244 episodes

American Innovations

Wondery Science
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Episodic
Nov 26, 2020

Telephone | Call Waiting | 1

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In the 19th Century, the telegraph is the cutting edge of communication. No one can imagine anything better—except Alexander Graham Bell.

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Nov 19, 2020

Auto-Tune: From Cher to Kanye | 1

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All Andy Hildebrand wanted to do was make a computer program to help singers sound better. He never expected it to kick off a battle for the soul of modern music.

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With AIDS under control here in the U.S., we find ourselves in the middle of another deadly pandemic. Now the doctors who were on the front lines of the AIDS crisis are using what they’ve learned over the past 30 years to help fight against Covid-19. On this episode, Steven talks to Dr. Monica Gandhi, director of the UCSF Center for AIDS Research, who has recently contributed to research into SARS-CoV-2.

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Nov 10, 2020

Wondery presents Do No Harm

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From Wondery, the makers of Dr. Death and Dirty John, and NBC News the team behind Dateline and The Thing About Pam – Do No Harm. 

Melissa Bright thinks she’s living every parent’s worst nightmare when her five-month-old baby tumbles from a lawn chair and hits his head on the driveway. But after she rushes him to the hospital, a new nightmare begins.The Brights are thrust into a medical and legal system so focused on protecting children from abuse, it has targeted innocent parents. With exclusive audio captured as the events unfolded, this harrowing six-episode series takes you inside the Brights’ fight to hold their family together, against a system that can sometimes do more harm than good. Hosted by NBC News National Investigative Reporter Mike Hixenbaugh.

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Nov 05, 2020

The Fight Against AIDS | The Lazarus Effect | 3

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As AIDS activists keep up the pressure to find new treatments and lower the price of existing ones, they win unlikely allies at the highest levels of government. Meanwhile, some doctors on the frontlines of the epidemic take drug research into their own hands. And a new class of drugs promises to bring the sickest AIDS patients back from the brink of death.

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Four years into the AIDS epidemic, scientists discover a drug that may treat the disease: AZT. But the new drug quickly becomes mired in controversy — over how it’s tested, its potential side effects, and its astronomical price tag.

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Oct 27, 2020

Wondery Presents: Dr. Death Season 2

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If someone you love is diagnosed with cancer you want them to get the best treatment from the best doctors. In 2013, patients in Michigan thought Farid Fata was that doctor. Between his prestigious education, years of experience and pleasant bedside manner, Fata was everything you could want in a doctor. But he was not who he appeared to be. From Wondery, this is the story of hundreds of patients in Michigan, a doctor, and a poisonous secret.

Laura Beil, returns with a second season of the award-winning series “Dr Death.”

Click to listen to Dr. Death Season 2: wondery.fm/DrDeathS2_AI

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Oct 22, 2020

The Fight Against AIDS | The Epidemic Begins | 1

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In the early 1980s, a mysterious new disease spread like wildfire through the gay communities of major U.S. cities. Before it even had a name, AIDS had already killed over half its victims. Public response was hampered by ignorance, fear, and homophobia. This is the story of the doctors, scientists and activists who risked everything to lead the fight against AIDS.

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DNA science. Artificial intelligence. Smartphones and 3D printers. Science and technology have transformed the world we live in. But how did we get here? It wasn’t by accident. Well, sometimes it was. It was also the result of hard work, teamwork, and competition. And incredibly surprising moments.

Hosted by bestselling author Steven Johnson (“How We Got To Now”), American Innovations uses immersive scenes to tell the stories of the scientists, engineers, and ordinary people behind the greatest discoveries of the past century. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, American History Tellers, and Dirty John.