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Friday, 22 September 2017 16:12

Polio Research Breakthroughs with Vincent Racaniello - MTM 65

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Vincent Racaniello discusses how he ended up studying polio virus and the three eureka moments he’s experienced so far: uncovering the polio genome, discovering the polio receptor, and generating a mouse model of polio disease. Vincent discusses his interest in science communications, including his blog and active podcast network.

Host: Julie Wolf Vincent Racaniello

Activities of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the Field of Virus Research (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app.

Julie's biggest takeaways:

  1. All three polio virus serotypes are covered by the polio vaccine; type 2 has been eradicated and type 3 is close to being eradicated.
  2. Enterovirus 68 is a related enteroviruses that is associated with paralysis, but its receptor and disease progression remain largely unknown.
  3. Developing tools and techniques to study one virus that can cross into the central nervous system, such as polio, can set up a lab to study other neurotropic viruses, such as enterovirus 68 and Zika virus.
  4. All scientists with access to a computer and a social media account can be effective science communicators!

Featured Quotes:

"You have to find people to be mentors who you are going to listen to, and if they give you advice, you follow it." (6:57)

"It took me one year to sequence the genome of polio, which you could do in five minutes today." (9:52)

"We work on infectious agents and a big part of it is to eradicate them and alleviate human disease." (20:32)

"We all have to share what we do. We’re funded mostly by tax dollars, and we have to let the public know what we do." (34:00)

Links for this episode

Send your stories about our guests and/or your comments (email or recorded audio) to jwolf@asmusa.org.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 16:42
Julie Wolf

Julie Wolf is the ASM Science Communications Specialist. She contributes to the ASM social media and blog network and hosts the Meet the Microbiologist podcast. She also runs workshops at ASM conferences to help scientists improve their own communication skills. Follow Julie on Twitter for more ASM and microbiology highlights at @JulieMarieWolf.

Julie earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, focusing on medical mycology and infectious disease. Outside of her work at ASM, she maintains a strong commitment to scientific education and teaches molecular biology at the community biolab, Genspace. She lives in beautiful New York City.

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