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Feb 6, 2024

What does the body of evidence say on microplastics and their impact on our health? Plus: we talk about what we have learned about long COVID since 2020, and we discuss the very first approval for a clinical application of the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.


A Block: Microplastics

(0:58) What are micro- and nanoplastics; microplastics in the environment and in our bodies; how they get into humans and animals; the infamous study that was retracted; occupational exposure to microplastics versus casual exposure; eating microplastics by consuming seafood; can they cause infertility; BPA and BPS; the latest study on microplastics; are plastic water filters bad; should you avoid bottled water; alternatives to single-use plastic bottles.

B Block: Long COVID Update

(37:55) The problems with diagnosing it; how to treat it; the involvement of the mitochondria; probiotics for long COVID; should people with long COVID exercise; the COVID vaccine protects against long COVID; direct-to-participant digitized clinical trials.

C Block: CRISPR Therapy Approved

(56:22) CRISPR therapy approved in the UK and US for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia. Jonathan initially mischaracterizes the therapy as repairing the mutation. Chris corrects him. Don’t email us, thank you!


* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl

* Assistant researcher: Aigul Zaripova


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1) Background on micro- and nanoplastics:

2) The recent study published in PNAS:

3) The retracted study:

4) The WHO 2022 report on microplastics:

5) What kind of reusable bottle is best:

6) Review article on long COVID from a Chinese team:

7) Mitochondria are involved in long COVID:

8) Dr. Eric Topol’s commentary on the mitochondria paper:

9) The positive clinical trial on probiotics for long COVID:

10) Exercising can be bad for long COVID:

11) At least 3 doses of the COVID vaccine seem to provide a 70% reduction in the risk of getting long COVID:

12) What happened to the NIH RECOVER Long COVID initiative funds:

13) Direct-to-participant digitized clinical trials:

14) Information on CASGEVY:


It’s Not Twitter, But It’ll Do:

1) Jonathan’s article on mindfulness meditation:

2) Jonathan’s article on the graveyard of skeptical projects:

3) Chris featured at Darwin Day on February 10th for the Humanist Association of Toronto:

4) Chris being interviewed at Indigo Pointe-Claire by Ken Connors on February 17: