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Viruses

Studio 360

Viruses at the Movies

Friday, September 12, 2014

Radiation used to be Hollywood’s go-to plot device. Now, viruses explain everything from vampires to the zombie apocalypse — but that’s not what really scares public health experts.

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Studio 360

The Flame Alphabet

Friday, September 12, 2014

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” In his novel The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus imagines what would happen if children’s language made their parents sick.

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Studio 360

Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, September 12, 2014

We’ve been living with computer viruses since the earliest networks. But how similar are they to biological ones?

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Studio 360

What Going Viral Means

Friday, September 12, 2014

Computer viruses and memes were born at the same time. But, for journalist Bill Wasik, it’s time to retire the metaphor of things “going viral” online.

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Studio 360

Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, September 12, 2014

Why do scientists want to recreate viral monsters like the 1918 Spanish flu? And if they do, should they be allowed to publish the instructions?

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Studio 360

Playing Against the Virus

Friday, September 12, 2014

When an unintentional pandemic spread through World of Warcraft, epidemiologists studied the online game to learn real-world lessons.

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Studio 360

Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some of our culture’s most enduring monsters transmit their contagion through biting — werewolves, zombies, and vampires. Are these myths really about rabies?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Can Viruses Treat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Researchers are looking toward a century-old treatment from the Soviet Union that uses viruses to kill bacteria.

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Studio 360

The Flame Alphabet

Friday, March 08, 2013

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” Novelist Ben Marcus took Burrough's line as inspiration for The Flame Alphabet. In the book, the language of children has become literally poisonous to adults, and a married couple with a teenage daughter is faced ...

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Studio 360

Playing Against The Virus

Friday, March 08, 2013

In recent years, epidemics have become a hot topic in gaming. In the online video game Pandemic 2, you play the virus, aiming to wipe out humanity. In The Great Flu, you control a world health organization and make decisions about face masks and airport closures. Games like ... 

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Studio 360

Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between ...

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Studio 360

Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Long before science explained rabies, the virus showed up in folklore and literature. "The vampire myth, the werewolf myth, and the zombie myth," Bill Wasik tells Kurt Andersen, "are all saliva-born infections that manifest as a contagious animal essence. Rabies is the only thing ...

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Studio 360

Viruses At The Movies

Friday, March 08, 2013

What radiation was to the 1950s — a real but poorly understood menace that served as an all-purpose plot device — viruses have become for our era. Viruses explain vampires in Blade, and zombies in I Am Legend and 28 Days Later. But viruses aren’t quarantined to genre flicks ...

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Studio 360

What Going Viral Means

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses emerged in the 1980s. But in the internet era, we decided not to beat viruses, but to join them. “Going viral” became the goal of any piece of content, from a movie to a Facebook post. Bill Wasik is the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture ...

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Studio 360

Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses have evolved from an annoyance to a national security threat. Recently the Department of Homeland Security told Americans to disable Java on our home computers (a thing that few of us knew how to do) because of flaws that left it vulnerable to viruses ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Peter Piot's Pursuit of Deadly Viruses

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peter Piot talks about his career in microbiology, from studying the Ebola virus to pioneering AIDS research and policy. As founder and director of UNAIDS, he negotiated policies with leaders from Fidel Castro to Thabo Mbeki and helped turn the tide of the AIDS epidemic. His book No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses captures the urgency and excitement of being on the front lines in the fight against today’s deadliest diseases.

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