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Science Seminar

Christina Spencer and Greg Frederick
LeTourneau University Department of Biology

 This presentation will discuss LeTourneau University student participation in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance (SEA) and their “PHAGES” program.  SuperBugs have routinely been in the media for years. In the last decade alone, hundreds of thousands of human lives have been lost due to infections by SuperBugs.  Our current antibiotics are incapable of killing these “super bacteria”.   Pharma companies have been challenged to produce new antibiotics able to combat this issue.  Enter the HHMI SEA-PHAGES program and our LeTourneau University students.  For the last four and a half years, our students have been working in collaboration with the HHMI SEA-PHAGES consortium to isolate previously undiscovered viruses capable of killing pathogenic bacteria. Introductory background on the program and the biology of these viruses will be discussed.  Discussion of some of the “super traits” and applications of super-viruses in life saving efforts will be presented.  Finally, you will be introduced to a 15-year-old girl who was literally spared from death through application of this new “Medicine Gone Wild”.