Distillations podcast

Deep Dives into Science Stories, Both Serious and Eccentric

Health & Medicine

Bodies, minds, and the things that help and harm them

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Health & Medicine

Exploring ‘Health Equity Tourism’

With a new public interest in health equity research, who is actually receiving recognition and funding in the field?

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Health & Medicine

The Mothers of Gynecology

Why are Black women in America three times more likely to die during childbirth than White ones?

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Health & Medicine

Correcting Race

A group of medical students wants to take racial bias out of the equation.

Graphic of Golden Gate Bridge and Asian market
Health & Medicine

‘That Rotten Spot’

When the plague struck San Francisco in 1900, public health officials blamed Chinatown, as if the disease itself had a racial component.

Collage illustration showing pills and historical image of Europeans enslaving Africans.
Health & Medicine

Black Pills

If there’s no such thing as biological race, why would the FDA approve a drug just for Black patients?

Collage showing news clips about Tuskegee syphilis experiment, and photograph of patients.
Health & Medicine

Bad Blood, Bad Science

The word “Tuskegee” has become shorthand for the Black community’s mistrust of the medical establishment. But what really happened?

Collage illustration showing portrait of Richard Allen, a mosquito, and image of yellow fever virus
Health & Medicine

Calamity in Philadelphia

When yellow fever struck the city in 1793, faulty race logic almost destroyed it.

Vox's Unexplainable podcast logo: the word Unexplainable on a grid of black squares and white lines.
Health & Medicine

What Causes Alzheimer’s?

Vox’s ‘Unexplainable’ podcast interviews ‘Distillations’ about how Alzheimer’s research has stubbornly focused on a single theory for decades.

Illustration of the female vampire "Carmilla" hovering over a woman lying in bed.
Health & Medicine

Vampire Panic

When an invisible threat plagued rural 19th-century New England, the evidence pointed to the supernatural.

Black and white photograph of nurse Linda Ruggiero wearing a face mask, standing outside on a bridge.
Health & Medicine

COVID’s Hidden Toll on Nurses

“I just feel broken.”

A man in a mine, using safety apparatus invented by Auguste Denayrouze, finds asphyxiated miners. Wood engraving by J. Nash, 1874.
Health & Medicine

The Alchemical Origins of Occupational Medicine

From Paracelsus to OSHA.

Photograph of Magda Marquet, in a garden, next to a Buddha statue.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Magda Marquet

The biochemical engineer and entrepreneur on her hopes for a better postpandemic society.

Photograph of Robert Langer sitting at the foot of a bed, wearing a surgical mask.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Robert Langer

The MIT chemical engineer and entrepreneur talks about Moderna Therapeutics, a company he helped start, and his work developing a way for vaccines to self-boost in the body.

Photograph of Mark Stevenson in blue suit and red tie.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Mark Stevenson

The Thermo Fisher Scientific executive tells us what it took for his instrumentation company to design a diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus.

Photograph of Katrine Bosley.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Katrine Bosley

The longtime biotech executive talks to us about how CRISPR can be used to make a faster diagnostic test for COVID-19 and how she’s advising a hospital in creating a vaccine. 

Photograph of William Haseltine.
Health & Medicine

Interview with William Haseltine

The scientist, entrepreneur, and author has lived through three epidemics. He tells us how this pandemic compares with his earlier experiences: “It is a tragedy that never needed to happen.”

Photograph of Susan Weiss.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Susan Weiss

The University of Pennsylvania microbiology professor talks about her 40 years of experience researching coronaviruses.

Photograph of Sue Desmond-Hellman speaking on stage.
Health & Medicine

Interview with Sue Desmond-Hellmann

The former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recalls the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Ebola pandemic: “Early pandemic science is filled with uncertainty.”