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Monday, 06 November 2017 14:08

Beware of bloodsuckers! What’s the buzz about mosquitoes?

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Dr. George Dimopoulos is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Helen Lazear is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Dimopoulos studies mosquitoes, those pesky insects that annoy people by biting them and sucking their blood. But they also spread a number of diseases, including malaria and dengue virus.

Dr. Dimopoulos is developing various clever ways to prevent mosquitoes from transmitting diseases to humans. Dr. Lazear studies the Zika virus, which is also spread by mosquitoes and has been recognized as a cause of brain defects in infants when it infects pregnant women. Dr. Lazear studies how the virus gets into the nervous system, with a goal of identifying new ways to prevent disease.

Dr. Dimopoulos and Dr. Lazear discuss ways to control and prevent malaria, how worried we should be about Zika virus, and how climate change influences diseases spread by mosquitoes.

The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Lukey Luke, a lobster fisherman who gets sick after going leaf peeping in New Hampshire.


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Helen Lazear, Ph.D. (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • George Dimopoulos, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
  • Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 15:25
Karl Klose

Karl Klose, Ph.D. is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Texas San Antonio, the Director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID), and host of microTalk. He oversees the research on infectious diseases that is carried out in his laboratory by undergraduate, Masters’, and Ph.D. students, as well as research staff. He also teaches microbiology to undergraduate and graduate students.

Karl is enthusiastic about enlightening people to the fascinating world of microbes.  He has given two TED talks on antibiotic resistance. He has been a visiting professor in Kolkata India and Valparaiso Chile.  He has spent the past two years visiting ASM branch meetings through the Distinguished Lecturer program.  You can find Karl on Twitter and you can find STCEID on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.