Dr. Stefan Pukatzki is a Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado in Denver. Dr. Pukatzki studies Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes the human disease cholera. Cholera is a dangerous water-borne disease that rapidly spreads through human populations in large epidemics.  Dr. Pukatzki discovered that V. cholerae has a stabbing device, the Type Six Secretion system, that it uses to inject poisons into surrounding bacteria to kill them off and gain a competitive advantage.  This stabbing device is wide-spread through many types of bacteria, illuminating the violent interactions that regularly take place among microbes.  Dr. Pukatzki discusses Type Six Secretion, cholera, and serendipity.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Neal Guentzel (Professor and Parliamentarian of STCEID, UTSA)

Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

 

Mr. Cliff Kapono is a PhD student at the University of California San Diego. The human body is covered with trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa), and these microbes produce lots of different chemicals that affect humans in many different ways.  Kapono’s thesis studies are based on the idea that surfers spend a lot of time in the ocean, so their microbiomes are likely influenced by all the marine microbes and chemicals.  Kapono is systematically studying the microbial communities found on surfers around the world, to discover the signature of a surfer biome.  Kapono is an avid surfer, and manages to personally check out the waves at the surf spots where he enrolls participants in his project. Kapono discusses surfing, microbiomes, and his Hawaiian heritage.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Neal Guentzel (Professor and Parliamentarian of STCEID, UTSA)

Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

 


Please visit http://www.cliffkapono.com/new-page/ to find more information about Mr. Kapono’s projects.

 

Dr. Dan Riskin is the host of the Animal Planet show about parasitic infections, Monsters Inside Me, and he also hosts a nightly science show broadcast in Canada, The Daily Planet.  Dr. Riskin studied vampire bats while earning his Ph.D., and to this day is still bat crazy. His career promoting science for general audiences and his entertaining and enthusiastic personality have led him to be a guest on various late night talk shows, and he is the author of the book “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You”.

Dr. Riskin joined this podcast remotely from his home in Canada, and therefore the audio quality is a little scratchy.  However, his discussion of topics ranging from his bot fly infection to bats that share their armpit sweat (and other things), and touching on the need to stimulate interest in science, will make you want to keep listening!

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and director of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Floyd Wormley (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)