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The Best of Our Knowledge

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1287

Tanner_Pamela.jpg
University of West Florida
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Let’s start off with an important definition. A phage is a virus that preys on and feeds off bacteria. They are found, among other places, in the soil.

In the early part of the 20th century, phages were used to combat bacterial infections…but the discovery and wide spread use of antibiotics ended that practice in most of the world. Phages are now being investigated as a possible way to treat food to prevent contamination such as listeria at botulism. That brings us to a program called the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science program. That’s just screaming for an acronym so they call it the SEA-PHAGES program. And that brings us to Dr. Pamela Tanner, a lecturer in the Chemistry Department at the University of West Florida.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from one of this year’s participating schools in the SEA-PHAGE program.

We’ll also meet the man who found out why cells divide, choose between college and the military and spend an academic minute determining that education is indeed a good thing.