Never Lick the Spoon

A quirky podcast from the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, that brings to life the teeny tiny world of molecules.

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Episodes

Episode 13 - Lucky for some

Thursday Oct 29, 2020

Thursday Oct 29, 2020

It's our 13th episode! Far from being Triskaidekaphobes - that is of course the phobia of the number 13 - we’re lucky enough to have a returning guest who brings some much needed positivity on the Covid-19 vaccine search. We also hear how a chance fishing trip off of Seattle could provide scientists with the answer to just how many antibodies someone needs to fight the virus successfully - another piece of luck!
Link to the #TeamHalo home page: https://teamhalo.org/
Anna Blakney's TikTok account: https://www.tiktok.com/@anna.blakney

Episode 12 - Snail fever

Thursday Oct 01, 2020

Thursday Oct 01, 2020

Turning our attention away from Covid, we look at a different disease that has plagued humanity since the time of the ancient Egyptians - and still claims 280,000 lives every year. What’s all the more tragic, is it's curable by modern medicine. We hear from 2 researchers who are part of a multinational, multidiscipline team who are trying to finally eradicate it.
WISER: Water Infrastructure for Schistosomiasis-Endemic Regions

Tuesday Sep 01, 2020

From the humble AAs we stick into the back of our TV remote controls, to our phones, laptops, and increasingly, our cars, batteries are now everywhere to be found. We hear from someone who spends more time than most of us examining these magical capsules that power our lives, and looks at what exciting new ways we could use them.
Ethical and environmental battery brands: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/energy/shopping-guide/batteries 

Friday Jul 03, 2020

We have a returning guest with some exciting results from the initial tests of the vaccine! Anna Blakney gives us an update on vaccine trials, including when they now think it will be ready, along with her take on public health measures and the use of masks.

Friday May 22, 2020

Continuing on from the last episode, Kieran hears about the work of a team at Imperial College who are now grappling with the next big challenge to producing a Covid-19 vaccine: how to make enough of the vaccine for billions of people. And since it's mental health week, we speak to the team about the pressures they face and how they are managing to cope.

Friday Apr 17, 2020

Most of us have been in some form of lock down now for several weeks. The only sure way we can get back to the life we had before is with a vaccine, which is what researchers at Imperial College London are trying to develop. Kieran speaks to one of the team about what it’s like developing arguably the most urgent tool ever needed.
Music: Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein by Markus J Buehler.

Sunday Mar 29, 2020

Carbon capture is muted by some as a key tool in the fight against that other huge challenge facing human kind, climate change. Kieran finds out more about this emerging field by going on a tour of Europe’s first educational carbon capture pilot plant, and discovers how recycled carbon could be used to make mattresses!

Episode 6 - Bacteria hysteria

Thursday Jan 30, 2020

Thursday Jan 30, 2020

From HG Wells to David Bowie, "is there life on Mars?" is one of the most iconic questions yet to be answered. We speak to someone who could be one of the first people to answer that question in the next year! Also, the recent coronavirus outbreak shows us just how quickly disease can spread. With the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is it just a matter of time before now curable infections - like bubonic plague - make their return?

Friday Dec 20, 2019

Ever wonder why you hate Brussels sprouts? It turns out the answer could be in your genes! It's also the reason chemical in these controversial little vegetables was used as a paternity test! We also investigate an unintended side effect of our festive gorging - fatbergs - and how researchers in Imperial are exploring ways to use them as a biofuel. 

Friday Aug 02, 2019

Every schoolchild will tell you that Penicillin, one of the great discoveries of the 20th century, was discovered by Alexander Fleming. But it was a young German refugee that brought Penicillin out of the scientific papers and into the hospital, his name was Ernst Chain. Kieran travels to University College London to speak to Ernst’s son, Benny, himself a pioneer in biochemistry.

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