Episode 183: Hope (to replace every tree with a chest freezer)

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura discuss scientific advances that give them hope for the future, and Gem issues a correction.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

The HIV Vaccine: NIH launches clinical trial of three mRNA HIV vaccines (National Institutes of Health (NIH)) | HIV Vaccines (HIV.gov) | Zidovudine (Wikipedia) | HIV vaccine development (Wikipedia) | HIV/AIDS (Wikipedia) | Retrovirus (Wikipedia) | Why Is It So Difficult to Find an HIV Cure? (American Gene Technologies) | Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)

The Four Day Work Week: The 4-day workweek: How realistic is it really? (NPR) | The Workweek Revolution: a Solution to the Health Care Exodus (Clinical Advisor) | More Employers Are Trying a 4-Day Workweek and Finding Benefits (Business Insider) | Why the four-day working week is ‘doomed to fail’ (HRD Canada) | Can the four day work week save us? A look at the statistics (Fingerprint for Success)

The Moxie Experiment: NASA’s Moxie instrument successfully makes oxygen on Mars (The Guardian) | Small Device Currently on Mars Is Generating as Much Oxygen as a Tree, Scientists Reveal (Vice) | MOXIE experiment: NASA made enough oxygen on Mars to last an astronaut for 100 minutes (New Scientist) | MIT’s MOXIE experiment reliably produces oxygen on Mars (MIT News) | Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (Wikipedia) | Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) – Preparing for human Mars exploration (Science Advances) | Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment: MOXIE (NASA)

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Episode 181: The Extraordinary Science of Everyday Things

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn is joined by Lauren, Gem, and Laura to discuss the amazing hidden science behind common objects and phenomena, including coloured glass, toilets, foam, and placebos.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Coloured Glass: Chemistry of Colored Glass (Science Notes) | The Chemistry of Coloured Glass (Compound Interest) | Bottle Colors (Society for Historical Archaeology) | What Causes Color in Stained and Colored Glass (Geology.com) | Glass (New World Encyclopedia) | Glass: Composition, types and uses (Jagran Josh)

The Placebo Effect: Semantics of the placebo (Psychiatric Quarterly) | A systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo versus no treatment for insomnia symptoms (ScienceDirect) | Is the Placebo Powerless? — An Analysis of Clinical Trials Comparing Placebo with No Treatment (NEJM) | The Powerful Placebo and the Wizard of Oz (NEJM) | The Powerful Placebo (JAMA) | The Powerful Placebo Effect: Fact or Fiction? (ScienceDirect) | Placebo interventions for all clinical conditions (Cochrane Library) | Are Treatments More Effective than Placebos? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PMC) | Correction: Are Treatments More Effective than Placebos? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PMC) | Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Cochrane Library) | Greater Response to Placebo in Children Than in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Drug-Resistant Partial Epilepsy (PMC)

Toilets: Gravity and Your Toilet: A Beautiful Science Relationship (Homeschool.com) | How toilets work (Explain That Stuff) | Learn Who Invented the Toilet (Brubaker) | A Brief History of The Flush Toilet (The British Association of Urological Surgeons) | Who Invented the Flush Toilet? (HISTORY) | 8 Inventions By African Americans That Helped Shape Civilization (Black Then) | Gravity Fed Toilets (Toiletology) | 2.972 How A Toilet Works (MIT) | Bernoulli’s principle (Wikipedia) | Indus Valley civilisation (Wikipedia) | The Physics of Toilets (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Foam: Nitrogen in Guinness Beer (Inertion) | Wildfire Retardants (Government of the Northwest Territories) | Researchers discover the physics of foams (ScienceDaily) | Practical Foam Science (Cosmetics & Toiletries) | The science behind the foam in your cappuccino (The Splendid Table) | Two new papers explore the complicated physics behind bubbles and foams (Ars Technica) | The Basics of Engineering with Foam (MachineDesign) | Foam (Wikipedia) | The Strange Physics of Foam (NASA Science Mission Directorate) | Science of Sloshing: Why Foam is Important (Science Connected Magazine) | Unraveling the science of coffee foam (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition) | The science of foaming (ScienceDirect) | Shuffling bubbles reveal how liquid foams evolve (EurekAlert!) | Spray Polyurethane Foam Basics (American Chemistry Council)

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Episode 179: Cursed Knowledge

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura share things that they wish they had never learned. Warning: this episode contains parasites!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

The Curse of Knowledge: Curse of knowledge (Wikipedia) | The Curse of Knowledge (Digital Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge | The Curse of Knowledge and How to Avoid It (All About Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge: How It Impacts You, and What to Do About It (User Testing)

Snail-borne Parasites: Schistosomiasis (CDC) | Rat Lungworm Disease and How to Prevent It (Corry’s) | Snail-borne parasitic diseases: an update on global epidemiological distribution, transmission interruption and control methods (PMC) | Eating Slugs Can Cause Paralysis—Here’s Why (National Geographic)

Fatal Familial Insomnia: Fatal Familial Insomnia (National Organization for Rare Disorders)

Face Mites: ‘Face Mites’ Live in Your Pores, Eat Your Grease and Mate on Your Face While You Sleep (Live Science) | Face Mites: They Really Grow On You (NPR) | Demodex (Wikipedia)

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Episode 178: The Worst Tooth Fairy

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem introduces the panel to Dr. Henry Cotton, a pioneer in the field of “psychiatric surgical bacteriology”, Lauren provides a biographical sketch of Magnus Hirschfeld and his Institute of Sex Research, Laura discusses the supposed health consequences of eating “fried foods”, and Ashlyn does a deep dive on a common way the medical system makes people’s lives just a little bit more miserable.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Henry Cotton: Henry Cotton (Wikipedia) | Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (American Journal of Psychiatry) | Book Review: “Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine” (Psychiatry, Psychology and Law)

Magnus Hirschfeld and the Institute of Sex Research: World League for Sexual Reform (Wikipedia) | Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wikipedia) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Wikipedia) | Arthur Kronfeld (Wikipedia) | Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Wikipedia) | LGBTQ Legislation Tracker (Freedom for All Americans) | Canada’s gender identity rights Bill C-16 explained (CBC Docs POV) | C-4 (44-1) An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Parliament of Canada) | Weimar Republic (Wikipedia) | Sexual intermediacy and temporality in late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century literature and culture (ResearchGate) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Britannica)

Fried Foods: Formation of trans fatty acids in edible oils during the frying and heating process (ScienceDirect) | Characterization of the Distribution of Oil Uptake in French Fries (Microscopy Today) | Fried-food consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of observational studies (BMJ Heart) | Consumption of Fried Foods and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians’ Health Study (Journal of the American Heart Association) | Consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease: Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (BMJ) | Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study (BMJ) | Analysis of Trans Fat in Edible Oils with Cooking Process (Toxicological Research) | Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence (Nutrients)

Anaesthesia and Fasting: Ending the misery of ‘nil by mouth’ (NHS) | Guidelines to the Practice of Anesthesia (Canadian Journal of Anesthesia) | You don’t need to do a prolonged fast before surgery (Slate) | A Trio of Commentaries on
Preoperative Fasting Guidelines (California Society of Anesthesiologists)
| Practice Guidelines for Obstetric Anesthesia (American Society of Anesthesiologists)

Unconstitutional Prayer in Manitoba: In Open Defiance (BC Humanist Association)

Gem’s Stories: “Passepartout” (first prize in the 2021 Bedford Writing Competition) | “Persistence of Vision” (published in Surge: A Dragon Soul Press Anthology)

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Episode 177: Contraception Should Be Free

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn and Gem are joined by Kennadie Chaudhary and Teale Phelps Bondaroff to discuss the AccessBC’s campaign for free contraception and some of the arguments made by critics of the campaign.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Links: AccessBC: Campaign for Free Prescription Contraception in BC | AccessBC (Twitter) | Birth Control Access for Manitoba (Twitter) | CoverContraceptiON (Twitter) | Canadian women opting for less effective birth control (PMC) | Household income and contraceptive methods among female youth: a cross-sectional study using the Canadian Community Health Survey (CMAJ Open) | BC Budget 2022 fails to take bold action on gender-based violence (West Coast LEAF)

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Episode 176: 🎵 Dontcha put it in your mouth! 🎶

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem discuss medical scams, including Miracle Mineral Solution, urine therapy (i.e., drinking your own pee), Trina Health’s dubious treatment for diabetes, and Dr. Zamboni’s Liberation Therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Miracle Mineral Solution: Danger: Don’t Drink Miracle Mineral Solution or Similar Products (FDA) | Miracle Mineral Solution is a Nightmare (McGill University) | Health Canada reminds Canadians of dangers of Miracle Mineral Solution after investigation leads to guilty plea and two-year sentence (Canada.ca) | Miracle Mineral Solution: Do Not Drink This, FDA Warns (Forbes) | Sellers of Miracle Mineral Solution Criminally Charged with Making Coronavirus Claims (ConsumerLab.com)

Urine Therapy: Urine (Wikipedia) | ‘I Would Have to Be Restrained’: Internet Eviscerates Parent for Adding Urine to Popsicles (Newsweek) | What Are the Risks and Benefits of Drinking Urine? (Healthline)

Trina Health’s Diabetes Treatment: About the Trina Health investigation (inewsource) | San Diego woman says controversial diabetes treatment endangered her health (inewsource) | Montana couple sinks life savings into “miracle” diabetes treatment (inewsource) | Trina Health Frequently Asked Questions (Web Archive) | Hustling Hope: San Diego doctor runs controversial diabetes clinic (inewsource) | Effects of Pulsatile Intravenous Insulin Therapy on the Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy (Dailey et al.) | Doctors debunk diabetes treatment as fraud charges hit clinic executive (inewsource) | MAT® Treatment (Aoki Diabetes Research Institute) | Intermittent Intravenous Insulin Therapy (Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletins)

Liberation Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: ‘Scientific quackery’: UBC study says it’s debunked controversial MS procedure (CBC News) | Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) in people with multiple sclerosis (Cochrane Library) | Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in multiple sclerosis: the final curtain (The Lancet) | Prevalence of extracranial venous narrowing on catheter venography in people with multiple sclerosis, their siblings, and unrelated healthy controls: a blinded, case-control study (The Lancet) | About patients, “inventors”, journalists, scientists, IRBs (to say nothing of the institutions): CCSVI and MS (PubMed) | Multiple sclerosis (Wikipedia) | Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency controversy (Wikipedia) | Epstein-Barr virus leading cause multiple sclerosis (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

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Episode 173: Social Contagion and Psychogenic Illness

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren to talk about social contagion and unpack the sociological, psychological, and sometimes pseudoscientific history of “hysteria”. Topics include the Tanganyika laughter epidemic, the Dancing Plague of 1518, and the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Social Contagion: Contagion: a theoretical and empirical review and reconceptualization (ResearchGate) | Social contagion (Wikipedia) | Mass psychogenic illness (Wikipedia) | Irish Fright (Wikipedia)

The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic: The laughter of the 1962 Tanganyika ‘laughter epidemic’ (ResearchGate) | An epidemic of laughing in the Bukoba district of Tanganyika (Central African Journal of Medicine) | Why laughter makes no sense: The surprising science behind what tickles our funny bones (Salon.com) | The 1962 Laughter Epidemic of Tanganyika Was No Joke (Atlas Obscura)

The Dancing Plague of 1518: A forgotten plague: making sense of dancing mania (The Lancet) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Wikipedia) | Ergotism (Wikipedia) | Sydenham Chorea Information Page (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic: Windshield pitting incidents in Washington reach fever pitch on April 15, 1954 (HistoryLink.org) | The Windshield-pitting mystery of 1954 (NPR) | How the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic is connected to data interpretation (Quantilia Financial Data and Calculation Factory)

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Episode 171: Dubious Diagnoses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura is joined by Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren to discuss Morgellons syndrome, adrenal fatigue, Wilson’s temperature syndrome, and candida overgrowth, four medical diagnoses with dubious supporting evidence.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Morgellons Syndrome: Delusional infestation: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, assessment and diagnosis (UpToDate) | The Morgellons Mystery (Psychology Today) | Sir Thomas Browne’s A Letter to a Friend (University of Chigago) | Morgellons (Wikipedia) | Delusional parasitosis (Wikipedia)

Adrenal Fatigue: Treating the Symptoms that are believed to be Adrenal Fatigue (Endocrine Society) | Adrenal fatigue: What causes it? (Mayo Clinic) | Adrenal fatigue (Wikipedia)

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome: Wilson’s temperature syndrome (Wikipedia) | Wilson’s Disease: Risk Factors, Causes, & Symptoms (Healthline)

Candida Overgrowth: The Candida Overgrowth Problem: Too Much Yeast? No, Too Little Science (SELF) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Nutrition Diva) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Scientific American) | Invasive Candidiasis (CDC) | Systemic candidiasis (NIH) | The Anti-Candida Diet: 11 Simple Rules to Follow (TheCandidaDiet.com)

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Episode 167: Medical History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura swap tales from medical history, including the story of Ben Carson’s separation of the Binder twins, the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and the “tainted blood scandal” that led to the formation of Canadian Blood Services.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Ben Carson: The story of the surgery that made Ben Carson famous and its complicated aftermath (The Washington Post) | Separation of craniopagus Siamese twins using cardiopulmonary bypass and hypothermic circulatory arrest (The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery) | Patrick and Benjamin Binder (Wikipedia) | From Vaccines to Creationism, Ben Carson’s Views Perplex Some (The New York Times) | Ben Carson on Creationism, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Evolution News) | Ben Carson’s Scientific Ignorance (The New Yorker)

Henrietta Lacks: Henrietta Lacks (Wikipedia) | Significant Research Advances Enabled by HeLa Cells (Office of Science Policy) | Cell Lines – an overview (ScienceDirect Topics) | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Goodreads)

The Tainted Blood Scandal: Canadian Red Cross apologises for distributing HIV infected blood (BMJ) | ABCs of eligibility to donating blood (Canadian Blood Services) | Collaboration, Competition, and Coercion: Canadian Federalism and Blood System Governance (Adam David McDonald) | Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada: Krever Report (Publications du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec) | The Krever Commission Recommendations: What They May Mean for Hospital (Longwoods) | The Krever Commission – 10 years later (CMAJ) | Commemoration of the Tainted Blood Tragedy (Canadian Hemophilia Society) | Canada’s Tainted Blood Disaster (CBC Archives) | Unspeakable: the truth about HIV-tainted blood in Canada (The Lancet Infectious Diseases) | Today’s blood system no longer unsafe or “Unspeakable” (Canadian Blood Services) | Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (Wikipedia) | Research shows promising development in hunt for HIV vaccine (ABC News)

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Episode 166: The Wellness Industry

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Gem, and Lauren in a discussion of the wellness industry, including a brief detour into QAnon conspiracies, and together the panel tries to figure out what wellness even is, anyway.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Additional Music: In addition to original music by Ian James, this episode also features Cavatina performed by the Mangoré Duo.

Wellness, Defined: Frequently asked questions (World Health Organization) | Twenty-first century health promotion: the public health revolution meets the wellness revolution (Health Promotion International, Oxford Academic) | The dark side of the wellness industry (New Statesman) | What is Wellness? (Global Wellness Institute)

Apps and Plans: Why The Wellness Industry is So Utterly Broken (In Fitness and in Health) | Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations (Annual Review of Public Health) | The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads (FTC Consumer Information) | Tons of Weight-Loss Ads Show Fake Before/After Photos: Report (Women’s Health) | The History of Dieting (Skyterra Wellness) | Is Fasting Healthy? (WebMD) | “Find Your Fit”: Wearable technology and the cultural politics of disability (Journal of New Media and Society)

QAnon and the Wellness Industry: How Instagram Aesthetics Repackage QAnon (The Atlantic) | How COVID-19 Guided Wellness Influencers to QAnon (Bitch Media) | This yoga instructor is fighting the rise of QAnon in the wellness community (CBC Radio) | New Agers and Wellness Influencers Are Falling for Far-Right COVID Conspiracies (Vice)

Police Officers and Domestic Violence: Police Domestic Violence: Data Shows 40 Percent of Cops Abuse Family (Fatherly)

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