May 9, 2016 / Modified sep 12, 2016 11:34 a.m.

Episode 27: The Role of Microorganisms in Making Life Livable on Planet Earth

Originally Aired May 6, 2016

Discussions around climate change tend to focus on rising temperatures and sea levels but a key player often missing from the conversation are the earth's microbes. These microorganisms living both in our bodies and in the earth's crust keep our bodies and our planet healthy but they are being threatened by human activity. Dr. Raina Maier says that over billions of years these microorganisms created just the right conditions on the planet to support higher forms of life and eventually humans. Today, these essential microbes are being threatened by human creativity and scientists are concerned about how the microbes will respond to modern life.


Raina Maier, Ph.D and Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the University of Arizona's Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
Leslie Tolbert, Ph.D, Regents' Professor in the University of Arizona's Department of Neuroscience

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