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UnDisciplined: The Theoretical Chemist And The Epidemiologist

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about how things start. 

First, we'll be joined by a physical scientist who's uncovered a secret about how water begins to freeze.

Then, we'll chat with a health scientist who will tell us about how to start a revolution in healthy behaviors.

Joining us in studio is Valeria Molinero, a professor of theoretical chemistry at the University of Utah. Her team's recent study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society explains how tiny proteins control the initial formation of ice at various temperatures that are almost never exactly 32 degrees. 

Also joining us, from Calgary, Alberta, where she is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on the role of energy balance in cancer prevention, is Lin Yang. Her team's recent work shows that despite health warnings, Americans still spend way too much time sitting.  

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 the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.