Streams

Top Scientists

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We talk about some of the most exciting scientific research happening right now. Leonard talks to two Lasker Award winners: Stanley Falkow, who’s receiving the Lasker Special Achievement Award for his 51-year career as a top microbiologist, specializing in how harmful bacteria works; and Victor Ambros, who pioneered the promising biomedical field of microRNA and is co-winner of the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.

Guests:

Victor Ambros and Stanley Falkow

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Comments [2]

norman from nyc

Jesus Christ, Lenny, this is a great program!

I read about iRNA in Science magazine and the New England Journal of Medicine. I basically know all these facts, but I never put it together in a way that was as meaningful as Falkow and Ambros did.

Of course that's what you'd expect from Falkow and Ambros, but it really helps if the interviewer understands what they're talking about (which they unfortunately don't always).

I understood that anibiotics were derived from a cell's normal metabolism, but I didn't realize that the resistance mechanism and its genes come from the same cell. I thought the sensitive cells just sort of evolved resistance genes, like viruses.

I understood that one of the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance is efflux pumps in the cell membrane that pump out the antibiotics. But I could never understand how the efflux pump knows which molecules to pump out and which to leave in.

Now I understand. If they got the gene from the same cell that used the antibiotic in its natural metabolism, that cell must have had a way of eliminating the antibiotic when its concentration got too high. These efflux pumps must be programmable.

Sep. 25 2008 01:01 PM
anonyme from NY NY

what about balancing microbes -the right balance will resist desease without antibiotics
(so-called primitives resisted tb till they ate western food)

Sep. 25 2008 12:16 PM

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