About This Episode
If you want to sleep tonight, skip this episode of StarTalk All-Stars. Host Bill Nye, co-host Chuck Nice and fan-favorite virus expert Laurie Garrett examine how we’re fighting Zika, West Nile, and other viruses – and why the battle may not be going our way. You’ll learn more than you want to know about the Zika virus, including how it’s transmitted and why it’s so difficult to develop a vaccine against. Find out about the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries Zika, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya and more, including that it can breed in stagnant or fresh water, why global warming is increasing its territory, and how it was first brought to the Americas from Africa – by the slave trade. And we’re just scratching the surface of everything you’ll discover in this episode. For instance, did you know that most of us carry anthrax in our guts, or that exposure to just two strains of Dengue will make you sick, but a third is fatal 50% of the time? Laurie fills us in on the resurgence of polio, the lost battle against West Nile virus, the Dengue outbreak in Hawaii, and how HIV has infected over 75 million people since 1979. It’s not all bad news, though. You’ll hear how the HPV vaccine has reduced cervical cancer by 64%, as well as about plans by the NIH and NSF to learn about potential threats from unidentified bacteria, viruses and phages, while the WHO and CDC are considering genetically modifying males to reduce mosquito populations. Plus, in “That Day in Science,” Bill and Chuck discuss the Bubonic Plague, which wiped out 1/3 of the population of Europe in just 3 years and is forever enshrined in the beloved kid’s game, “Ring Around the Rosie.”
NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Confronting Zika and other Viruses, with Bill Nye and Laurie Garrett – StarTalk All-Stars.