Lab Notes

Lab Notes

The 21st century is the century of biology. Discoveries made in the lab today will shape the cures of tomorrow. Hosted by award-winning science writer Rachel Tompa and creator Rob Piercy, Lab Notes pulls back the curtain on the human stories behind headline-grabbing scientific studies and breakthroughs. Lab Notes is a production of the Allen Institute.

Episodes

May 17, 2021 19 min

In the early '80s, Linda Sloate was a 30-year old mom raising three little kids when she became one of an estimated 20 million people worldwide living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It has been a 40-year struggle filled with dozens of treatments and surgeries. Today there is new hope for patients as researchers have come together for a collaborative project to uncover how RA begins – and how to stop it in its tracks.

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When neuroscientist Christina Kim published an important research study, her close friend, novelist Yaa Gyasi, wanted to understand more about her friend’s work, so she asked to shadow her in the lab. That experience eventually formed the basis for Gyasi’s moving novel about addiction and mental illness, Transcendent Kingdom.

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Aldan Beaubien was in high school when a smorgasbord of bagels, cream cheese and apple juice left him in agony. Months later, doctors diagnosed him with Crohn's disease. Now an IT engineer at a research institute studying the disease, Aldan has new hope for better treatments or even a cure.

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September 22, 2020 19 min

In the winter of 2019, a series of storms dubbed “Snowpocalypse” dumped more than 20 inches of snow on the Seattle area, forcing the closure of schools and businesses. This weather-induced social-distancing caused flu cases to plummet. What researchers learned from these snowstorms helped prepare them for the coronavirus pandemic and find what, at the time, were the earliest known cases of community spread. Their work has gone on t...

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August 4, 2020 24 min

When the first U.S. COVID-19 cases began arriving at the hospital, doctors nicknamed the illness "The Beast" because of the way it attacked the body. Dr. Ryan Padgett treated several patients before he himself became infected and nearly died. How can this beast be tamed? A team of researchers in Ohio believes they have identified a set of tools that could help save lives and speed recovery times for patients like Dr. Padget...

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April 27, 2020 14 min

What if there were a face mask that could tell you you're infected with coronavirus before you ever show symptoms? In this episode we chat with Allen Distinguished Investigator Jim Collins from MIT and the Wyss Institute, about a wearable diagnostic that could help in the fight to trace and contain COVID-19 infections. 

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