The "Making Sense of Science" podcast features interviews with leading medical and scientific experts about the latest developments and the big ethical and societal questions they raise. This monthly podcast is hosted by journalist Kira Peikoff, founding editor of the award-winning science outlet Leaps.org.
This month, we talk Anat Binur, the CEO of Israeli/U.S.-based biotech company Ukko. Ukko is taking a revolutionary approach to the distressing problem of food allergies and gluten sensitivities: their scientists are designing and engineering proteins that keep the good biophysical properties of the original proteins, while removing the immune-triggering parts that can cause life-threatening allergies. The end goal is proteins that are safe for everyone. Ukko is focusing first on developing a new safe gluten protein for use in baking and a new peanut protein for use as a therapeutic. Their unique platform could theoretically be used for any protein-based allergy, including cats and bees. Hear more in this episode.
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Kira Peikoff was the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org from 2017 to 2021. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Nautilus, Popular Mechanics, The New York Academy of Sciences, and other outlets. She is also the author of four suspense novels that explore controversial issues arising from scientific innovation: Living Proof, No Time to Die, Die Again Tomorrow, and Mother Knows Best. Peikoff holds a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young sons. Follow her on Twitter @KiraPeikoff.