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Undisciplined: August Science News Roundup

This week on Undisciplined, we’re talking about the long-lost woolly rhinoceros, Vikings, smallpox, and innovations in playground equipment. With a list of subjects that diverse, you might have guessed that the monthly science news round-up is back – and it is.

Joining us is Danielle Lemmon. They first joined us back in June of 2019 to talk about the diversity of El Niño events worldwide and have been a guest several times on the round-up. 

Mirella Meyer-Ficca also first joined us in 2019 talk about her team’s work to genetically engineer a mouse that is dependent on niacin in the same way as humans and she has become one of our favorite round-up guests. 

And from the University of Utah, where she is the director of marketing and communications at the David Eccles School of Business and a newly minted doctor of educational leadership and policy is another long-time friend of the program and immense science buff, Sheena McFarland.  

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.