It’s sporty (science) summer: Cutting edge monitoring of sweat, and how decades of labiaplasty inspired a new bike saddle

Tiny Matters

This summer is a sports fan’s dream! Beyond some major soccer tournaments, Paris 2024 kicks off at the end of July. If you think about it, sports are science in motion, which means that buried in incredible athletic feats is a lot of data about how athlete bodies are using and responding to chemistry, biology and physics. And that data is helping scientists design new or better tools for athletes. Today, in honor of this very sporty summer, Sam and Deboki delve into how scientists go about developing the equipment that helps move athletes, and how that equipment is holding importance for the medical field as well, for instance in diagnosing cystic fibrosis in infants. Sam and Deboki will also cover the creative experiments one scientist did to design a better bike saddle for female pro cyclists, who endured decades of intense injuries that ultimately required many to undergo labiaplasties, until American racing cyclist Alison Tetrick came along and said “enough is enough.” Title IX may have revolutionized female sports participation, but until more recently building gender-specific sports equipment from the ground up was unheard of.

Transcript of this Episode

Sam Jones: Hi! Sam here. Before we hop into today’s episode I wanted to remind you that there’s a new series we just launched called “Tiny Show and Tell Us.” These are short and sweet bonus episodes that Deboki and I really hope you’ll enjoy. And we need your stories to make them possible! To be featured, write in to with science news you’re itching to share, a science factoid you love telling friends about, or maybe even a personal science story. 

We’ll read your email aloud and then dive a bit deeper into the tiny science of it all. Again, email And, if you need more motivation to send us something, in a couple of weeks we’ll do a drawing with the names of people who have submitted their stories and then send 10 lucky winners Tiny Matters coffee mugs. Yes, you heard that right: 10 winners! Send us your stories. Alright, onto the episode. 

Deboki Chakravarti: This summer is pretty exciting for sports fans. I’ve got a very busy schedule right now that revolves around watching two of the big soccer tournaments going on right now, the Euros and the Copa América. And once they’re done, my schedule is going to be all about the Olympics and making sure I catch the track events and rock climbing.

Sam, are there any particular athletes or events you’re excited to see at the Olympics this summer?

Sam Jones: Absolutely. Swimming. I competed through college and came up in the Michael Phelps generation. There are a few swimmers in particular I’ll be watching but my absolute favorite is Katie Ledecky. Her first Olympics was in 2012, when she was only 15, which was the same age Phelps was at his first olympics. I’m hoping to see her really clean up this year and add to her medal collection.

Deboki: There’s a lot of things that can make sports fun to watch, like the longstanding rivalries and compelling personalities. But also, watching someone like Simone Biles seem to defy physics is just incredible. Sports are science in motion, which means that buried in those feats is a lot of data about how athlete bodies are using and responding to chemistry and biology and physics. And that data is helping scientists design new or better tools for athletes.

Welcome to Tiny Matters, I’m Deboki Chakravarti, and I’m joined by my co-host Sam Jones. And today, in honor of our very sporty summer, we’re going to be talking about how scientists go about developing the equipment that helps move athletes.

Sam: We’ll be talking about sweat and the creative experiments one scientist did to design a better bike saddle. But we’ll also be chatting about how these products are important beyond what they can do for sports.

And we’ll start by talking about sports wearables. Deboki, I don’t have a Fitbit or anything like that, but I know you do.

Deboki: Yes, I’ve had Fitbits, and now I use a Garmin running watch. I let them tell me all about how well I’m sleeping. And even when I’m super slow, I love looking at the data from my runs to get a sense for my pace and heart rate and all those fun details. But there are limits to how much my watch can tell me about my body.

John Rogers: A Fitbit or an Apple Watch or a Garmin device, those are great technologies, but if you think about their construction, they really involve rigid pieces of electronics loosely coupled to the body typically at the wrist. And you can do certain things with that kind of technology platform, but if you compare that to what's done in a hospital setting, it's actually much different. 

Deboki: That’s John Rogers, professor of material science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and neurological surgery at Northwestern University.

John: So if you think about recording of heart activity, the way that's done in a hospital is with an electrocardiogram that involves paste-on electrodes to establish electrical interface to the skin to monitor electrical properties associated with cardiac cycles. And it's very difficult, to maybe impossible, to do that with an engineering approach like the one that you see in a Fitbit or an Apple watch because you can't maintain that intimate skin interface with a rigid block of electronics.

Sam: So one of the things that John’s research group works on is developing soft electronics, which are devices that combine soft materials, like stretchy polymers, with hard materials to make sensors that can adhere to the body and work with the curves and textures that exist on the surface of the skin.

John: That ability to kind of stick directly to the surface of the skin allows for all sorts of measurements that aren't possible when you have your sensor kind of rattling around loosely coupled to the body at the wrist. So it's really medical grade measurements now applied to sports and athletics to provide much deeper, more relevant quantitative information on performance and status during a competition or during training.

Deboki: And one of the devices developed by his lab looks at a familiar sporty fluid: sweat. It may be smelly and unpleasant, but sweat plays an important role in cooling our bodies down when it’s hot or we’re moving around a lot. At the same time, sweating involves losing water and electrolytes. So for athletes, staying hydrated is important to prevent injuries and cramping that might affect their performance — which means that finding ways to study sweat is pretty important. 

John: So we work pretty closely with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to GSSI labs here in Barrington. And they've been studying sweat for 30 years. And they have traditional techniques that they use to capture sweat, and that's typically involving an absorbent pad that's taped to the surface of the skin. And you let sweat accumulate in that absorbent pad and you weigh in, you weigh out. And from a mass change, you can infer the amount of sweat, but it doesn't give you a continuous reading of how much sweat you've lost. It only gives you kind of like a before and after because you have to do that weighing process. 

Sam: Instead of these traditional methods, John’s group focused on using their soft materials expertise to create a device that would be able to measure the wearer’s sweat, which could in turn help the athlete make decisions about their hydration strategy beyond just relying on knowing if they feel thirsty.

John: So we were approached very early on during the process of developing this technology in our academic labs by Gatorade, and they were very interested in developing this kind of technology to provide it to their customer base, as you might imagine, to achieve precise rehydration at various stages of a competition before or after a workout.

Deboki: The device they created is an adhesive patch that incorporates small channels that sweat glands can pump sweat into. Looking at how full those channels are can tell you how much sweat is getting lost from that part of your body. 

John: In one of those channels, we've included a colorimetric chemical reagent that changes in color by an amount determined by the electrolyte level in the sweat. So this color change can be quantified to provide detailed information on the degree of salinity of your sweat. So if you know how much sweat you've lost and the concentration of the electrolyte in your sweat, you can determine how much total electrolyte has been lost due to sweating. And so those two pieces of information then turn out to be very important because they tell you how much water you need to consume and also how much electrolyte you need to consume to accommodate or overcome those losses. And it turns out to be very important, particularly for high performance athletes where you're looking for every edge that you can get.

Sam: The device works with a smartphone app that can analyze images of the channels to figure out sweat loss and electrolyte concentration. But engineering this device meant solving a few pressing issues.

John: The challenge is how do you design a one-size-fits-all sweat patch because some people don't sweat at all really, I mean, very minute amounts of sweat. Others like myself, quite frankly, sweat a tremendous amount. And so you want a device that can fill those channels enough to provide useful feedback to a user, but you don't want to overfill otherwise you lose the ability to continue to track sweat loss after a certain level. 

Deboki: By playing around with the size of the channel cross-sections and the inlet sizes, John told us that they were able to make a device that could work for a wider range of consumers. They also had to work with their partners at 3M to find an adhesive that fit the purposes of this device, meaning it would be watertight but still comfortable to take off.

And turning an idea that was cultivated in an academic setting into something that can be manufactured and sold meant that other aspects of the device had to be adapted to account for things like the production process or shelf-life stability.

John: I think a lot of times when you're doing exploratory academic research, you're focused on function rather than scalability from a manufacturing standpoint. And so you typically have to reinvent a lot of things. 

But a great team of engineers at this startup company that we were involved in to enable this Gatorade interaction, it's called Epicore Biosystems, were able to work out all the details and so they have a dedicated manufacturing line for this purpose in the Minneapolis area.

Deboki: The end product is called the Gx patch, and you can buy it in stores. But it’s also something that people are exploring for applications beyond sports. For example, in 2022, Chevron announced that they were working with Epicore to use this technology to track worker safety in hot conditions. And John thinks studying sweat has the promise for so much more.

John: I think sweat more generally turns out to be a really interesting and under-explored class of biofluid that has a number of different chemical constituents that can be used as biomarkers for different disease states, nutritional balance, things like that. So there's a whole sort of medical set of opportunities that we're thinking pretty hard about.

Sam: One of those applications is cystic fibrosis, or CF, which is caused by an inherited change in the CFTR gene. CF affects the way your body makes mucus and sweat. For example, it can lead to thicker mucus that builds up in organs and makes it more difficult to breathe. It also leads to higher levels of chloride in sweat.

Newborns are screened for cystic fibrosis using a blood test that comes from a heel prick. And if that test suggests they might have CF, the baby will then have to go through a sweat test to see whether they have the elevated chloride levels associated with the disease. 

Deboki: The sweat test involves applying a medication called pilocarpine, which is used in an oral form to treat patients with dry mouth. For the sweat test, pilocarpine is applied as a gel to stimulate the sweat glands into making sweat, and a weak electrical current is applied to get the pilocarpine into the skin. The sweat is collected and then sent to a lab, where a device called a chloridometer can measure the chloride levels in the sweat.

John: We were contacted by a number of children's hospitals around the country as soon as this Gatorade GX patch was launched, asking whether we could use that same technology to do CF screening in a way that eliminates the sometimes difficult process of collecting enough sweat into that tube for analysis.

So we developed essentially a GX patch for cystic fibrosis screening. So it's just a little sticker. You measure the color change and you're done. And you can do that with a very tiny volume of sweat collects into a tiny reservoir within the device. You don't need to move it to a chloridometer. You just read it out directly. So we've done pilot scale human subject studies of a device designed for that purpose in collaboration with Lurie Children's Hospital here in Chicago.

Sam: So while we started out wanting to know about John’s work with athletes, it’s really interesting to see how creating a wearable device for one setting really might expand the way we approach other major challenges.

John: I think wearable technology as it exists today is mostly in that fitness, kind of, wellness regime, not exclusively but predominantly. But I think you're beginning to see a number of different technologies that are emerging that will allow you to do ICU grade medical health monitoring outside of a hospital during natural daily activities in a home setting. 

John: I think that's the future. And it's one that I think also scales from an economic sense beyond just wealthy countries and well-resourced parts of the globe all the way into lower and middle income countries. And so we're very active in that space actually through collaborations with the Gates Foundation, the Steel Foundation for Hope, Save the Children organization and so on, taking these technologies, thinking about ICU-grade wearable wireless continuous monitoring, but also not just in a home setting, but in remote health clinics where the amount of medical instrumentation is very limited. So I think a democratization of high quality medical monitoring is in the relatively near future. I think over the next five years, you're going to see an explosion of technologies that offer that kind of capability for improved patient outcomes at reduced costs, and really addressing these parts of the globe that really are poorly served with traditional kind of medical monitoring systems, given the cost and the difficulty in operating them.

Deboki: So we just walked through how scientists designed a product to help athletes understand their body better, which is part of what I love about playing sports in general. Even if you’re not an Olympic athlete, going for a run or playing a team sport involves getting to know your own body in a different way.

But what you can do with that knowledge is also affected by the kinds of stories you hear about how your body works, even if there isn’t actually good information to support those stories.

Christine Yu: I was at this event probably about 10 years ago now, and there was a doctor talking about what we now know as the female athlete triad and really kind of this inner relationship between nutrition and energy with bone health and with our menstrual health. Growing up, I had always heard that, oh yeah, if you're really super athletic or super fit, you'll lose your period. And it's just kind of a given. You don't really question it.

Deboki: That’s Christine Yu, a journalist and the author of Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes. The female athlete triad that she mentioned is a condition marked by three things: low energy, increased risk of bone injury, and disruptions to the menstrual cycle. 

My experience was like Christine’s, where growing up I’d heard about athlete friends of mine losing their periods, and we just thought it was a normal thing, maybe even a badge of honor that showed how hard you were training. But we know now that the Female Athlete Triad is the result of not consuming enough calories to compensate for the activity the body is undertaking, and it can have serious consequences. So for Christine, it was a big deal to hear the doctor talk about these consequences at the event.

Christine: This was the first time that I really heard, well, actually that's a really bad thing, that it has all these implications, particularly for long-term bone health. And when that happens at a young age during adolescence, that can lead to early onset osteoporosis. And so I was mad because I was like, why don't I know any of this about my own body? Why didn't anyone ever teach me about the importance of all these hormones besides just having to do with fertility and getting pregnant? 

Sam: That led Christine to write Up To Speed, which is about the data, or the lack of it, around women in sports science and exercise physiology research. Her book covers this in a number of areas, like in nutrition research and injury prevention. But we were particularly interested in talking to her about the reporting she did in the book about how people have approached designing sports apparel and equipment for women.

Christine: For the majority of history, there's been no approach. And it's in large part because sports has always historically been by and for men. Men have always been centered in all of these discourses around sports.

Christine: And people often thought that sports wasn't appropriate for women because again, there are all these fears about the harm it could do to the reproductive system. We've all heard these ideas, that like, “oh, your uterus will fall out if you run too much,” or something like that, which is just kind of mind boggling to me how that might even happen.

Deboki: One of the major turning points for female athletes was the passage of Title IX in 1972, which said that schools receiving federal funding can’t discriminate on the basis of sex, effectively requiring them to offer equal opportunities to male and female athletes. And this led to more and more girls and women pursuing sports, which meant there was also an expanding market for sports gear…but not necessarily a great strategy for how to develop that gear. 

Christine: So the traditional approach is what is often referred to as “shrink it and pink it,” where you essentially take what already exists and has been designed for men and then you kind of rejigger it so that it fits a woman's body. So if you think about something like apparel, like a T-shirt or something like that, they would size it down, kind of nip in the waist to make it not such a boxy cut. They might shorten the sleeves and put on a cap sleeve or something like that and change up the colors to make it more palatable to women and be done with it, right? They're like, yeah, that works.

Sam: And for a T-shirt, sure. But as Christine pointed out to us, it doesn’t work as well for more technical gear, like running hydration vests that don’t take into account how straps might sit on the body, or ski jackets that don’t factor in differences in how people regulate their body temperature.

Christine: And if at a very base level, if you're not comfortable doing an activity, you're probably going to stop. You're probably not going to want to keep doing it if you got to keep hiking up your pants or you got to keep adjusting things or if things are causing rashes or whatever it is. So it seems like it's almost like a superficial concern. It's like, oh, your clothing and gear, but at the end of the day, it really does matter in terms of who can participate in sport and who does participate in sport.

Sam: And when it comes to uncomfortable sports equipment, maybe one of the most uncomfortable has to be the bike saddle. Christine told us that cycling has traditionally been regarded as a male-dominated sport, with an emphasis on suffering and endurance. But even still, there were limits on what male athletes were expected to endure. In 1997, a study linking cycling to erectile dysfunction inspired a redesign of the bike saddle. One of the innovations was a cutout along the center to help ease pressure and allow for more blood flow.

Deboki: As more women got into cycling, bike manufacturers had to figure out how to adapt their saddles for them. So they decided to take the men’s bike saddle and expand the cutout in the center to accommodate the female genital area, which sounds great in theory. But the reality is that these cutouts would end up creating a lot of issues for female bikers, pinching the area around the vulva and causing swelling while also cutting off blood flow. And over time, that led to scar tissue building up in the genital area. 

Christine: So you have these women who are doing all these tremendous road races, mostly in Europe and riding incredible distances and speeds and all of this stuff, but at the end of the day, when they come back to their bus or their van, they're all sitting there with their legs up essentially with frozen peas around their crotch because it's so painful, it's so swollen, it's so inflamed. And over time it builds up the scar tissue so that a lot of these athletes end up having plastic surgery, what's called labiaplasty, to remove the scar tissue from their labia because they can't ride comfortably anymore.

Christine: For a very long time, no one talked about it too because A, it's kind of embarrassing to be talking about what's going on in your crotch B. Again, it's this culture around cycling that celebrates suffering. So cycling's supposed to be painful. It's not supposed to be comfortable. 

So this cyclist, Alison Tetrick comes along, she's been riding pro, and she ends up having this plastic surgery, but she also finds out that it's essentially this open secret amongst the pro women. All these people are having it. And she's like, what? Again, this idea of anger kind of motivating her, she's like, this does not seem right.

Deboki: Alison Tetrick’s sponsor at the time was a bike manufacturer called Specialized, and when they heard about her experience, they decided to see if they could create a new bike saddle—one that would be designed completely from scratch instead of just adapted from the men’s bike. They reached out to Andy Pruitt from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine to lead the project. 

Christine: He realized a lot of the traditional tools that they have to measure things like blood flow, fluid flow, swelling, all of that didn't work with women. Again, they were good when it came to understanding what was going on with men, but they didn't work with women. Again, the way that our anatomy is and the design of the tools, it couldn't measure those things accurately. So he had to, from scratch, come up with new tools to figure out how to measure all of these things that would then be important to understand in designing the new saddle.

Sam: Pruitt also took inspiration from his own personal experience wearing a prosthetic leg, and particularly the use of clear sockets in prosthetic fittings that let you see blood flow and swelling to figure out what kind of adjustments need to be made.

Christine: He took that idea into the lab and essentially created a clear bike saddle so that he could have these women ride on this bike essentially nude from the waist down, and he could see how the tissue was, how the blood was flowing, where there was swelling happening, how the tissue also was moving or kind of bunching up, if you will, and what was happening there.

Christine: Allison Tetrick took part in some of this, and I remember her telling me that in seeing some of this data and seeing what was actually happening, being able to visualize it was so validating to her because it's like I'm not just crazy. It's not just me. I'm not just making this up. There are actual specific reasons for what has happened to me, and I think that was an important piece of it too. 

Deboki: The end result was that instead of a cutout, there was a sort of trampoline in the middle of the saddle that could support the soft tissue of the genitalia without squashing it. And it was a huge success when it was released! So you might think that this story is a clear sign that we should be redesigning everything from scratch for female athletes. But as Christine found from her own research, there are times where maybe we don’t need that kind of specificity.

Christine: That was really just a big question of mine is what does women’s-specific gear actually mean? Because you see it all over the place. You see it all over the marketing of things. 

Deboki: One example of an area where you might not need a sex-specific line? Surprisingly, bike frames. Christine told us that Specialized, the company behind the redesigned bike saddle, has actually done away with their separate men’s and women’s bike frame lines to just have one line of bikes. The thought process behind having separate lines was that they would help with variation in our skeletal anatomy, which might affect things like our reach.

Christine: But when they actually looked at the data, what they saw was that there's a lot more overlap between men's and women's bodies than there are differences. So we don't necessarily need a men’s-specific bike versus a woman’s-specific bike because you could have a really tall woman who then needs what's considered a man's bike, or you can have a shorter man who needs what's considered a woman's bike. So by removing those labels, they actually create more product diversity for everyone. So you can actually just find the thing that you need for your body. 

Sam: Sports companies have extended this approach to other equipment like surfboards, as well as to apparel, with companies like REI responding to customer calls for non-gender-specific lines.

We asked Christine about some of the challenges of writing this book, particularly because so much of it is about how little science there really is in this area.

Christine: So throughout the book, I kind of use individual athlete stories to illuminate some of these issues to kind of bring it to life a little bit in explaining the science. And it was hard to get athletes on board to talk, for good reason. They're talking about something generally personal. And there's still, I think, a lot of stigma around a lot of these issues when you're talking about things like menstrual cycle dysfunction, or you're talking about the difficulties of coming back to sport after having a baby and all these hard things that they go through.

Christine: But it has been really heartening to see a shift in the conversation and more people talking about this now, more people recognizing that this is an issue. And particularly among athletes recognizing that their stories are really powerful, their stories are the ones that kind of get people to pay attention and maybe to think a little bit differently about what's going on in their own lives and their own bodies. So it has been really great to see more athletes kind of step up into this more advocate role, if you will, and driving these conversations.

Deboki: But as Christine reminded us, science is also slow and incremental, and that can be hard when you’re looking for answers and for things to change.

Christine: That's the beauty and the frustration of science is that you're constantly evolving and you're constantly learning, and the models are changing, and our understanding of things are changing. So, in some ways, this is a bit of a snapshot of what's happening, what we know right now, what we need to continue to work on. And I hope down the road, we can update this and we will have more information, and we will have a better picture of what's going on.

Sam: It is Tiny Show and Tell time.

Deboki: I think it might be me.

Sam: I think so. Go for it.

Deboki: Okay, cool. So this week for my Tiny Show-and-Tell, I'm doing one of my recommendations for a longer feature story. I feel like I haven't done one in a while, but I was excited about this one, and this is an article in Undark. The title is A Biologist, a Blog, and a Mosquito Control Dispute. It's written by Brooke Borel. The article is about a product called the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator. It's this black and orange tube, I think it's about a foot long, and it's filled with sugar, yeast and salt, and it claims to be able to kill mosquitoes. And I don't know what you think when you hear that, I hear that combination, I'm like, "I don't know how they can make that claim." I'm not sure what sounds like bread ingredients is really necessarily going to kill mosquitoes.

Sam: Right.

Deboki: That question also occurred to an evolutionary biologist named Colin Purrington, and he decided to put the product's claims to the test, and, spoiler alert, it did not perform very well. So the article is about Purrington fighting with this company about this product and how this product got developed and became what it is, but it's also more broadly about mosquito products in general and how regulated or not regulated they are. So I just found it really interesting because mosquitoes are this huge health problem around the world, and I know that there are a lot of products out there that claim to kill them. They claim to make it possible for you to go out, relax in your backyard without having to worry about mosquitoes, but they aren't actually that effective. But this is really more kind of about how bad the science and regulation is around the products.

And I just hadn't thought of mosquito products as something that I should be thinking about in terms of misinformation and bad science. And so I think this article just does a really great job of using this particular fight between this product and this scientist to illustrate a greater challenge that actually has pretty significant ramifications, I think, for public health.

Sam: Yeah, that's so fascinating. And I will say I get ads all the time on Instagram for these really sketchy-looking products to help deter mosquitoes. And I am total mosquito bait. I am the person who walks outside and gets a million bites. I want to learn more about this regulation, because I do think about that when I get these ads for weird stickers and random other stuff where it's like, just stick these on your clothing. There's no way that this is...

Deboki: Yeah. I'm also fascinated by what is in your algorithm that they were like, this person needs to get advertised. Because I don't think I've seen mosquito... I feel like now, probably I'm going to start getting advertisements for these patches, but I didn't realize that this was a genre of advertisement on Instagram, but it totally makes sense.

Sam: Funny enough, I'm going to tell you about a weird instance where social media was really great. Okay. So in early June of this year, so just last month, a software engineer and part-time researcher in ancient languages at the University of Barcelona, named, I think it would be Joan [pronounced Joe-ahn] Ferrer i Jané, so sorry, Joan. It's spelled J-O-A-N, but I believe it's Joan, was browsing updates on X, the artist formerly known as Twitter, from an archeological dig at Casas del Turuñuelo in southern Spain. So this is a site that dates to the 5th century BCE, and it was part of the Tartessos, that's T-A-R-T-E-S-S-O-S, civilization. During a more recent excavation, archeologists found a square slate rock, and it was engraved with warriors and geometric shapes and faces like other markings. But then, just seeing this pop up on X, Ferrer noticed something else, which was a paleo-Hispanic version of the capital letter “I.”

And so he contacted the researchers and then they sent him a bunch of high res images so that he could really look at this slate more carefully, and he identified over a dozen more. And now he's saying that he thinks that the slate might have up to 32 symbols. So this is really cool because up until now, very little has been found in terms of writings from the civilization. 

Researchers weren't even totally sure if people were writing or literate, and so this helps confirm that they probably were. There was literacy among the inhabitants at El Turuñuelo. And so now the archeologists at El Turuñuelo and Ferrer are planning to reexamine all the slate fragments that had been collected during the excavation, and they're hoping that maybe they'll find more inscriptions, and then maybe one day they can start to put together some sort of alphabet, which would just be so cool.

Deboki: That's so cool. We both like history of science stuff.\

Sam: Yeah.

Deboki: It's interesting thinking about how people basically had to find out about what other people discovered through journals and letters and stuff in a way that obviously it's still what we do today, but it's still so different. Just being able to go on to X, Twitter, I can just easily ask this person this question about it. It can go from this thing has been posted, a second later I see it, a second after that I ask a question about it, and a second after that I get a response to it. I don't know if that was how fast that conversation was, but theoretically it could all happen that quickly and just connect people in completely different areas and fields and parts of the world is really thrilling for science, except for the fact that it relies on tech companies being responsible with their platforms.

Sam: Yeah, which is dicey at best. I love this story. Just fun.

Deboki: Yeah. It's a heartwarming science story.

Sam: Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Tiny Matters, a production of the American Chemical Society. 

Deboki: This week’s script was written by me and was edited by Michael David and by Sam Jones, who is also our executive producer. It was fact-checked by Michelle Boucher. The Tiny Matters theme and episode sound design are by Michael Simonelli and the Charts & Leisure team. 

Sam: Thanks so much to John Rogers and Christine Yu for joining us. If you have thoughts, questions, ideas about future Tiny Matters episodes, send us an email at You can find me on social at samjscience.

Deboki: And you can find me at okidokiboki. See you next time.

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