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Microbes, Genes and Human Endeavour

Cultural discussion programme. Andrew Marr on microbes, genes and success with Ed Yong, Adam Rutherford, Jonathan Maitland and Felicity Aston.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks at winners and losers - from microbes and genes, to athletes and adventurers. Ed Yong seeks to expand our understanding of microscopic microbes which inhabit every corner of the earth, and influence our bodies more than we know. Each person's DNA is unique but Adam Rutherford reveals how collectively it tells the story of the history of our species - the successes and the failures. When one's own genetic make-up and hard work aren't enough, there's always chemical enhancement - Jonathan Maitland looks at doping in sport for his latest play, Deny, Deny, Deny. The polar scientist Felicity Aston was the world's first woman to ski alone across the Antarctic and knows what it's like to push your body to the limits. She's now off to Canada's frozen North in search of gold.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Ed Yong

Ed Yong is a science writer.

I Contain Multitudes:  The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life is published by The Bodley Head.

Felicity Aston

British polar explorer Felicity Aston is an author, speaker, expedition leader and former Antarctic scientist.

Operation Gold Rush starts on Sunday 30 October at 9.00pm on BBC Two.

Adam Rutherford

Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Jonathan Maitland

Jonathan Maitland is a writer and broadcaster.

Deny, Deny, Deny is on at the Park Theatre in London from 2 November to 3 December.


Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr
Interviewed Guest Ed Yong
Interviewed Guest Adam Rutherford
Interviewed Guest Jonathan Maitland
Interviewed Guest Felicity Aston
Producer Katy Hickman