Learn Real Good

Hosted ByVinny Francois & Katie Pagnucco

Learn Real Good is a podcast that brings science to the masses by combining comedy and cutting-edge science. We create a friendly and casual atmosphere to discuss STEM research with grad students. We want to peel back the curtain on how science is done and what it means to be a scientist while improving scientific literacy in the general public. We also want our audience to laugh their butts off.

All Episodes

E31: Killing Bacteria with Light with Rita Lam

We think of hospitals as clean and sterile environments. But there will always be bacteria in any environment, including in and on the people in the hospitals. This week’s guest, Rita Lam, is an engineer/microbiologist who investigates how sunlight affects the microbiome in hospitals. Vinny and Katie share science facts about the origins of clothes and science’s new disco mice?

E30: Tracking polar bear movements with Camille Jodouin

Polar bears are incredible animals native to the Arctic and manage the feat of being both adorable and fearsome. Camille Jodouin is doing her Master’s at University of Alberta studying how polar bears move around the sea ice in Hudson Bay and how that affects their populations. Katie and Vinny share science facts about X and Y chromosomes and the failed American version of the CERN particle accelerator.

E29: Coexisting in periodic environments with Alexa Scott

There are always competitive pressures in nature. Alexa Scott studies how species in competition with each other are affected by environments that have a natural cycle, like the tide or seasons, at the University of Guelph. Katie and Vinny talk about attracting mosquitos and what a supercomputer has to do with the moon’s origin.

E28: Clocking the impacts of circadian rhythms with Cassandra Goldfarb

Our circadian rhythms regulate our lives: how we sleep, when we eat, and our energy levels throughout the day. Cassandra Goldfarb is a PhD student investigating chronotypes in the psychology department of Concordia University. Vinny and Katie share science facts about the Voyager satellites and fish sounds.

E27: Working out on cannabis with Christian Cheung

Competitive sport spends a lot of effort to catch athletes who abuse drugs to gain an edge on their competitors. But what about cannabis? It’s legal to consume in Canada but does it help or hinder? Christian Cheung studies the effects of cannabis on the cardiovascular system. Vinny and Katie share science facts about artificial sweeteners and double liquid water.

E26: Reintroducing bison in Banff with Alexander Araujo

Bison used to roam North American in the millions but were hunted to near-extinction by settlers during the late 19th century. Alexander Araujo is this week’s guest and his research covers the reintroduction of wild bison to the Banff National Park. Vinny and Katie chat about the secret lives of quarks and dinosaur eyes.

E25: Extending food’s shelf life with Louis Colaruotolo

Turning the raw materials of food into all the products we find in our stores is a science unto itself. Learning how to make, store, and preserve food without generating waste is a tricky and important problem to solve. This week’s guest is Louis Colaruotolo, a food science researcher to tell us about the incredible work that goes into what we eat. Katie and Vinny talk about dinosaur-human hybrids, lactose intolerance, and the opposite of leap seconds.

E24: Building DNA nanostructures with Ghufran Rafique

Manipulating DNA has offered the potential to revolutionize medicine and nanomaterials for decades. That potential is becoming a reality. Ghufran Rafique researches methods to synthesize DNA nanostructures one nucleotide at a time. Vinny and Katie talk about boiling water and vole predators.

E23: Building robot pants with Pawel Kudzia

The field of robotics is moving rapidly from science-fiction to everyday experience. Our guest, Pawel Kudzia, researches wearable robots to restore functions for people who need rehabilitation or assistance. His focus is on building exoskeletons to help people walk. Vinny and Katie talk about building new telescopes and odors caused by viruses.