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UnDisciplined: The Ecologist And The Biomedical Engineer

Woman with net stands in high elevation grassland with green hills in the background
Joan Meiners
Joining us this week on UnDisciplined is Joan Meiners, whose study of bee biodiversity in California's Pinnacles National Park was published in Plos One earlier this year.

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about bee biodiversity, blood platelets, genetic engineering, environmental journalism, the fast-changing world of medicine, and the future of our planet. 

We're joined this week by Tara Deans, who uses molecular biology, genetic engineering, and math modeling to improve therapies and treatments across a wide range of health conditions. She's also the recent recipient of a National Institutes of Health grant that will support her work to develop a method to stop the spread of cancer. 

With us on the line from New Orleans, where she doubles as an ecological researcher and environmental data journalist, is Joan Meiners. She was the lead author on a study of pollinator biodiversity in California's Pinnacles National Park published earlier this year in Plos One

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.