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FROM THIS EPISODE

Guest host Barbara Bogaev explores the microbiome, the bacteria that could save our lives. Also, the missing AirAsia Flight is said to be "in the bottom of the sea." On today's Talking Point, by not paying ransom to terrorists, is the US losing chances to rescue hostages?

Photo: TheRedLexicon

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Sonya Geis
Evan George

AirAsia Flight Said to Be "in the Bottom of the Sea" 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The search continues for Air Asia 8501, which went missing over the Java Sea on Sunday. It was bound for Singapore, carrying 162 passengers, when it disappeared from radar contact. Aviation attorney Arthur Rosenberg is a former pilot.

Guests:
Arthur Rosenberg, Soberman & Rosenberg (@AIRLAW2001)

Meet Your Microbes, They Could Save Your Life 34 MIN, 44 SEC

They're in your stomach, your bloodstream, up your nose. They're all over your body and they're one of hottest topics in scientific research now. The trillions of microbes and bacteria that live on, and in and around us, go by the name of the microbiome – and each of us carries our own individual boutique blend of bacteria -- as traceable as fingerprints. Scientists are just now beginning to understand how they affect our immune system, and the role they play in such diseases as diabetes, obesity, Crohn's disease and allergies. Meanwhile, a multi-billion-dollar probiotics industry has built its empire on the research into the microbiome, and promises to correct our faulty gut bacteria and restore our health. Is there truth in the hype? What do we really know about our individual microbial signatures? We separate the facts from the fads.

Guests:
Ed Yong, Atlantic magazine (@edyong209)
Jack Gilbert, Argonne National Laboratory (@gilbertjacka)
Jonathan Eisen, University of California, Davis (@phylogenomics)
Margaret McFall-Ngai, University of Wisconsin-Madison

More:
NIH's Human Microbiome Project
American Gut Project
Yong on the fallacy of the 'healthy' microbiome
Earth Microbiome Project
Argonne National Lab's Home Microbiome Project announces results of study on household microbes

Are Hostages Paying the Cost of US Policy on Ransoms? 8 MIN, 14 SEC

Unlike many European countries, the United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists over ransoms to free hostages. The rationale: it encourages more kidnappings. Now new evidence is surfacing that this policy can potentially discourage investigations into terrorists whereabouts. With its "no concessions to terrorist policy" is the US losing rescue opportunities? New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi has been tracking this, her story on the cost of the US ban on paying for hostages ran in yesterday's paper.
hostage.

Guests:
Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times (@rcallimachi)

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