Science Couple Phages Out Superbug


Welcome to Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on March 13, 2019. I’m Steve Mirsky. On this episode:


That’s Steffanie Strathdee. She’s an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine working on HIV and other STD prevention. And the Tom she’s referring to is her husband Tom Patterson, himself a UC San Diego researcher who’s worked on behavioral interventions to prevent HIV transmission.

But the story they’re going to tell in this episode is about how Tom got one of the world’s worst infections and how Steffanie led an effort to save with his life with an unconventional therapy—which they hope to make conventional. They have a new book out, The Perfect Predator: A Scientist’s Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug. We spoke at their publisher’s office, Hachette Books, in Manhattan.


That’s it for this episode. Get your science news at our website, Where you can listen to the recent 60-Second Science podcast by Chris Intagliata about how if you break up an Earth-bound asteroid, like in the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact, eh, gravity might pull the pieces back together again, and it’ll still be hurtling toward our planet. And now you’ve made it mad.

And follow us on Twitter, where you’ll get a tweet whenever a new item hits the website. Our twitter name is @sciam. For Scientific American’s Science Talk, I’m Steve Mirsky, thanks for clicking on us.

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