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Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of science... the thrill of discovery... and the agony of failed experiments... the human drama of scientific advancement... This is the Blue Streak Science Podcast!

Oct 3, 2017

Today we welcome Dr. Milan Chheda of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Chheda is a senior co-author of a paper published earlier this month in the Journal of Experimental Medicine titled "Zika virus has oncolytic activity against glioblastoma stem cells". 

Not only is the research truly exciting, but it also illustrates some of the greatest characteristics of science and scientists. For example, thinking differently and quite unconventionally; in this case to attack such a complex and deadly form of cancer with a dangerous virus.

In the news this week we talk about an antibody that kills 99% of HIV strains, a new subspecies of sea snake that is like a venomous seafaring banana, and why owls don't wear hearing aids.

In the Climate Lounge host Tom Di Liberto explains that we may be entering a new era of rapid hurricane intensification because of climate change.

Mail Bag

We received an email from Chris Ryu of the Atom Club, part of the Dorset Science and Technology Centre. Chris wrote, “Well done on a great first episode back. Haven’t got a clue on pub names, but I guess:”

  • Atomic 49 (as in Indium / In)
  • The Particle and Wave
  • Science on Tap
  • CH3CH2OH

A note about the Atom Club: When it comes to science their mission is critically important, and that’s to inspire the next generation of scientists and coders.

Essentially, they aim to make both science and coding fun and enjoyable.

We encourage you to visit the Atom Club website at Atom Club.

MauiWowie2010, also know as Bob, writes"Episode 58 was great. Really liked the eulogy to Cassini. Keep on fighting for science guys". 

Got somethin' to say? Want us to share it on the podcast? Then please email us at

Science News

For more than just these little summaries go listen to the podcast!

Title New Antibody Attacks 99% of HIV strains
New research has developed an antibody that kills 99% of HIV strains. It is composed of a triplet of three antibodies and may be more effective at knocking off HIV than any naturally occurring antibody. 

New Subspecies of Yellow-bellied Sea Snake is a Venomous Banana!
A new and very yellow subspecies of Hydrophis platura was described from the Golfo Dulce. This unique serpent also employs a hunting strategy very different from the nominate subspecies.

[caption id="attachment_2498" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Credit: Brooke L. Bessesen; CC-BY 4.0[/caption]

The Ageless Ears of Barn Owls
One of the most predictable hallmarks of growing older is a gradual loss of hearing, especially at higher frequencies.  However, new research finds that barn owls have self-repairing ears, which retain their acute ability over time.

The Climate Lounge with Tom Di Liberto

Global Warming and the Rapid Intensification of Hurricanes

Today we get into the nuts and bolts of how global warming can put the pedal to the metal when it comes to hurricanes. Recent hurricanes have intensified incredibly rapidly. Is this the new normal?

Interview: Dr. Milan Chheda

Zika Virus as a Treatment for Brain Cancer

We welcome Dr. Milan Chheda of Washington University. Dr. Chheda explains his exciting and fascinating work using the Zika virus to kill brain cancer cells.

In Closing

Thanks to Dr. Milan Chheda for sharing his exciting research with our audience. Finding treatments and therapies for cancer is always a great thing, but to use such a novel weapon puts this in the category of "badass"!

Thanks to the Blue Streak Science team of dangerous intellectuals without whom this would be dead air and quite pointless.

Most of all, thank you for listening to our little ol' podcast! It's not that we couldn't do it without you. We could. But we wouldn't do it without you. You rock!

This episode of the Blue Streak Science Podcast comes to you from San Francisco; Cambridge; Washington; and St. Louis.