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Welcome to For Whom the Cell Tolls! This cast explores the fascinating stories of Biology that I've encountered in my journey as a Biology Professor and lymphoma scientist at Minnesota State University Mankato. Major themes to be explored include cancer, tumorigenesis, new therapy mechanisms, immunology, life/death, disease ecology, microbiology, and evolution, among others. I try to integrate philosophy, culture, and the arts alongside emerging Biology findings to share the stories of life ...
 
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show series
 
What do you think? Would the immensely powerful amount of data be a game-changer for medicine? Or does DNA sequencing miss too much of the picture to be worth the cost? This question is an example why we need leaders that understand Biology as genomics becomes hyper-accessible. I do my best to discuss the primary Pros and Cons of each side, along w…
 
Can your genome match you with a soulmate? Sort of, but we’d need more than just mammal genomes to know... I hope you enjoy, and collect your thoughts on the proposal at the end of the episode if you’re interested! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app…
 
The Netflix series The One is based on a book with a similar premise: via genome sequencing, we can match you with your best possible partner. The show is a great watch, and the science is not too far outside the possible. In fact, it’s far closer than the Sci-fi elements suggest, although this comes with some caveat changes. This is Part I of a se…
 
This episode covers how gene therapy may emerge as a critical tool for medicine as we seek to treat the previously untreatable. Can we ADD genes to specific cells to help humans overcome fated genetic ailments? Why has this process challenged us in the past? And lastly, who is going to pay for all these expensive viral delivery systems? Join to tak…
 
BONUS EPISODE - I collected the top 20 insights from my personal and professional colleagues that completed or are currently undertaking medical school or another healthcare program to share with my students. This episode is a recorded conversation with several of my students over video. I share what I can from my experiences, those of colleagues, …
 
Join me and Gustavus Adolphus College colleague Katie Peterson to discuss our research, how we teach, our paths to becoming professors, and student questions! In this episode we address interdisciplinary connections between evolution, environmental change, and cellular biology. We hope you enjoy! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easie…
 
This episode covers the basics of how a cancer begins. Genetic mutations can often knock out genes responsible for keeping an eye on how many cell divisions are allowed. Once these are out of the way, aggressive growth genes can overcome them and cause initial tumor populations to form. After further successive survival advantages are gained, tumor…
 
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells (CAR-T) represent one of the most profound and exciting advances in modern medicine and science. Many lymphoma patients fail therapy after therapy with little recourse. CAR-T aimed to stop that. Taking immune T-cells from the patient, engineering them to target cancer cells, and re-releasing them into the patient w…
 
We live in an age where social media provides a platform for everything - good and bad. I wanted to summarize how ideas can be spread, weaponized, and distorted, much like a disease. We also briefly go over the differences between ideas and beliefs. The episode takes a look at how stem cell clinics offer hope through social media without a solid fo…
 
Today’s episode details my research area: B-cells and the resulting lymphomas. The journey of a B-cell is violent and chaotic. To produce the best possible antibody protein against pathogen, the body employs an all-or-nothing tool: DNA modification. Nowhere else in the body is the DNA in cells actively manipulated and changed, except in B-cells. It…
 
This is an exciting and quick episode that mainly covers the findings of a recent Daniel D. Carvalho paper in Nature Reviews called “Epigenetic therapy in immune oncology” where the authors elaborate on new mechanisms of cancer treatments. Essentially, the epigenetic Cancer therapies that cause genes to reprogram the “on/off” state also awaken anci…
 
Domestication is a very interesting process and was first performed millions of years ago. The relationships between humans and dogs is of particular interest, as are the genetic and developmental changes that make them possible. We also delve into controversy and how the process of tameness selection brings along more than what’s expected. Enjoy, …
 
Everything you’ve heard about CRISPR is likely closer to the truth than not. The possibilities are exiting, and the possibilities are terrifying. This episode dives into the logic and ethics behind CRISPR-Cas9’s DNA-changing capabilities and what it means for science, healthcare, and war. Now is a good time to start learning about this next step in…
 
Today’s episode is the first one that is primarily driven by literature and philosophy, namely borrowing themes explored in Frankenstein and Paradise Lost. Victor Frankenstein’s fraught relationship with his creature is a devastatingly emotional purview into what life is. The influence from Paradise Lost and our subsequent relationship with a creat…
 
Today’s episode covers the basics of evolution so that we can address a case of extreme survival in some of the smallest organisms to exist: yeast! Cancer evolution makes appearances as well, including new mechanisms of tumor evasion that can develop when we treat cancer with different therapies. Stories of how organisms put everything on the line …
 
The days of chemo-only cancer treatment ended years ago. This episode introduces 20 diverse therapies that scientists and clinicians are turning to in the face of ever-evolving tumors. This is an especially exiting episode, as I believe there is so much hope on the horizon for treating these diseases, and it’s exciting to share that feeling. Enjoy!…
 
The power of immune system is on full display every day of our lives and has been throughout our history. As pathogens try to enter our bodies and hurt us, the immune system rises up to fight and counter new disease mechanisms that it encounters. This episode will touch on the debate over remaining smallpox samples, innate and adaptive immunity, an…
 
Internal human ecosystems? Transmissible personality traits? Tune in for the best episode yet where we get you up to speed on the human microbiome, a collection of thousands of partner bacterial species that live inside and on us. Our microbiome species have co-evolved to keep our gut, immune system, and even mind healthy. The emerging consequences…
 
This episode goes over why DNA and the information it encodes could be what defines life. Organisms are finite things, but the information coded by successful genes persists through generations, possibly indefinitely. We’ll also touch on instincts surrounding survival, family, and altruism. Enjoy!--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easie…
 
Cancer is more than cells that proliferate and survive like mad; it's a lethal combination of Genetics and Evolution. They also rely on parasitizing resources and evading immune system predators. Cancer evolution represents the greatest challenge for scientists and clinicians, as tumors can do almost anything to survive. Listen to this episode for …
 
This episode addresses further definitions of life, the end of the dinosaurs, and the emergence of the mammal, along with the partnership that they made with fungi to do it. This story is inspired by a seminar by Dr. Arturo Casadevall from John’s Hopkins.--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm…
 
Hello! My name is Keenan, and I’m a professor at Minnesota State University Mankato and a cancer scientist. I also love going over the amazing stories that Biology has to share, and hopefully these podcasts make it enjoyable to hear some of them on a time budget. Today’s episode is introductory, covering what I do, cancer, the definition of life, a…
 
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