On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, we’re talking with Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings’ College London and author of The Diet Myth: Why the Secret to Health and Weight Loss Is Already in Your Gut (The Overlook Press, September 2015). Using twin studies, and testing out various diets for himself, Spector has uncovered the importance of a person’s microbiome—i.e. the bacteria residing in the gut—to overall health and wellness. Later in the hour, contributing editor Mark Hay reveals the story behind the ban on birthdays in Tajikistan.

Music this hour: