Three-Minute Egghead
  • Andy Fell, UC Davis
32 episodes
Three-Minute Egghead is a podcast about research at UC Davis, produced by Andy Fell in UC Davis Strategic Communications.


Zika Virus Vaccine Protects Fetus in Pregnant Monkeys
2019 Dec 234m 47s
In 2015 Zika virus emerged as a threat to pregnant women, causing birth defects and brain damage. Koen Van Rompay at the California National Primate Research Center has led the first tests of a vaccine against Zika virus in pregnant rhesus monkeys, showing that the vaccine can protect both mother and fetus from harm.
Where are the tripods?
2019 Nov 057m 2s
Tripods might be popular in science fiction, but there are no truly three-limbed animals, living or extinct, on Earth. Tracy Thomson has been thinking about why that may be, and the value of considering what evolution cannot do.
The Efficiency Paradox: How Powerful Competitors Shape Ecosystems
2019 Aug 197m 7s
Ecosystems dominated by high-powered competitors are more efficient at recycling nutrients than low-powered systems, argues UC Davis paleontologist Geerat Vermeij in a new paper. The idea ties together evolution and ecology, and explains how ecosystems may have evolved to become more efficient since life appeared on Earth.
Mukherjee Celebrates the Power of the Network
2019 Jul 038m 26s
When Biswanath Mukherjee came to UC Davis in 1987, the only telephones were landlines and the internet was something for academics and scientists. Now his work on networks -- including the first network firewall, demonstrated in his lab -- has anticipated multibillion dollar industries.
A Reptile Platypus From The Early Triassic
2019 Apr 106m 15s
UC Davis paleontologist Ryosuke Motani and Chinese colleagues recently described a new and curious fossil. The 250 million-year-old animal was a marine reptile that seems to have lived much like the modern platypus, hunting by touch in dark or muddy water with its sensitive snout.
Marine Reptiles in Prehistoric China
2019 Apr 024m 47s
UC Davis paleontologist Ryosuke Motani has studied marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs for most of his career. He's now looking for new fossils in what was once an ancient sea in southern China. (Image by Levi Bernardo, via Wikimedia)
Four on the Frontiers of Mathematics
2019 Jan 1212m 58s
Mathematics is the language of the universe, and mathematicians can use this language to help people better understand the world. I talked to some UC Davis mathematicians about the problems they work on and why they are important. From quantum computers to the movement of subatomic particles and microorganisms swimming through fluids, it’s a journey that takes in Ancient Greece, the lining of your lungs, dead ends in 19th century physics and artificial intelligence.
Wine Country Wildfires Leave Questions for Vintners
2018 Oct 0717m 3s
A year ago this week, a series of fires broke out in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties, one of California’s best-known wine growing regions. While 90 percent of the grapes in Napa County had been harvested, a few vineyards still had grapes on the vine, including at the UC Davis experimental station in Oakville. Wildfire smoke can ruin wine. Anita Oberholster, a viticulture and enology extension specialist at UC Davis has been researching so-called smoke taint, in hopes of finding ways to mitigate the effects.
Parenting and Child Physiology
2018 Sep 105m 26s
Traumatic experiences, such as maltreatment as children, can influence how our mind and body react to stressful situations. UC Davis psychologist Paul Hastings and colleagues at the University of Washington have shown that intensive training for parents referred to Child Protective Services can improve physiological reactions to stress in their young children.
Experience and Memory
2018 Jul 315m 14s
We know that previous experience can affect how we remember things, but how does this work at a molecular level? UC Davis neuroscientist Brian Wiltgen talks about previous work showing how new memories can build on existing networks.