This week: entrepreneurship in the developing world [00:47], microbes and the immune system [10:52], and robots that fly [20:51]; plus, a few stories from our online daily news site [30:28].
Maybe you thought your body was a noble castle poised against the onslaughts and invasions of the world. Well, think again. It turns out, we are the world. Our bodies are loaded with a jungle of microbial life, inside and out, that is essential to healthy life.
New science has found ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells in and on the human body. A load of microbes that work with us from the moment of birth in all kinds of key ways. Killing them off, avoiding them, may make us sick. Make us fat.
This hour, On Point: Microbes are us. The amazing full ecology of the human body.
To Earth and Back — We are all Martians … or could be, if, billions of years ago, Red Plant microbes fell to Earth and eventually evolved to us. Okay, that one’s a big “if.” But microbes can survive space travel. Meet the NASA officer whose task is to keep Earth, Mars – and the entire solar system –safe from hitchhiking bacteria. And, even if we’re not Martians (darn!), did life once thrive on the Red Planet … and does it still today? Plus, why meteorites may be happy habitats for life.
New predictions of huge natural gas bonanza under the warming Arctic. The glowing GM monkeys that may transform medical research on brain diseases. Experience weightlessness through reporter Martin Redfern. A personal view on Nasa’s new boss, and the wonderful worlds of microbes occupying your skin.