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Publisher's Summary

Paul Ewald is an evolutionary biologist and the author of the book Plague Time. For years, he's been trying to convince people that cancer is caused by germs, not genes. And finally, the evidence is accumulating behind him. Ewald talks about the latest findings with Steve Paulson.

Rupert Isaacson is the author of a book called The Horse Boy. It chronicles the trip to Mongolia and Siberia Isaacson made with his family to seek out shamans in horse-centered cultures to treat his autistic son. A documentary film, also called The Horse Boy was produced. We hear clips from the film, and Jim Fleming talks with Rupert Isaacson about his son, Rowan, and his special bond with horses and what came of this extraordinary trip.

Next, Cheeni Rao came from a successful Indian family and attended an elite American college. But he ended up a junkie on Chicago's South side. There, he had a vision of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, who has been his mentor ever since. Cheeni Rao tells his story to Anne Strainchamps, and in the book In Hanuman's Hands.

Then, Henrietta Lacks was a poor, African American woman who died of cervical cancer at the age of 30. One of her doctors at Johns Hopkins University Hospital harvested cells from her, which became the basis for an immortal line of cells used in medical research labs. Rebecca Skloot has tracked down the story of these so-called HeLa cells and detailed it in a book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot talks with Jim Fleming. [Broadcast Date: May 6, 2011]

Listen to:

  • The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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