There’s a lot of research being done on the human genome, but less so on the genome of parasites. For a number of reasons, including their surprising and impressive ability to avoid attack by the human immune system, understanding more about how parasites function and behave could prove useful in preventing and treating the human diseases they cause.
Dr. Richard McCulloch from the University of Glasgow joins the podcast to explain the ins and out of the research that’s being done in his lab. He and his team are looking at two different parasites, both of which enter their host via the bites of flies, and both of which cause disease. Once in the host’s bloodstream, however, these parasites behave very differently. In what ways do they behave differently, and what advantages are conferred to the parasite as a result of each behavior? How do they avoid attack from the human immune system on a seeming indefinite basis? And in what way do they utilize pseudogenes? These are just a few of the questions explored by Dr. Richard McCulloch—both in his lab and on today’s episode.
Press play to hear the full conversation and learn more about his work by visiting https://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/iii/staff/richardmcculloch/#/researchinterests.