The Human Ecosystem

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These days, due in large part to the work of Thomas Platts-Mills (University of Virginia), we know the sudden meat allergy is real and it’s caused by tick bites. And: Philosopher Jesse Kirkpatrick (George Mason University) says he’s less worried about human gene editing and more interested in how CRISPR technology can be used to enhance—or harm—the environment around us. Later in the show: In Japanese folklore, when a brightly colored fish resembling a dragon washes up on shore, its arrival is a harbinger of earthquakes and tsunamis. Jennifer Martin (Thomas Nelson Community College) is an oceanographer and has studied both the natural and cultural history of this species, called the oarfish. Plus: Hannes Schniepp (William and Mary) studies poisonous brown recluse spiders to learn how their incredibly strong silk is made and how humans might try to replicate it.

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