Science for Progress

because science is fundamental in the 21st century

44 Green Biotechnology – with David Spencer

Dennis’s guest for this episode is David Spencer, a researcher in plant physiology and phytopathology in Germany. In his Ph.D., David uses genetic engineering to fortify soybeans against fungal infection. They explain why we need more resilient crops fast, why this would be great for the environment, and how genetic engineering can help achieve this.

The episode complements the previous one (extended throwback with Hélène Pidon) which focused on explaining different breeding methods and how artificially induced mutations compare to naturally occurring ones.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

38 A Split in the Human Species: ANYA the Movie – with Carylanna Taylor and Jacob Okada

In this episode, I talk about the science fiction movie ANYA with its creators, Anthropologist Dr. Carylanna Taylor, and Jacob Okada of First Encounter Productions (not a sponsor).

The plot of ANYA could happen today! It all starts with a couple in New York that has difficulty having a baby. The groom is a member of the Narval People who keep to themselves – mostly because they think there is a curse that prohibits them from having children with anyone but other members of the community. They bring in a geneticist to find out why they are having problems procreating, and this is where the story becomes interesting.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

16 B&D: CRISPR Babies

At the end of November 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he had genetically modified human embryos which were then brought to term. The resulting twin sisters appear to be healthy. But this experiment was not greeted with enthusiasm by the scientific community.

The critique attacks every aspect of the experiment: the treatment’s medical necessity, the reasoning behind the treatment approach, the way it was conducted, the ethical implications, and it also wasn’t legal.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

11: Genetically Modified Crops and the European Union – with Hélène Pidon

Plant geneticists are not happy with the European judgement on gene editing

Dr. Hélène Pidon is a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research. She searches for genes that give plants resistance to diseases. She wants to use these genes to fortify cultivated Barley against these diseases, and thus reduce the amount of pesticides used to grow the plant. When the European Court of Justice ruled on the status of crops modified with gene editing methods like CRISPR, Hélène contacted me to talk with me about GMO crops.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

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