JAN 26, 2017 04:57 PM PST
Keeping Watch for new Viral Threats
WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
2 5 141

In this interview from the American Society for Microbiology with Jonna Mazet, PhD, you can hear about how experts are keeping watch in our environment for dangerous microbes that we don't really know about, but which could present a threat to pubic health. Mazet is the Director of PREDICT, which was created to "improve global detection and discovery of zoonotic viruses of pandemic potential," according to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.

The project has focused on areas with high amounts of biodiversity, and places where there is a lot of disturbance to the environment, because they are locations seen as "hot-spots" for emerging pathogens. The basic techniques of PCR and sequencing have been used as the basic toolkit for discovering new pathogens, a method that has proven effective. Beyond simply identifying these pathogens, Mazet also wants to dig deeper and learn more about how these viruses are working.

Our interconnected world highlights the importance of projects like this one, which may seem like they aren't important to us on a local level. But the nature of transportation and globalization has meant that many things don't stay in one place for a long time. It is to everyone's benefit to understand more about viral threats, and it's cheaper to learn more about pathogens before they start impacting health on a large scale. Mazet also reminds us that unforeseen benefits often arise from this type of broad research as well.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert...
You May Also Like
MAY 07, 2018
Videos
MAY 07, 2018
Pretty Air Filter Uses Plants, Doesn't Require Replacement Filters
NATEDE is a filtration system that relies on plants' abilities to clean the air, developed by air purification company Clairy. NATEDE's design and airflow
MAY 13, 2018
Videos
MAY 13, 2018
What Might Hearing From Aliens Actually Sound Like?
Astronomers have long-theorized about the presence of intelligent alien life elsewhere in the universe, but humankind has yet to discover it anywhere offic
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Why the US still uses Fahrenheit
The US is one of the only countries still using the Imperial System of measurement, which includes our wacky Fahrenheit temperature scale as well as gallon
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Dangers of Alcohol and Other Foods on Medications
It is a fact that medications that make us drowsy should never be taken with alcoholic beverages because alcohol can also make us drowsy. However, there ar
JUN 12, 2018
Videos
JUN 12, 2018
Should You Eat Those Banana Peels?
Most people peel their bananas open and eat what’s on the inside, but it may be a good idea for the sake of your health to eat the entire banana, inc
JUN 13, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 13, 2018
Can This Robot Read Your Thoughts?
Artificial intelligence is at the forefront of neuroscience. Research is ongoing into projects that are investigating if AI could help those with Parkinson
Loading Comments...