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Many infectious diseases run riot all over the world to this day! Tonight, listen to three scientist who have dedicated their research into understanding our body, and how diseases get around our bodys defences!
Can We Stress Parasites to Death?
Dr. Lilach Sheiner (Senior Lecturer and Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellow (Parasitology), University of Glasgow)
Certain parasite infections can be lie dormant in hosts for long periods of time, such as Toxoplasma gondii. Reactivation of these parasites leads to parasite spread within the brain. In hosts with weakened immune systems this can lead to death. To survive, parasites must adjust to chemical stress, known as redox, within the host which is regulated by certain enzymes. Our lab looks at the ability to chemically stress parasites by interfering with these enzymes. Our work focuses on sabotaging the ability of toxoplasmosis and malaria to control redox stress to kill parasites.
What is HIV and Where did it Come From?
Arthur Wickenhagen (PhD Researcher)
HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus is one of the most commonly known viruses in the 21st century. Most people will have heard of HIV or the devasting disease AIDS which is caused by the virus. But how did this virus become so notorious? And where did the virus come from? I want to take you on a brief journey to show you where the virus came from and how it transmitted into the human population. What have we learned from the virus? And how we can use this knowledge to better understand the disease.
Blame Your Parents
Prof. Kevin O'Dell (Professor of Behaviour Genetics (Life Sciences Biomolecular Sciences), University of Glasgow)
Your body is an amazing machine and, unless you have an identical twin, utterly unique. However, perhaps even more amazing is the fact nobody actually designed you. In fact you are simply a product of multiple random errors that have occurred over millions and millions of years of evolution. So how did you end up being the person you are, and what makes you different from everyone else? It must be some combination of nature (your genes) and your environment (everything else), but how much of each and how do we know?