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Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world

Science Podcast
a field
Chris Couderc/Flickr

Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral—but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider environment.

Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about a project that aggregated the expertise of more than 250 archaeologists to map human land use over the past 10,000 years. This detailed map will help fine-tune climate models.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

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[Image: Chris Couderc/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]