Episode 152: Alien Viruses, with Ken Stedman

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Feature Guest: Ken Stedman

They aren’t pleasant, but viruses are the most common form life on our planet. So why aren’t the world’s space agencies taking viruses seriously in their search for alien life. Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by astrobiologist and astrovirologist Ken Stedman who has a plan to change and that and put viruses front and centre as we explore our solar system and beyond.



Current in Space

We’re roving around our first asteroid, reports Simon. And if its heading into oblivion, just why is matter falling into a black hole in such a big hurry, asks Dave.

The Star Spot is now on the Radio!

Star Spot podcast is now The Star Spot podcast and radio show. That’s right. Your favourite astronomy program is now travelling through space, specifically the 1280AM frequency. Our broadcaster, CJRU The Scope at Ryerson, is now available on the radio dial, which means you can join us at The Star Spot at 1280AM every Sunday 8PM and Tuesday 6PM Eastern Time.

Visit http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca/ to learn more about our partner radio station.

About Our Guest

Ken Stedman is Professor of Biology at Portland State University and a self-described “extreme virologist” because of his passion for studying viruses in extreme environments. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley and is the recipient of the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. His outstanding teaching has been recognized with a John Eliot Allen Teaching Award.


Astrovirology: Viruses at Large in the Universe (scholarly article in the journal Astrobiology, 2018 Feb;18(2):207-223. doi: 10.1089/ast.2017.1649. Epub 2018 Jan 10.)

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