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Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:47

Viruses from Heaven and Hell: A Discussion with Ken Stedman

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Stedman Virus Hunter

Earth’s most abundant biological entities are viruses, and they can be found everywhere where there are living organisms, including extreme (hellish) environments with e.g. low pH, high temperature, etc.

Dr. Ken Stedman is a professor at Portland State University and one of the founders of the Center for Life in Extreme Environments. Dr. Stedman studies viruses from hellish environments like acidic boiling hot springs at Lassen Volcanic National Park.  

Dr. Stedman talks about how studying viruses in extreme environments can give insights into the evolution of life on earth, whether a virus is actually alive, how he started studying these unique extremophile viruses, and whether there might be viruses in space (heaven).   

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Ella Copter, a third grader who gets sick after eating her favorite meal at the school cafeteria.



  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Kenneth Stedman, Ph.D. (Portland State University)
  • Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Jesus Romo (UTSA)

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Last modified on Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:59
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.