Season 2: Invasions – A Cure for HIV: How We Cured the London Patient

Although we’ve had great breakthroughs in pharmaceutical treatments for HIV, the virus remains one of the scariest diseases out there, because as of yet, there is no surefire cure. But as of this month,we have found a cure… for exactly 2 people in the history of the world. Can the experimental treatment used on the 2 patients who have had the virus wiped from their system be used to help the 37 million people living with the disease today? Should it be?

In Part 1, K+K discussed how HIV infiltrates your body, and why its so hard to get rid of. In today’s episode, K+K examine the London Patient, and how doctors used the patient’s immune system against itself to eradicate the virus. They also look at the recent birth of the first person to be genetically modified with an immunity to HIV, and discuss if this will be and should be the future of medicine.

Disclaimer: the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is not actually a cartoon. 

Season 2: Invasions – A Cure for HIV: One Formidable Foe

Although we’ve had great breakthroughs in pharmaceutical treatments for HIV, the virus remains one of the scariest diseases out there, because as of yet, there is no surefire cure. But as of this month,we have found a cure… for exactly 2 people in the history of the world. Can the experimental treatment used on the 2 patients who have had the virus wiped from their system be used to help the 37 million people living with the disease today? Should it be?

In Part 1, K+K discuss why an HIV infection is such a big deal for your body, how it goes about infiltrating your cells, and the diabolical ways it makes itself so hard to get rid of. This knowledge will set you up to understand the next episode, when K+K examine the London Patient, and how doctors used the patient’s immune system against itself to eradicate the virus.

For such a formidable foe, he sure is a tiny guy.

 

58. Sauer Power! (The Joys of Fermenting Cabbage)

So you’re ready to take the big leap, and start fermenting your own vegetables at home. Congratulations! This is an important time in any person’s life, and K+K want to make sure you have the support you need. In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A fast, easy, and SAFE method for making sauerkraut
  • How to acquire good bacteria in your sauerkraut jar, without inviting in the pathogenic (a.k.a. icky) kind
  • What a “fermenting bacteria” is, and how they work their ferment-y magic
  • The epic-micro bacterial drama that plays out while you wait for your cabbage to become tangy, delicious, shelf-stable sauerkraut

54. Artisanal Bug Soup – the Life of Carnivorous Plants

Science Fact or Science Fiction (the quiz game™) is back! On today’s episode, K+K test Keiren Bond on her carnivorous plant knowledge, with questions like:

  • Can a Venus Fly Trap count?
  • Would any plant eat bugs if you mushed them into an artisanal organic soup?
  • Would a pitcher plant prefer to eat a Montane Tree Shrew, or its poop?
“Today’s my day, I can just feel it!”

53. Black Holes Part 2 – Slow Motion Somersaults in Space

In part 2 of their exploration of these space oddities, K+K talk to guest host Emily Gilliland about what would happen if our sun spontaneously imploded, how anyone falling into a black hole would turn into spaghetti, and what it means to exist in time, but not in space. They even attempt to explain how, to an observer moving faster, time (literally!) moves slower, by making Emily do (proverbial) back-flips in space.

If you can’t tell which way is up, are you ALWAYS mid-somersault?

47. Death: La Frontera Final (Part I )

Yes ladies, he is single!

Today is a day about Death. It’s Día de los Muertos, the Latin American holiday that honors the souls of loved ones that have passed away, and celebrates death as an essential and natural part of life. For a science show, death is a tricky subject to tackle, because no one has really been able to define what it is. But that won’t stop K+K from trying! In this episode, they explore

  • Creatures whose existence blurs the line between living and nonliving
  • How we know our bodies are meant to die, and why we can’t stop it from happening
  • Why death is essential for the continuation of life on Earth

46. You Myoclonic Jerk! (The Hiccups Episode)

When’s the last time you experienced a synchronous diaphragmatic flutter? Or your diaphragm underwent a myoclonic jerk?

On today’s show, K+K take a look at hiccups: why we get them, what’s happening in our bodies when we do, and what the scientific reasoning is behind those crazy cures that seem to work.

43. He’s One Fungi

They’re not animals, they’re not plants, and they’re delicious in stir-fry.  Despite the fact that mushrooms have been used in medicine for thousands of years, they still remain a bit of mystery to us humans.  The more research we do, the more we realize that fungi might be our greatest tool in the quest for saving the world.

Disclaimer: These ones are poison.

A special thanks to Dr. Ann Rasmussen from Oregon State University for lending us her mycological expertise!

40. Did We Start the Fire? If Not, How Long HAS It Been Burning?

Humans love fire, in the form of BBQ or combustion engines.  A raging forest fire, however, can be devastating for our flimsy wooden human houses. Why then, is it so important that we let them burn? In this episode, the Science Ladies uncover:

  • How fire has been shaping ecosystems since long before any human ever lit a match
  • The forest-dwelling pyromaniacs that thrive in the flames, and why these species need fire to survive
  • What fire really is, and how it burns
  • The science behind putting out a fire (or, “How to not burn down your kitchen”)

31. Way, Way Down At The Bottom Of The Sea

Bathypterois grallator, the Tripod Fish. So named because it’s an avid photographer.

Have you been feeling like ,homes in Portland are becoming too expensive to afford? Well, good news! There’s plenty of available real estate… under the sea! If, of course, you don’t mind adopting some of the necessary physical adaptations needed to survive there. If fact, the deeper down you go, the stranger your characteristics will have to be. That’s because the deeper down you go, the more extreme conditions like temperature and pressure become. Just ask the creatures that live there!

Female Anglerfish. Male is not visible because his tiny dwarf body has already mostly absorbed into her flesh.

Think you could hack it as a deep sea creature? Listen in to today’s episode and see what it would take!