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To the Bat Cave

11 May 2020, 14:42 UTC
To the Bat Cave
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To fight a pandemic, you need to first understand where a virus comes from. That quest takes disease ecologist Jon Epstein to gloomy caverns where bats hang out. There he checks up on hundreds of the animals as his team from the EcoHealth Alliance trace the origins of disease-causing viruses. But their important work is facing its own threat; the Trump administration recently terminated funding to the Alliance because of its collaboration with Chinese scientists. Hear how Dr. Epstein finds the viruses, what kind of human activity triggers outbreaks, and how science counters the unsubstantiated claim that the virus escaped from a lab. Guests: Jon Epstein – Veterinary epidemiologist with the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance Meredith Wadman – Staff writer for the journal Science. Read her article about the cancellation of the NIH bat coronavirus grant.

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