The age-old quest for the color blue and why pollution is not killing the killifish

Science Podcast
blue pigment
Jaredzimmerman (WMF)/Yves Klein

Humans have sought new materials to make elusive blue pigments for millennia—with mixed success. Today, scientists are tackling this blue-hued problem from many different angles. Host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt about how scientists are looking to algae, bacteria, flowers—even minerals from deep under Earth’s crust—in the age-old quest for the rarest of pigments.

Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Andrew Whitehead, associate professor in the department of environmental toxicology at the University of California, Davis, about how the Atlantic killifish rescued its cousin, the gulf killifish, from extreme pollution. Whitehead talks about how a gene exchange occurred between these species that normally live thousands of kilometers apart, and whether this research could inform future conservation efforts.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy

Download the transcript (PDF)

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About the Science Podcast


Sarah Crespi

Sarah Crespi is the Senior Multimedia Producer at Science and host of the Science Magazine Podcast.

Kai Kupferschmidt

Kai is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine based in Berlin, Germany. He is writing a book about the color blue, to be published this autumn.

Meagan Cantwell

Meagan Cantwell is a video producer at Science.