Genetic Tools Will Save Us from the Next Killer Epidemic

Genetic Tools Will Save Us from the Next Killer Epidemic
California Academy of Sciences - California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Shannon Bennett of the California Academy of Sciences discusses the secrets of viruses and bacteria, their evolution and eventual epidemic.You could almost say that Shannon Bennett's career as a virologist found her after she became infected with parasites while on a volunteer stint in Liberia during her college years. She was fascinated by the experience to the point that she has been on a quest to understand the secrets, the life cycle and evolutionary history of viruses and bacteria ever since. Hear about her research as she discusses fascinating examples from her work such as how the dengue virus continues to evolve and plague humans since jumping over from non-human primates decades ago. Learn how this virus has adapted to humans and the mosquitoes that have in turn become so well adapted to us. With these questions, Dr. Bennett's work broadens the Academy's research scope to include a dedicated focus on viruses and bacteria. As you will discover, she is especially interested in the nature of genetic mutations that give viruses the potential to cause epidemics or switch to new hosts.

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