Big Picture Science – Smiley Virus

by Gary Niederhoff on May 11, 2014

Big Picture Science – Smiley Virus

For many, the word virus is a synonym for disease – diseases of humans, plants, and even computers. Ebola is an example: a virus with a big and terrifying reputation. And yet the vast majority of viruses are not only friendly, they are essential for life.

Find out how viruses make plant life in Yellowstone’s hottest environments possible, and fear your spinach salad no longer: a scientist recruits viruses to defeat E. coli bacteria.

Plus, a new study presents the disconcerting facts of just how far a sneeze travels, and viruses in another kind of culture: but is ours benevolent? Find out from the man who coined the term, “viral media.”

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: David Quammen – The Ebola virus
Part 2: Marilyn Roossinck – Symbiotic Viruses
Part 3: Paul Ebner – Bacteriophage Therapy
Part 4: Lydia Bourouiba – Sneeze clouds
Part 5: Douglas Rushkoff – Viral media

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