Naked Scientists Naked Genetics

Naked Genetics

From plants to pathogens, fruit flies to fungi and hamsters to humans, Naked Genetics takes a look at the science of genes. With in-depth interviews, the latest news from the world of genetics, answers to your questions, and our gene of the month, tune in for a look inside your genes...
English United Kingdom Science
80 Episodes
1 – 20

The roamin' Roman Empire, and Charles Darwin's love life

In this edition of Naked Genetics: The surprising findings of a roman empire diversity study; Are hybrid animals the way out of the biodiversity crisis? And, was charles darwin as romantic as he was scientifically brilliant? Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
28 Feb 28 min

The origin of Europe's MS disease, and South Pole sequencing

This episode of Naked Genetics, the origins of multiple sclerosis markers in northern Europe is revealed, and why it might have helped more people than it hindered; we also look at organisms surviving in Earth's most extreme conditions; and ask just why might a bunch of organisms be turning into…
22 Jan 27 min

Testing for genetic diseases, and bats with big penises

This episode of Naked Genetics, we catch up with our genetics experts and look into the hot button genetics news; we look at how genetics affects our genes, and how genes affect our ageing; and, another extraordinary mating ritual in Quirks of Evolution... Like this podcast? Please help us by…
14 Dec 2023 27 min

Is vegetarianism genetic, and the penis-eating spider

This episode, we catch up with some of the more curious genetics news from the past month including how much Neanderthal is in you and how that affects your risk of disease. Also, we look at one of the most remarkable breeding strategies in the animal kingdom, a spider with…
14 Nov 2023 30 min

COVID In Your Genes: The Risk Factors

Do our genes control how we respond to COVID? The question has been nagging at the world since the pandemic began. Now we have the answer - and it's yes. In this programme, geneticist Nathan Pearson uncovers the specific bits of DNA that make you more likely to catch coronavirus,…
14 Apr 2021 30 min

The Genes Who Came in for the Cold

How do we cope at the extremes of low temperature? Across the world, groups of people have historically made their home in icy and inhospitable landscapes... and even today, groups of thrill seekers push their bodies to the limits by going swimming in water close to freezing. In this month's…
17 Mar 2021 30 min

How To Tell Coronavirus Variants Apart

We're looking at the most critical variants of the coronavirus, and finding out how to tell whether they're flummoxing COVID vaccines. Plus: the cost of catching a serial killer; DNA with four strands instead of two; and a mutant fish whose fins have started turning into limbs! Like this podcast?…
24 Feb 2021 28 min

Identical Twins: Not Identical?

Meet the small DNA differences that make their mark by existing in the magical period of early development. We'll hear how mutations in the very first stages of human embryos have bizarre consequences for identical twins; and how even earlier in the process, sperm use selfish genes to get ahead…
15 Jan 2021 28 min

RNA vaccines, privacy, and penguins

The first group of people in the world have received a 'genetic' vaccine against the coronavirus. What is it, and how does it work? Naked Scientist Chris Smith breaks it down and addresses your concerns. Plus, why some genes have to change rapidly just to stay the same; a new…
17 Dec 2020 24 min

Mink, Ivory, & a Disease Discovered Backwards

It's a regular Noah's Ark: from the coronavirus strains that have been spreading through minks, to a new DNA test that can track poached elephant ivory, to the genetics of a very useful - and very inbred - cat. Plus: scientists have discovered a brand new genetic disease, via an…
13 Nov 2020 27 min

Slave Trade, Neanderthals, & COVID

This week: a risk factor for severe COVID that comes from Neanderthals; using genes to track the millions transported as slaves across the Atlantic; a doctor runs through the list of what coronavirus mutations are worth watching out for; and learning population genetics from a video game... Like this podcast?…
16 Oct 2020 28 min

How To Survive Poison

This week, a message from Naked Scientists listener Loretta. "I'm curious if your show might cover some of the most interesting case studies of organisms developing tolerance to severe toxins, what genetic insight this gives us about adaptation and natural selection more broadly, and what some of the tradeoffs might…
14 Sep 2020 29 min

The Inner Lives of Birds

Tweet tweet! We're talking birds, and the incredible things they can do. Today we're spotlighting five of the coolest recent stories in bird genetics: hummingbirds powering their lightning-fast flight; a gene that controls migration; why males have different colours to females; how light pollution makes sparrows sicker; and the bird…
18 Aug 2020 28 min

Female Mosaicism: The Stronger Sex?

The same thing that makes the patchwork colours on a tortoiseshell cat, also - according to some - is why human females live longer, see colour better, and even more often survive the coronavirus. It's all thanks to having two X chromosomes. Females compensate by switching one of them off,…
14 Jul 2020 27 min

Fermented foods: the real deal?

We take a look at the trendy world of fermented foods. Are they actually good for you? And if so, why? Plus, the latest genetics news: from bacteria that live inside cancer cells, to gene sequencing the dead sea scrolls... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked…
14 Jun 2020 29 min

ACE2: The Coronavirus Gateway

Are you one of the many people who take ACE inhibitors or ARBs to treat high blood pressure? Or to help with heart issues or diabetes? In the UK, this is about one in seven people, making these are some of the most common prescription drugs out there; and recently…
13 May 2020 34 min

The Coronavirus Mutation Situation

In this episode we're taking apart the tiny creature behind this global pandemic. From how looking at the genes of the coronavirus can help figure out the animal it comes from; to the exact ways it's spreading around the world; and even how a hidden mutation is threatening to lead…
15 Apr 2020 25 min

Gene Genealogy & The Lost Family

One of the biggest tech booms of the past half decade has been direct to consumer DNA tests. The results come in the post, and with them come both answers and new questions: questions that tens of thousands of people now have to figure out how to ask. In this…
13 Mar 2020 24 min

FOXG1 Syndrome: Fighting the Odds

Listener Vivek got in touch with a question about a rare genetic disease his son has, called FOXG1 Syndrone. In fact, it's so rare - and so newly-discovered - that only about six hundred people in the world have been diagnosed. Kids with FOXG1 have severe developmental delays; in Vivek's…
20 Feb 2020 25 min

The Fly Infest-agation

We got a Christmas present from listener Anna: a small plastic tube full of dead flies. They've recently been infesting the hospital where she works. She wants us to figure out what they are, and what caused the infestation. Can DNA crack the case? Plus, the return of Gins &…
14 Jan 2020 28 min
1 – 20