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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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Infectious Talk Research Podcasts

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The Power of Vaccines: New haemorrhagic fever vaccine

21 May 2019: A Naked Scientist Interview with Professor Jonathan Heeney of Department of Veterinary Medicine (CID)

Recently a massive outbreak of Ebola swept across West Africa, with cases making it as far as The US and the UK. Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever, meaning it causes massive bleeding in people struck down with it. It’s part of a family of diseases, that came to us from animals like bats, and includes Ebola virus, Marburg virus and Lassa fever. Since these diseases often occur in the same place, and it’s hard to tell which one is which, vaccinating against them can be difficult. That’s why a team at Cambridge University are developing a vaccine that will work against all three. Ruby Osborn visited Jonathan Heeney, Professor of Comparative Pathology at the Veterinary School in Cambridge, to learn about the work they’ve done.

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Bovine TB vaccination

24 August 2018. A Naked Scientist Podcast Interview with Dr Andrew Conlan, Department of Veterinary Medicine (CID).

Mycobacterium bovis - which causes bovine TB - is a close relative of the TB bacterium that causes disease in humans; and because it can infect us, cattle are rigorously monitored. The problem is that there’s also an environmental reservoir of the infection: wild animals, including badgers, can carry it and - some suspect - transmit it to cows. For this reason there have been calls to cull badgers. But is this justified when there is, potentially, a vaccine we could use? Unfortunately no one knows how effective that vaccine would be, and before we can use it we need the EU to change the law. They’ll only do that if there’s adequate data to defend the decision. So are the EU's requirements to test bovine TB vaccines feasible?

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Can your cat's parasites help you succeed?

31 July 2018. A Naked Scientist Podcast Interview with Dr Jim Ajioka, Department of Veterinary Medicine (CID).

A paper out this week claims that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which cats shed in their faeces, can - if we catch it - reduce our fear of failure and boost our chances of success! According to a team from Colorado, professionals at business events were nearly twice as likely to have started their own company if they tested positive for toxo. So are parasites really pulling the strings? Chris Smith was joined by Cambridge University’s Jim Ajioka, who wasn’t involved in the study, but does work on Toxoplasma....

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08 May 2018. A Naked Scientist Podcast Interview with Professor Julian Raynor, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (CID).

A new weapon in the fight against Malaria. The disease, which kills over half a million people every year, is caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The parasite is becoming resistant to our current treatments so scientists are in a race against time to come up with new ones. New research from the Wellcome Sanger institute may help, as they’ve identified which genes inside its DNA are vital to its growth, meaning we can design drugs more effectively. Katie Haylor heard more from author Julian Rayner.

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01 Dec 2017. A Naked Scientist Podcast Interview with Professor Andrew Lever (CID).

HIV AIDS affects 35 million people worldwide, and although the number of new infections is slowly decreasing, last year it still caused one million deaths. The virus, HIV, attacks the body’s immune system by infecting white blood cells, also called “lymphocytes”. Lewis Thomson has been finding out what the future holds for treatment, and what it’s like to be diagnosed with the virus, and met with Professor Andrew Lever from the University of Cambridge, who researches the virus.

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24 Feb 2014. A Naked Scientist Podcast Interview with Dr Lydia Drumright, now University of Cambridge (CID).

Dr. Lydia Drumright talks about her research examining how the "vomitting" virus infects people and how long they remain infectious for. 


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