In this episode, Itai and Martin talk to Oded Rechavi, Professor of Radical Science at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Having watched Indiana Jones as a kid, Oded jumped on the opportunity to sequence the DNA of the skins on which the dead sea scrolls were written, figuring out how different fragments fit together. Inspired by Michael Crichton’s book Prey, he uses parasitic worms to deliver drugs into the brain. To add more creativity to a project, he always involves someone from a distant field. Listen to this episode to hear why he thinks PhD training is the best time to do night science!
Oded’s lab challenges basic dogmas regarding inheritance and evolution, using simple powerful genetic model organisms. In particular, his lab has shown that when challenged, worms synthesize small RNAs that they give to their progeny to regulate genes, resulting in heritable changes several generations down the road. Oded’s lab is also developing useful parasites, investigating the neuronal basis of rational decision-making, and tries to do as many crazy experiments as possible.
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