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UnDisciplined: what happens when humans pass diseases back to animals?

Woman with blue medical gloves caresses dog
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Woman and dog

We don't know how COVID-19 got started, but the prevailing theory among global scientists is that it was passed from bats through another animal to humans. And this is how we've come to expect viruses often make their way into our lives. But there's another part of this story. We often give viruses back to animals. And this week, we're going to be talking about what happens after that happens.

Anna Fagre is the lead author of recent study on how human to wildlife virus transmission works, and what we know about it, and importantly, what we don't. Anna Fagre is an affiliate at the Colorado State University Center for vector borne infectious diseases.

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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.