October 04, 2013
This week, we’re skipping to the tail end of the digestive tract, to learn some fascinating facts about feces. Rachelle Saunders welcomes science journalist Maryn McKenna back to the show to discuss human gut bacteria, and the biome-boosting power of fecal transplants. Desiree Schell speaks to anthropologist Cecil Lewis about what studying ancient poo can tell us about the evolution of the human microbiome. And Rachelle speaks to zoologist Eric Warrant about how some species of dung beetles can navigate by the light of the night sky.
Maryn McKenna is a journalist and author who writes about public health, global health, medicine, and food policy, and she's sometimes fondly referred to as "the scary disease girl". She has written two books: "Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA" and "Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service". She is a blogger for Wired, a columnist and contributing editor to Scientific American, and has written for a long list of other national and international magazines including Nature, Slate, and The Guardian.
Cecil Lewis is an Associate Professor in the department of Anthropology at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include anthropological genetics, population genetics, and the evolution of disease associated genetic variation. He heads the Molecular Anthropology Laboratories at the University of Oklahoma.
Eric Warrant is a Professor of Zoology and Director of Postgraduate Studies in Biology at the University of Lund in Sweden. Professor Warrant leads a research group studying vision in nocturnal and deep-sea creatures. In addition to his academic research, Eric has also collaborated with Toyota to develop night vision systems for cars, and is part owner of the company Nocturnal Vision AB.