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UnDisciplined: The Microbiologist And The Human Ecologist

Each week on UnDisciplined, we bring two researchers together to talk about their recent work. 

This week, we're joined first by Karen Lloyd, whose research suggests microbial dark matter may be all around us. Then, we talked to Jacob Freeman, who uses trash to study the synchronous rise and fall of societies. 

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including Inheritance with geneticist Sharon Moalem and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His forthcoming book, Superlative, will look at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways.