August 1, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 14)
Strong Points: Content for general audience and biologists, interesting topics
Weak Points: Small collection of episodes thus far
The Poisoncast podcast offers a fascinating glimpse into the biology of things that can kill you. Covering all manners of toxins, venoms, and chemicals—from hemlock, to mustard gas, to Botox—host Scott Barnett provides both engaging historical anecdotes and detailed biological mechanisms in each approximately half-hour long episode. The episodes are smartly structured into two parts. The first part of each episode provides a general overview of the poison, including a nontechnical description of its biological mechanism of action. The second part provides a much more detailed explanation of the underlying biology, thereby providing general audience listeners the chance to end the podcast early if they don’t wish to be inundated with scientific jargon. Sadly, there are only thirteen episodes thus far; however, it appears that we can expect new tales of deadly biology in the near future.