Aug 8, 2020 • 56M

Smallpox to Covid-19: the history of diseases with Dr. Michael Oldstone

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Today, Dr. Michael Oldstone joins us to discuss the history of diseases. We talk about diseases, viruses and their role in our history.

Left: A yellow-fever epidemic when building the Panama Canal

Right: Children would be regularly paralyzed before the polio vaccine

Shownotes

00:00: Introductions

02:36: What is a virus?

03:45: DNA viruses vs RNA Viruses

07:30 Understanding virulence and persistance in viruses

08:45 How do viruses evolve?

10:00 Smallpox

“In the 20th century, smallpox has killed more people than all the wars of the 20th century combined”

10:30 Ancient inoculations against the smallpox

12:00 Attenuated viruses: The Slow Road to the Vaccine

14:14 Why haven’t other viruses been eliminated like the smallpox?

16:00 Smallpox in the new world

18:00 The slave trade and yellow fever in the new world

20:00 Yellow fever during the Haitian Revolution

21:00 Yellow fever during the continental congress

22:00 How businesses refused to lockdown during yellow fever in Memphis

25:00 Doctors who self-experimented to find the inoculation against the yellow fever

Viruses cause more casualties than guns during war

31:00 SARS

35:00 Covid-19 vs SARS: How Covid-19 spread fast?

39:00 How would a functioning public health system deal with Covid-19?

42:00 How to develop a vaccine?

48:00 Accurate information about viruses


About Dr. Michael Oldstone

Viruses lie at the heart of some of humanity’s most pernicious and devastating diseases, such as AIDS, hepatitis, and influenza. Michael Oldstone, a professor of immunology and microbiology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, has devoted his career to a molecular understanding of how viruses infect cells, evade and manipulate the immune system, and cause disease.

Learn more about his book: Viruses Plagues and History