Physics at home and making medicine from hibernating animals
13 Aug 2020
Something of a double-header for you in this episode. I spoke to a physicist who managed to create an incredibly rare and exotic state of matter from her living room during lockdown, AND a geneticist who thinks she can strike medical gold using hibernating animals.
Dr Amruta Gadge is a research fellow at the University of Sussex based at the Quantum Systems and Devices Laboratory. She decided not to let lockdown stand in the way of groundbreaking physics as she managed to create a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) - considered to be the fifth state of matter. We spoke about how this was even possible, what a BEC is, if we can make any use of it and we got briefly lost in quantum weirdness...
Dr Katie Grabek is a medical geneticist and computational biologist and is one of the 3 female founders of Fauna Bio. She is an expert in hibernation - which, I was surprised to learn is an incredibly hazardous thing for animals to go through. They have evolved protective mechanisms to stave off heart attacks, metabolic problems and many other issues. So, wonders Katie, can we learn how they do it and use that knowledge to make human medicines?
About the Podcast Series
The sharpest thinkers talk science - how it shapes our understanding and how we can improve it.
From narwhal song to Bose-Einstein condensates and from pandemics to artificial intelligence - I track down the most interesting science and talk to those behind the research. I want to explore how science shapes our understanding of the universe around us, the challenges we face as we conduct that science and how we might go about improving it.