Microbe Magazine Podcast
About This Show
Microbe is a monthly science podcast hosted by Jeff Fox, features editor for Microbe Magazine, published by the American Society for Microbiology.
Each episode is a conversation with a scientist whose work has been featured in the current issue of Microbe, which is available online at www.microbemagazine.org.
Please contact Patrick Lacey, Managing Editor for Microbe, with any questions, feedback or show ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Recent Episode
MMP #16: Insights into Toxoplasma gondii parasites
Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Emma Wilson. Emma H. Wilson of the University of California, Riverside, talks with Jeff Fox about efforts, with her collaborators to determine more precisely how Toxoplasma gondii parasites disrupt the mammalian brain—in this case, the brains of mice. This same parasite infects about one-third of the human population, but is held in check by the immune system unless those host defense mechanisms become impaired. Wilson and her collaborators find that these parasites interfere with the cycling of the neurotransmitter glutamate within the central nervous system, blocking its uptake by astrocytes, widely distributed cells within brains that are intertwine with and thus work very closely with neurons, which are the main cells for transmitting nerve impulses throughout the central nervous system. Some damaging effects of the parasites can be reversed by treating the mice with a drug—in this case, it happens to be an antibacterial drug but here acts by a separate mechanism-- that helps to restore the glutamate transport protein in astrocytes. In this way, it partly corrects that glutamate imbalance within the brain. This story was featured in the August 2016 issue of Microbe Magazine. Subscribe to MMP (free) on iTunes, Stitcher, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app. Send your microbiology questions and comments (email or audio file) to email@example.com Tweet me your questions about this episode or just to say hi!