Nature Boy: The Podcast

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-06.02.2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT

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!

Direct download: nature_boy-05.05.2019.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:33pm EDT

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!

Direct download: nature_boy-03.03.2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

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!

Direct download: nature_boy-02.03.2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

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. 

Direct download: Nature_Boy-01.06.2019.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-12.02.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT

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!

Direct download: nature_boy-11.04.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-10.07.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-08.05.2018.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT

Jon is absent, finalizing his dissertation and finishing his degree. The slow-poke 3 are still around for this episode though, and touch on the always lighthearted subject of cancer. Steel your emotions and personal experiences for what I can only assume is a well-informed and touching discussion of one of the greatest modern medical obstacles. Personally, I don't have time to listen in, but I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

Category:Science -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

This episode offers an opportunity for listener participation, try to guess who actually prepared for the topic and who is desperately scrambling through their laptop for information!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-05.06.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm EDT

Another episode without Jon, meaning that this description comes from a completely uninformed place as I am he and I write publish the podcast. Apparently the fabulous 3 discuss a lot of Easter-related topics, so dive on in and discover where they go with it!

Direct download: nature_boy-04.01.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01pm EDT

Our listeners are well acquainted with addiction, constantly needing a fix of the Nature Boy crew. Irregular posting may lead to some withdrawal symptoms, but this new batch is pure, uncut gold. So sit back, close the blinds and squander your future with the latest episode Nature Boy!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-03.04.2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

Originally recorded February 4, 2018.

Never one to avoid a challenge, Nature Boy steps well outside of its area of expertise to discuss neuroscience. However, as all hosts possess brains as well as nervous systems, they can be considered well qualified to tackle this subject. This episode provides an overview of the many disciplines which fall under this field, as well as some interesting research investigating the workings of the mind. Save yourself the time it would take to look this up on Wikipedia, and simply listen to four people who already have!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-02.04.2018.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:14am EDT

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-01.07.2018.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:04am EDT

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! 

Direct download: Nature_Boy-12.03.2017.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

Oops! This episode was recorded in July of 2017, but was never posted for reasons of pure ineptitude. Many apologies, but enjoy this discussion of synthetic biology. Your favorite fabulous foursome goes beyond genetic modification of plants, and explores this complex field which involves the modification of living organisms.

Many apologies for the ongoing issues with the upload schedule, we appreciate all of our amazing fans who have stuck with us and look forward to many great episodes to come!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-07.02.2017.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-11.05.2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

After a September hiatus, the Nature Boy crew returns to brighten your day! Our heartfelt thanks go out to those of you who continue to be patient with this erratic release schedule, rest assured we will continue to post these episodes until the inevitable water wars require us to flee California.

This month, your intrepid hosts eschew the cliché 'Why are we here?' and instead ask 'How are we here?'. Come with us now on a journey through time and space, to answer these and other questions!

Plus, beauty tips to keep you looking cool all winter long!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-10.01.2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EDT

Jon and Jess, everyone's favorite feuding philanderers, were blessed with this episode. Usually this show is considered as a service to our blessed listeners, but this one is just for us! Listen as their excitement grows through discussions of blood tubes, semen, and grizzly murder. Apologies to their parents, as well as any listeners with delicate sensibilities, but we should always find joy in the pleasure of others if we aim to become actualized human beings.

This description may come off as less polished than most, but they have been holding back the upload schedule so Jon, in addition to currently speaking in the 3rd person, has decided to dedicate a little less effort to get our lovely content into the also lovely hands of our audience, whom we love.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-08.06.2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

Jon's incredible powers of procrastination cause exasperation when the podcast nation can't hear this station! Apologies for the delayed upload, and for the absence of your favorite co-host and composer of episode descriptions, the J Train!

The geneclock genetics and genetocs, and this episode focuses on the former. Can genetic research save us from starvation? Will it rid us of disease? Or will it be leveraged by powerful corporations to impose claims of ownership on entire species? Maybe these questions are addressed in this episode, I was not there, but surely the Nature Boy crew will bring the noise and deliver the answers you crave!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-06.04.2017.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 6:25am EDT

Open your ears and we'll speak of the smells, like freshly baked pie or the sulfur in hell. Such wonderful senses help put up some fences to keep us from things that will make us unwell. And who can you count on to shine a bright light on the sense that serves as an animal's sight? Why, it's your faithful friends from the Nature Boy show, whose names don't fit easily into this poem.

Direct download: nature_boy-05.07.2017.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-04.02.2017.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-03.05.2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26am EDT

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

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!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-02.05.2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07am EDT

As a listener of Nature Boy: The Podcast you know that genetic modification is the way of the future, and that all critics of genetic engineering are misinformed, backwards luddites dragging us back from the precipice of a golden age of food security. You may also be aware that two of your hosts conduct research using the most modern gene editing techniques.

THRILL as the biase-free three (and Jon) introduce you to the intricacies of genetic research!

WATCH as Jon introduces a hilarious crisper drawer bit!

CRINGE as Jess and Marschal get totally served with a Kurt Vonnegut quote!


Direct download: nature_boy-12.04.2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

In celebration of Labor Day the Nature Boy crew profiles some of their favorite American scientists. We all know that America is the best country and that only her peoples are worthy of discovering the great truths, but just how great are those chosen few advancing the cause of American exceptionalism? Find out in this episode. Also, learn why love is dead according to our charming co-host.

Direct download: nature_boy-07.03.2016_American_Scientists.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:24pm EDT

The gang's all here again and life couldn't be better. Or could it? Is this the best of all worlds as Voltaire's Pangloss would say, or is evolution as an engineer not a perfectionist but an opportunist, as according to Stanislaw Lem? Listen close, listen hard, and learn the specificities of natural selection on this week's Nature Boy: The Podcast!! *fanfare*

Direct download: nature_boy-06.05.2016.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT

Jon doesn't show up for this one, I'd probably just skip it. If unwary travellers do not heed these words, they shall find within a trove of wonders not of this world, phantasmagoric visions which will drive you to the brink of madness. DREAMS!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-05.01.2016.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT

Nature Boy panders, throwing all scientific integrity out the window and bending to the will of the inebriated masses. Drugs are the topic of discussion bro, making Nature Boy the hippest, most with it podcast in town!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-04.03.2016.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

Birth, from the Latin Big Bertha, meaning an obese sideshow woman at ancient carnivals. Enjoy this in-depth discussion of birth, the beginning of beginnings, the bloody painful emergence into a world which promises nothing more than blood and pain.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-03.06.2016.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

In celebration of Valentine's Day the Nature Boy crew discusses the biggest lie we joyfully tell our children about besides Santa Claus. Love. Jon was unable to attend this episode, and is replaced by Jess Toth, our second female guest and expert on matters of the heart. Jon writes these descriptions, and didn't bother listening to this episode prior to writing this, but I'm aware that there is no mention of my absence. But that's love for you. Go choke on a chocolate.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-02.07.2016.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:52pm EDT

Jon runs late today, throwing the broadcast into a tumultuous frenzy of panic. How will the remaining pioneers of podcasting handle this greatest of injustices? And what about colors and the hosts' favorite races? Listen close and listen hard, for all this and more awaits you in this month's Nature Boy!

Direct download: nature_boy-12.06.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:16pm EDT

In the most ironically titled episode of Nature Boy technical issues abound! This month's episode is shorter than usual due to technical difficulties, but so packed with fun you'll hardly notice the difference! Come along with us under butterflies and bees, and see how the Nature Boy crew deals with stresses of their own. Scientific topics are also discussed.

Direct download: Nature_Boy-11.08.2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11pm EDT

What is communication, and how does it differ from language? This question is at the center of this week's Nature Boy, in which forms of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, are compared and discussed. As a special surprise, we are joined by the lovely Jessica Toth, a PhD student at UC Riverside. So shut your mouth and listen up as we demonstrate the finest in communicative abilities! 

Direct download: nature_boy-10.04.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Nature Boy changes it's format slightly for this week's episode, critiquing a contemporary documentary 'Seeds of Freedom'. This short film describes the current state of food security, focusing on the resource of seeds. Does industrial agriculture intentionally "hook" uninformed farmers on their seeds and chemicals? Do small-scale independent farmers have the capacity to feed the world? Is the diversity of the food we produce diminishing to a dangerous point? We may not answer these questions, but we certainly raise them in another thrilling installment of Nature Boy!

Direct download: nature_boy-09.06.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

The sauciest episode of Nature Boy yet discusses sexuality, reproduction, and killing lions for some reason. Turn the lights down low, spark a bunsen burner, and enjoy as the mellodious voices of Michael, Marschal and Jon carry you off to new heights of excitement, pleasure, and awkward moments. 

Direct download: nature_boy-08.02.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 5:01pm EDT

This week your intrepid team delves ever deeper into the unknown with a discussion of black holes, relativity, and whether or not collaboratory is  word (it is not). Michael's triumphant return highlights this week's episode with the vivacity and verve which could only be described as Michaelish.

Direct download: nature_boy-07.05.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

The final episode in this run of Michael-free shows, your stalwart heroes soldier on with a discussion of extraterrestrial life. Is it out there? We certainly don't provide any concrete answers, but enjoy our discussion! Also, read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing comic book series, as Jon will advised in this weeks episode. It's a great idea!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-06.07.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 6:43pm EDT

The most important sceintific laws are respected and accepted as true by most, in fact our view of the world is often unintentionally shaped by our acceptance of these laws. In its strictest sense, even the law of gravity has been disproved, yet laws so ingrained in our consciousness as this cannot even be dispelled by their falsification. How does any one person convince an entire population of any belief to this degree? The answer is, they do not. Behind every theory there is an entire population of scientists providing credence to those hypotheses tested, yet ready to disprove them with every experiment performed. How does this community operate? What rules do they use and how do they agree on anything? These questions and more will be answered on the first Nature Boy lacking our fearless leader Michael. To fill the void in all our hearts, we've invited Jon and Teresa,  two graduate students with hearts of gold and minds of genius. Do they compare to the dulcet tones of our missing mesiah? You decide!

Direct download: nature_boy-05.03.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:29am EDT

It's an inconvenient truth (get it?) that our rapidly growing population is outpacing our ability to produce the resources they require. Or is the real issue the amount of resources each individual requires? The Nature Boy gang will tackle this and other hard-hitting questions in this episode of your favorite podcast!

Direct download: nature_boy-04.05.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 11:08pm EDT

Scope this episode out! Evolution is the topic of this episode of Nature Boy, and that first line is a reference to the Scopes monkey trial, in which substitute teacher John Scopes was found guilty of violating a Tennessee law forbidding the teaching of our topic in public schools. Have things changed? Has the modern public's understanding of this topic evolved? Well, naturally select play on your listening device and find out!

Direct download: nature_boy-03.01.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

For this episode of Nature Boy, the fearless three tackle sustainability and alternative energy options. Can we support our growing population with current technologies, or are we doomed to descend into a desperate anarchistic state as we deplete the world's already scant resources? Listen close and listen well and all your doubts will be dispelled in this week's episode!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-01.04.2015.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

Always tackling the tough issues, today your intrepid Nature Boy Adventure Squad discusses perhaps the hottest topic in contemporary policy: climate change. Michael, Marschal and Jon will settle some arguments, discuss potential solutions, and with any luck, save the world. 

Direct download: nature_boy-12.07.2014.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:19am EDT

With fears of ebola on everyone's mind, the Nature Boy gang tackles the topic of infectious diseases. We'll discuss just what qualifies as a disease, and open your eyes to a myriad of new and horrible methods of demise to keep you up at night. So listen close, before your organs liquify.

Direct download: nature_boy-11.02.2014.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT

Four this episode (pun, not a typo), Nature Boy and his steadfast sidekicks the Nature Lads discuss the current state of organic agriculture. They discuss some of the pros and cons, myths, and issues surrounding organic foods, and like public enemy before them, urge you to not believe the hype.  

Direct download: nature_boy-10.05.2014.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

In the third installment of Nature Boy Radio, Michael's guests run a little late but arrive in time to discuss technologies, myths, and issues surrounding genetic modification. Grab a strawberry the size of a watermelon and enjoy!

Direct download: 8_03_2014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

In the second episode of Nature Boy we discuss the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. We will touch on aspects of art, biology, and the basic question of what makes something by definition "Alive". Beep boop!

Direct download: Nature_Boy-07.06.2014.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

Nature boy is a science-based radio show hosted by a group of graduate students at UC Riverside. This episode introduces the Nature Boy radio show as well as your 3 hosts. Michael, Jon, and Marschall will discuss their research and some current work from other scientific fields.

Direct download: nature_boy-06.01.2014.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:57pm EDT