From genes to fans

Plus: a lot of smuggling

Gene Genie

Episode: "Silencing An ALS Gene – Tim Miller" | Podcast: Parsing Science | 24m00s

Interview series that seeks to uncover the unpublished, often personal, stories from the researchers behind scientific publications. This one stood out both because of the potential significance of the work and the quiet humility of the man doing it. The guest works on targeted gene therapies for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), a progressive and degenerative condition of the nervous system. The format of this show, which balances conversation with narration, strikes a good balance between detail and approachability (24m00s)

Blue Monday

Episode: "Band Meets Singer" | Podcast: Transmissions: The Definitive Story of Joy Division & New Order | 23m34s

Expansive, lovingly produced oral history of the Mancunian indie bands Joy Division and New Order. Even die hard fans will find something new in this series, since the creators have managed to get all surviving members to speak on the record in a relaxed and open way. The pace of the story is slow, with this first episode containing a lot of detail about the band's early formation and releases, rather than rushing to the later big hits. It's all narrated by the actor Maxine Peake, who just about keeps her enthusiasm for the topic under control (23m34s)

Double Cross

Episode: "New Revelations In Kyrgyz Corruption Scheme" | Podcast: Majlis — Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty | 44m22s

Conversational podcast about the politics of Central Asia. The production is a little rough and ready, but since regular English language analysis of this area is hard to come by, worth persevering with. Listeners should note that it is produced out of Washington DC by the US-funded soft power station Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, best known for its broadcasts to Soviet states during the Cold War. This episode updates listeners on new developments in a massive money laundering and smuggling operation in Kyrgyzstan (44m22s)

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