ophthalmologists see nothing wrong. Meet the 82-year-old doctor whose radical idea about the real source of this pain is turning heads.

 

Written by Bryn Nelson

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend The man who grew eyes by Moheb Costandi, also available on our podcast.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

May 9, 2016

Why is asbestos still killing people? Nic Fleming finds out in a twisting tale of industry cover-ups and misinformation that spans decades.

 

Written by Nic Fleming

Read by Pip Mayo

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original and accompanying extras published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend In conversation with...Harold Vamus by Alok Jha, also available on our podcast.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

May 2, 2016

Having stamped out a number of tropical diseases – including malaria – decades ago, is America today complacent about a rising wave of infectious disease? By Carrie Arnold.

 

Written by Carrie Arnold

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original and accompanying extras published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend How malaria defeats our drugs by Ed Yong, also available on our podcast.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

Apr 25, 2016

Ill-health is the price rural Indians have to pay for seeking a better life in the city. Twenty-nine villages near Hyderabad are helping to explain why, Michael Regnier discovers.

 

Written by Michael Regnier

Read by Michael Regnier

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original and accompanying extras published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend City cycling: health versus hazard by Lesley Evans Ogden. 

 

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

Apr 21, 2016

Mosaic celebrates its second year anniversary in March 2016. To mark this, we'll be sharing a series of 15min talks featuring Mosaic writers and stories produced in association with the inspiration and ideas series 5x15.

 

Gaia Vince discusses the remarkable nerve that connects our brain to the rest of our vital organs. If we can learn to control this, the future of medicine could be electric. You can find her story Hacking the nervous system on Mosaic and its podcast.

 
Gaia Vince is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in science and the environment. She has been the front editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature and online editor of New Scientist. Her book Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, The Times Science, Scientific American, Australian Geographic and the Australian. She has a regular column, Smart Planet, on BBC Online, and devises and presents programmes about the Anthropocene for BBC radio. 
 

This talk was recorded at London's Conway Hall on 16 March 2016 as part of the 5x15-Mosaic event 'Stories from the future of medicine'.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

Apr 18, 2016

Notoriously illegal and synonymous with hedonism, LSD and ecstasy started life as aids to psychotherapy. Sam Wong meets the band of psychiatrists who are looking to reclaim them for medicine again.

 

Written by Sam Wong

Read by Pip Mayo

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original and accompanying extras published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend Britain's patient outlaws, by Katherine Quarmby.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

Apr 14, 2016

Mosaic celebrates its second year anniversary in March 2016. To mark this, we'll be sharing a series of 15min talks featuring Mosaic writers and stories produced in association with the inspiration and ideas series 5x15.

 

In the final talk, Alexander Masters describes his personal journey setting up an unlikely 'dating agency' to match neglected research for desperately needed drugs for rare cancers with the mega rich that might just fund it. You can find his story A Plutocratic Proposal on Mosaic and its podcast.

 

Alexander Masters is the author of Stuart: A Life Backwards, the critically acclaimed book about a homeless man called Stuart Shorter who he met while studying at Cambridge University and working in a homeless shelter. It won the Guardian First Book Award and was chosen as a World Book Night Title. He wrote the television adaptation of the book — a joint BBC/HBO venture from Sam Mendes’ studio. His latest book is The Genius in my Basement, an intimate portrait of one of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century.
 

This talk was recorded at London's Conway Hall on 16 March 2016 as part of the 5x15-Mosaic event 'Stories from the future of medicine'.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

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