Name your phage: virus discovery brings science to undergraduates

Students step into science by identifying and naming thousands of bacteriophages - viruses that attack bacteria - as part of the SEA-PHAGES program headed up by Pitt biologist Graham Hatfull. CRC powers the sequencing and analysis of a sliver of the billions-plus-strong, ever-changing population of bacteriophages. “Bacteria and phages are locked in a 3-billion year war,” Hatfull says simply. “Dynamic populations have been evolving for a long time, and they keep evolving.”

Hatfull and his team are receiving global attention for the role of SEA-PHAGES in the dramatically successful treatment of a 15-year-old girl for a rare bacterial infection. Read a small sample of of the media coverage at NOVA, Nature Medicine, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

 

 

Left, Pitt students Aishwarya Mukundan and Daniel Zipfel hunt for phages in Pitt's SEA-PHAGE lab. 

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