Cosmic Queries: Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

 Infectious disease expert Laurie Garrett is back to answer your questions about viruses. First, she describes two current outbreaks: H7N9 influenza, which killed 25% of the people in China who got it, and MERS-CoV, or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, a genetic relative of SARS. With pilgrimages like the Haj in October, MERS is a serious pandemic concern to the worldwide health community. Next, Laurie explains how viruses like Ebola and HIV jump from bats and primates to humans through “zoonosis” and why they’re so lethal when they do. She tells Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice how we’re developing human engineered microorganisms in the lab, including nanobot viruses, and a competition where high school students invent new life forms. All this, plus a fungus that turns ants into zombies, pathogens that spread via rain, the dangers of the anti-vaccine movement and, unfortunately, so much more.

Listen to the full interview here

Zombie Apocalypse (Part 2)

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

In this podcast from the Star Talk Radio Show, zombies take a back seat to real life viral threats, thanks to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett. She describes how governments and viruses don't mix, from the ongoing Russian biological warfare apparatus to terrorists targeting polio aid workers in response to CIA activities to the SARS outbreak and its fatal cover up by the Chinese government.

Listen to the full podcast here

Discussion off

China Bird Flu

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Laurie Garrett of the Council on Foreign Relations talks with VOA's Sarah Williams about the possibility that the recent deaths of pigs, ducks and swans in China may be related to a new strain of bird flu, H7N9.

Watch the video here