65 minutes | Oct 16th 2020

Ep 085 Dr. Scott Bowdridge and the Demon Barber of Sheep Street

It’s alive!  And kicking.  Or squirming, as it were.  Either way, it’s not pretty, and is akin to the horror films that many might be ingesting this month.  In the true spirit of the upcoming Halloween observances across the land, we’re going to bring you a podcast filled with gruesome tales of things growing where other things don’t want them to grow.  John Hurt will not participate, and neither will Kurt Russell, and no one’s body parts will end up anywhere other than where they started on this one.  

That said, we’re going to bring you our virtual conversation with Dr. Scott Bowdridge, Associate Professor of Food Animal Production at West Virginia University, who talks to us about the infamous Haemonchus contortus, aka “HC” or “The Barber Pole Worm.”  This innocent-sounding parasite is responsible for internal egg laying, bloodletting, and death by exsanguination – all the same things you’d get with Kurt and John, but without the acid drool.  Dr. Bowdridge’s long (long long) term study of HC and the enhanced immune response of the amazingly resistant St. Croix sheep might be the key to helping small and large producers around the world to solve one of animal husbandry’s big problems.  It’s no small task to do what might be a 30-year study, but this man is the guy to do it.  For all we know, an understanding of this enhanced immune response might be the key to saving more than the small ruminants of the world -- the scary times we live in today are evidence of that.  The good doctor won’t need a flamethrower for this horror flick, but a microscope will come in handy.

All you sheeple out there – there are some links below that might be helpful, and Dr. Bowdridge was kind enough to commit to another interview, so send your topics to us and we’ll go down the rabbit hole with you.

A video of this podcast can also be found on our YouTube channel, with a few slides from Dr. Bowdridge’s collection and a few extra visuals for flavor.  But not in the John-Hurt-dining-room-table kind of flavor.  Well, maybe a little of that.  It is the Barber Pole Worm.  Be warned – things might get scary.




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