• Question: what interests you in a virus in pigs?

    Asked by wildgeorgiababy to Pamela on 13 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Pamela Lithgow

      Pamela Lithgow answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      My virus is generally very interesting. It is big in the world of tiny viruses, it makes lots of things and effects the cells/pigs it is in. So really it was the virus that first attracted me.
      But pigs are also very interesting, their anatomy is similar to humans and due to this people were interested in using them for organ transplantation. However, pigs immune systems are different to humans. The immune system is the collection of cells which respond to microbes which invade the animal. As I work on a virus I also work with the immune system to see how it responds and the fact it is different to humans makes it interesting.
      Finally, this applies to both the pig and the virus they are both not studied by very many people. This means that there is lots still to be found out and loads of interesting stuff for me to do.
      Thanks for the great question
      Pam 🙂