Season 2

Episode 17 Oh No Tetrodo: Crossover w/ TBOSP

Are you hungry for braaaaiiiinnnnssss? Or for fugu at the very least? We hope so, because this week we’re talking zombies and tetrodotoxin. In this crossover episode with Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton from The Biology of Superheroes Podcast, we trace the origin of the modern pop culture zombie back to its Haitian roots. We explore the outrageous evolutionary arms races in which tetrodotoxin, the principal component of so-called ‘zombie powder’, has played a major part. And finally, we answer the age-old question: can a pufferfish make you into a zombie? Be sure to check out Part 1 of this crossover episode, Episode 7 of The Biology of Superheroes Podcast, where we discuss the biological basis of death, whether we’re prepared for a zombie outbreak, and behavior-manipulating parasites. You can follow Shane @superbiopodcast on Twitter.

History Biology
Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture: Invisible Powers edited by Claudine Michel and Patrick Bellegarde-Smith Lee, Chong Hyun, and Peter C. Ruben. “Interaction between voltage-gated sodium channels and the neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin.” Channels 2.6 (2008): 407-412.
Passage of Darkness by Wade Davis Haque, M. Azizul, et al. “Neurological Manifestations of Puffer Fish Poisoning and It s Outcome: Study of 83 Cases.” TAJ: Journal of Teachers Association 21.2 (2008): 121-125.
American Zombie Gothic by Kyle William Bishop Abal, Paula, et al. “Acute oral toxicity of tetrodotoxin in mice: Determination of lethal dose 50 (LD50) and No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL).Toxins 9.3 (2017): 75.
Chowdhury, F. R., et al. “Tetrodotoxin poisoning: a clinical analysis, role of neostigmine and short-term outcome of 53 cases.” Singapore Med J 48.9 (2007): 830-833.