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Kyle Harper author of Plagues upon the Earth | A history of humans and their germs | Oct. 21, 2021

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Lynn and John speak with Professor Kyle Harper from the University of Oklahoma who has written a history of humans and their germs. The book Plagues upon the Earth weaves together a grand narrative of global history with insights from cutting-edge genetics. Harper explains why humanity’s uniquely dangerous disease pool is rooted deep in our evolutionary past, and why its growth is accelerated by technological progress.  

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Lynn Ware Peek is a long-time contributor to KPCW. She joined the station in 2008 with Tales from the Wasatch Back, was a reporter from 2012 to 2016, and co-hosts and produces two of KPCW’s Public Affairs Hour shows, The Mountain Life, on health and lifestyle, on Wednesdays and Cool Science Radio, tackling science and technology every Thursday.
John's curiosity with science and technology began at the age of 7 with the country's space program. With a subscription his parents gave him to Popular Science and Popular Mechanics along with other periodicals and Walter Cronkite's evening broadcast he studied everything space. He followed the lives of America's test pilots and astronauts who piloted Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. His curiosity in how things were built led him to dismantling the family's window fan, toaster and lawnmower. Taking apart things was easy. Putting them back together, well, not so much. John grew up in New York state and Massachusetts with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He received a BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Maryland.