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Nature Boy: The Podcast

Nature Boy is a general science show hosted by four PhD graduate students studying plant biology at UC Riverside. Join Michael, Marschal, Jon, and Jess the first Sunday of each month as research from varied fields is discussed, made digestible, and often criticized. An irreverent look at the often over revered field of scientific research.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 33: Bioremediation

Hey all! Jon here, your occasional co-host and creator of podcast descriptions, to let you know that I was not present for this week's episode. From what I understand, the mighty 3 discussed bioremediation. The resilience of natural systems to disruption by human action is well established, but what do we do when the system is pushed too far and becomes disrupted? Often the same mechanisms by which the natural state is maintained can be exploited to address environmental concerns. What do these efforts look like in the real world? Are they a viable solution to pollution? Or does bioremediation sound to go to be true because it is? Personally, I haven't listened to the episode, so your guess is as good as mine!


10 Nov 2017

Rank #1

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Episode 52: Obesity and Diabetes

Michael and Marschal start out alone on this one, lamenting the loss of their good friend Jon. Somehow they manage to carry on as a dynamic duo, delivering a heaping helping of heterogeneous h-words. Sit down with a pile of leftover candy and lament your widening waist with the greatest podcasting trio this side of any and all rivers!

1hr 1min

14 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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Episode 56: Paranormal Phenomena

This episode was originally recorded in March, as individuals began taking the Coronavirus seriously. As such, a large portion of the show is dedicated to no longer topical subjects. But stick around for this time capsule of a simpler age and enjoy some spooky subjects as well!

1hr 1min

1 May 2020

Rank #3

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Episode 36: Marijuana

Originally recorded January 7, 2018. Veteran fans may be aware that all hosts of the Nature Boy podcast are PhD students at UC Riverside, specifically in the department of plant biology. Often when explaining our work, the question of marijuana is brought up; mostly relating to either breeding, mechanisms of action in the body, or our future career aspirations as producers of the plant. While none of the crew plans on working in the field, it is such an interesting economic crop that we all have some familiarity with it. With recent legislation allowing for the commercial production and sale of marijuana in California, Nature Boy has taken it upon itself to explain some of the misunderstandings surrounding the plant and the current state of marijuana research, as well as providing an introduction to the new regulations surrounding use. So turn on, tune in, and drop out with us as we get groovy in this episode of Gnarly Boy!


26 Feb 2018

Rank #4

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Episode 50: The Microbiome

With the recent increase in products promising probiotic benefits and awareness of the importance of human microbial interactions it is only fitting that Nature Boy tackles the topic. On this month's episode you can discover the meaning and importance of the microbiome, some important nuances of microbial organisms' impact on our everyday life, and catch up on your science news. The Nature Boy crew continues to provide essential services to the community and all we ask is that you sit back, pop open a kombucha and enjoy!

1hr 1min

5 Jun 2019

Rank #5

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Episode 28: Death

It has been said that the most important difference between a beast and human is the comprehension of one's own mortality. An awareness of death and its inevitability, along with the fear it engenders, has resulted in the creation of religions and empires. God takes the place of the parent, and death represents the first betrayal by that trusted provider. People seek some form of immortality either by denying the reality of death, or through the creation of some legacy. In spite of its influence, modern society often treats death as a taboo subject. Luckily you, fair listener, are with the Nature Boy crew, where nothing is off limits until we get sponsors, after which those sponsors' products will be very much off limits.


10 May 2017

Rank #6

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Episode 39: Flowers

This episode represents one of the rare topics falling in line with your hosts' field of study. Flowers, they're pretty, listen to us talk about them.

1hr 5mins

6 Jun 2018

Rank #7

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Episode 35: Depression and Anxiety

This episode was originally recorded December 3, 2017. The Nature Boy podcast has been scientifically demonstrated to improve mood, reduce anxious behavior, and increase attention from potential romantic partners. These statements have not been approved by the FDA and may, in fact, be lies. Anxiety and depression affect many people at some point in their life. Coping strategies often focus on psychological approaches, but what do scientists know about the causes and potential treatments of these disorders? Find out in this surprisingly uplifting episode! 


26 Feb 2018

Rank #8

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Episode 49: Taste

As of this episode's posting, we have apparently lost last month's recording. If the episode (on pain) is found, it will be published in the near future. With that out of the way, enjoy this month's episode on taste. It is widely known that listeners of this podcast have some of the best taste on the planet, so it only makes sense to provide some information relating to the perception of taste. So don't be bitter and don't get salty, sit back and enjoy this sweet episode, you bunch of sour-pusses! Ooh-mommy, it's good!


6 May 2019

Rank #9

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Episode 47: Technology Addiction

Take your eyes off your phone or computer and listen to this podcast on your phone or computer! The Nature Boy crew is back to tell you why the things you enjoy should be eschewed, unlike the gum you enjoy which should just be chewed. Hear insights and excerpts from recent research along with that classic chemistry between hosts which you know and love!

1hr 5mins

12 Feb 2019

Rank #10

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Episode 53: Diabetes and Obesity (Part 2)

I did not have time to listen to this phat episode, but I can assure all you faithful readers of my captions that this one is a winner! In the very first two-parter in Nature Boy history, I assume those sweet M&M's (Michael and Marschal) continue their informed discussion of obesity, its spread, and it's negative impacts on health along with a similar discussion of diabetes. This one starts off with two, and I can not be sure if everyone's favorite gal pal Jess shows up, but regardless all listeners should make the time to consume this content!

1hr 1min

12 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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Episode 51: Therapy

Jon is very busy with his fancy new teaching job, and unfortunately he is writing this with very little information. However, rest assured that if you do not listen to this episode you are an even bigger fool than he is! Previous episodes were sadly lost from the archive and can not be recovered, but the Nature Boy crew still persists and has been releasing broadcasts. Though Jon is gone, the team lives on and we will keep him in our hearts and prayers!


17 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Episode 48: Fermentation

Fermentation touches our lives in more ways than most acknowledge. Beer, bread and booze are the most familiar examples, but why does this process occur? Which organisms can carry it out? What makes a house a home? The two former questions and more will be addressed in this blockbuster episode of Nature Boy!

1hr 1min

28 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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Episode 44: Genetic Testing

With the current popularity of direct to consumer genetic testing, it was only a matter of time until the Nature Boy crew came along to spoil the fun. Learn along with the gang as they discuss the technologies and ethical dilemmas involved in this industry!

1hr 2mins

25 Nov 2018

Rank #14

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Episode 42: Seed Banks

Bank on this episode being the brightest part of your week! The Nature Boy crew discusses those defenders of diversity, those sanctums of seeds, those guardians of genetics, seed banks. Additional alliteration includes: Bastions of bulbs, caretakers of creation, shepherds of stems, friends of flowers, arbiters of achenes, saviors of samaras, root revolutionaries, stockpilers of stolons, fighters for fronds, etc. Make learning time fun time by coming up with your own!

1hr 2mins

17 Sep 2018

Rank #15

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Episode 27: Military Technology

Whoosh! Boom! Blam-Oh! The Nature Boy crew becomes death, the destroyer of worlds, to discuss military technology and the wonderful things it brings and takes! In a surprise appearance Jon, number one bad-boy and author of episode descriptions, calls in to discuss lasers and domes! Truly, if you are going to miss one episode of a podcast this summer, do not make it this one!

1hr 1min

13 Mar 2017

Rank #16

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Episode 46: Astrology (And the Return of Jon)

What does the new year hold for you? Some turn to the stars for answers, so listen to the 4 biggest stars in podcasting on Nature Boy! Jon returns to the studio to join in a discussion of astrology including its critics, history, and validity. 


22 Jan 2019

Rank #17

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Episode 26: Trump, Government Research, and Science

We are sincerely honored to have this week''s episode featured in the KCHUNG radio residency at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Information regarding the residency as well as links to this and other featured KCHUNG programs can be found at http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/kchung_radio.html. This week, we address questions and concerns regarding recently inaugurated President Trump and his attitude towards scientific research. What views on this topic did Mr. Trump express during his candidacy? Is basic government research and international collaboration to solve worldwide problems in peril? And how does this president differ in the ways he communicates and achieves his goals? The indefatigable crew of your favorite podcast will explore these questions and more on this week's fabulous, glamorous, and topical Nature Boy!


19 Feb 2017

Rank #18

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Episode 43: Extinction

When the human race ends, will it be with a whimper or a bang? This question as well as many others will not be discussed in this episode of Nature Boy. Rather, the group gets excited for the holidays, delves into politics, and avoids the topic of extinction for the vast majority of the episode. However, Jon does make his triumphant return via Skype and that classic Nature Boy chemistry is as charming as ever! So come in here boy, have a cigar, you're gonna go fart.

1hr 4mins

9 Oct 2018

Rank #19

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Episode 45: Fire Ecology

This episode, Nature Boy gets hot and heavy! Drawing our listeners like a moth to the flame, we really can not be matched! Let us inspire in you a spark of inspiration! Get off Tinder and listen to our podcast! Fire puns!


26 Dec 2018

Rank #20