Ep 259: The molecular clown car: DNA and your cells



The molecular clown car: DNA and your cells

If your cell’s nucleus was about as tall as Brad, your DNA could stretch for more than 200 miles. How do such long molecules fit inside such tiny cells? While we’re on the subject, just how much information is in DNA? Join us for a look at your chromosomes, and cellular nucleus.
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Ep 258: Living cells that make their living inside other living cells



Living cells that make their living inside other living cells

Inside the membrane of most of your cells are what look like little cells, with their own membranes and DNA. These little cell like things do important things, without which your cells couldn’t function, and you couldn’t live. The thing is, once upon a time, they really were cells in their own right, cells that one day moved inside of another cell, and never left.
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Ep 257: Comes the oxygen



Comes the oxygen

When oxygen first began to accumulate in our oceans and our atmosphere, most of what was alive at the time couldn’t take it. The oxygen was a terrible poison. Even those life forms that could stand the extra O2, had trouble when the oxygen reacted with the iron in the ocean, and took away much of what had been food. If that wasn’t bad enough, a long ice age got started, all because of tiny microbes, too small to see with the naked eye.
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Episode 1: take 8



Brad got older, and Phil got bolder. Since the one brother had a birthday and got all lazy, the other brother made a new show, and went all crazy. Join us while the inmate, (Phil) takes over the asylum, (the podcast.) No animals were provably harmed in the making of this show.

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Ep 256: What was the first food?



What was the first food?

The energy we need in order to live comes from the food we eat. Other organisms use other forms of energy. But what about the first organisms? Where did their energy come from? Along with a look at how living cells use energy, we try and figure out what was the very first food.
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Ep 255: Prebiotic evolution part 2: DNA and RNA



Prebiotic evolution part 2: DNA and RNA

DNA cannot copy itself. It needs enzymes, very large complicated proteins to replicate from one cell to a new one. The way the proteins are produced requires DNA and RNA. All three types of molecule have to be present in a cell for the cell to work. What exactly are DNA and RNA, and how did all this complicated business get started? Join us for the conclusion of our look at the evolution that happened before evolution.
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Ep 254: Prebiotic evolution part 1: proteins



Prebiotic evolution part 1: proteins

Most of the way your cells do what they do is by using proteins. Proteins are made by life. But if life makes proteins and life needs proteins, where did the first proteins come from? Join us for part 1 of our investigation of the evolution before evolution—the building up of the complex chemicals needed for the beginning of life.
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Ep 253: The solar system’s greatest hits



The solar system’s greatest hits

After gravity managed to make some decent sized planets, they started getting smashed together with almost planet sized bits and pieces. These impacts may be responsible for our oceans, and perhaps even for life on our planet, but it was not an easy ride. Join us for a look at some of the biggest collisions in our inner solar system, and the huge scars that were left behind.
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Ep 252: From gas and dust, to all of us



From gas and dust, to all of us

The general idea is simple—a cloud of gas and dust collapses in on itself, driven by gravity, until roughly in the middle of it, our sun began to shine. But the details are somewhat odd, especially when we compare our solar system to what we’re able to observe of planets around other stars. What triggered the original collapse? Why does our sun spin so slowly? Where did the earth’s water come from? How and why did our solar system end up with nice stable, nearly circular orbits that gave life on earth billions of years of relative peace? There’s plenty of room for competing theories and interesting side trips as we take a look at the birth of our sun and planets.
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Ep 251: making the ingredients



making the ingredients

Before our planet could form, all the stuff one would like to make a planet out of had to be made. Starting with hydrogen and helium, stars had to cook up the rest of the periodic table over a nice long period. Toss in some explosions and collisions, and everything we’re made of was ready to make us. But, all those giant stars couldn’t even get started, if it weren’t for a quirk of how the tiniest pieces of the universe interact. But hey, what’s a little quantum physics amongst friends?
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