Sunday, June 12, 2011

Show for June 12, 2011. Carl Zimmer and Planet of Viruses

The last time we had science writer Carl Zimmer on the show, it was to discuss E Coli, the subject of his book Microcosm. The book is an eye-opener for anyone who would dismiss bacteria as rudimentary bugs. As Carl explained, E Coli have a social life, sex of a sort, seem to learn and may even be said to lie and cheat. Now he’s moved a notch down the biological yardstick, revealing the richness of life on the smallest scales. We talked about his latest book, A Planet of Viruses, and the huge role viruses play in human history, in the evolution of life on earth, the ecology and even the world’s climate.

Click the “play” arrow above to listen to the show, or download the MP3 here.