Dr. Anthony Griffiths and Dr. Ricardo Carrion are scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute who work on some of the most dangerous viruses in the world under Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL4) containment. BSL4 is the highest form of biological containment that is required for viruses that have a high level of lethality and for which there is no cure. The ebola virus caused a huge outbreak in Western Africa in 2014 that led to over 11,000 deaths, and when an ebola-infected patient arrived in the United States it led to widespread panic.  Dr. Griffiths and Dr. Carrion are performing research with the ebola virus within a BSL4 laboratory, and are developing therapeutics and vaccines against ebola infections. Dr. Griffiths and Dr. Carrion discuss what it’s like to work in a BSL4 laboratory, what is the outlook for an effective ebola vaccine, and how to work with ebola-infected fruit bats in a BSL4 lab.  The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Prickly Pete, a crusty ranch hand who comes down with a mysterious disease after Mrs. Butterworth, his favorite cow dies.

 

Participants:

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)

Jesus Romo (UTSA)

Anthony Griffiths, Ph.D. (TBRI)

Ricardo Carrion, Ph.D. (TBRI)

 

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