With: Thomas Platts-Mills (University of Virginia)
Fifteen years ago, if you walked into the doctor’s office complaining of a new meat allergy, the doctor might not have taken you seriously. These days, due in large part to the work of Thomas Platts-Mills, we know the sudden meat allergy is real and it’s caused by tick bites. His latest research shows a link between the allergy and heart disease.
With: Jesse Kirkpatrick (George Mason University)
CRISPR gene-editing technology might inspire fears of bioengineering superhumans, but realistically it can do a lot more with non-human animals. Philosopher Jesse Kirkpatrick 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.
With: Jennifer Martin (Thomas Nelson Community College)
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 is an oceanographer and has studied both the natural and cultural history of this species called the oarfish.
With: Hannes Schniepp (William and Mary)
The beautiful, colorful silk we wear is made out of silk that comes from worms. What if we could make similar fabric from spider silk? Hannes Schniepp studies poisonous brown recluse spiders to learn how their incredibly strong silk is made and how humans might try to replicate it.