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There are trillions of viruses in and on the human body, many of which live by killing bacteria, or by integrating themselves into the DNA of bacteria whereby they survive for as long as the bacteria survive. These viruses are called bacteriophages, and they lay at the center of Dr. David Pride’s research at UC San Diego, where he serves as Associate Director of Microbiology and Associate Professor of Pathology and Medicine.
He joins the podcast today to discuss the goal of his current research, which is to better understand bacteriophages in an attempt to determine how to manipulate them in ways that will improve human health. He also discusses a number of other interesting topics concerning microbiome-related research, how retroviruses work, the debate over whether or not viruses are living things, CRISPR-Cas systems that serve as adaptive immune systems for bacteria, and so much more.