eLife Episode 39: Spotlight on tropical diseases
In this special episode of the eLife Podcast, we discuss diseases common in tropical countries including tuberculosis, Zika, malaria and schistosomiasis.
In this episode
00:22 - Why should we fund research on neglected tropical diseases?
Why should we fund research on neglected tropical diseases?
with Prabhat Jha, University of Toronto
This month, the eLife Podcst is focusing on in this edition of the programme. But why are they neglected, and why shouldn’t they be? Chris Smith speaks to eLife Senior editor and the University of Toronto's Professor of Global Health, Prabhat Jha...
06:48 - Shortlisting the Zika suspects
Shortlisting the Zika suspects
with Michelle Evans and Courtney Murdock, University of Georgia
One of the newest kids on the biological block is Zika virus, which we know to be spread mainly by the Aedes family of mosquitoes. But that doesn’t mean that other species can’t transmit it too. But which ones should we worry about? Chris Smith hears from Michelle Evans and Courtney Murdock, both at the University of Georgia, who have taken a leaf out of the way popular music gets sold and marketed...
12:40 - Malaria parasites on the move
Malaria parasites on the move
with Dennis Klug, University of Heidelberg
In numbers terms, malaria is probably the world’s most important tropical disease. But its lifecycle - moving from a mosquito’s blood meal into the insect’s salivary glands and then back into human blood via a liver cell - makes studying some aspects of malaria biology very difficult. Dennis Klug has been studying what goes on mid-way along the mosquito’s intestine where it forms a structure called an oocyst where the infecting parasites multiply. Speaking with Chris Smith, he’s found a critical gene that releases the progeny into the mosquito’s blood...
17:40 - Safety in numbers: how TB infects
Safety in numbers: how TB infects
with Alex Sigal, Africa Health Research Institute
It was in 1882 that Robert Koch announced to the world that he’d discovered the cause of the disease tuberculosis; he did it, in part, by looking down a microscope. But although Koch linked the TB bacterium to the disease, despite more than a century of study since, we still don’t really know how the infection unfolds in the average person. Now, speaking with Chris Smith, Africa Health Research Institute scientist Alex Sigal explains how he has also been looking down the microscope and has got a new piece to add to the TB puzzle…
23:38 - Schistosomiasis: what happened next?
Schistosomiasis: what happened next?
with Jim Collins, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Last year we heard from Jim Collins at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He’s been studying schistosomes, and when we last spoke he’d just discovered one of the ways that these parasites, which multiply inside freshwater snails and then infect humans when they enter the water, fend off our immune response. Chris Smith caught up with him to hear how the work’s progressed…