By Vanesa Segovia
I was born in Malaysia and I grew up in Europe. I live in Norwich in the East of England since my PhD.
2. What events shaped your career choice?
Family (my father is a biologist), my own interests and my children.
3. How would you describe working in scientific research?
Everything from the routine to the most exciting thing!
Unfortunately I do not think there is a trick, just work hard and play hard.
This strain is not new, however, it was originally described as new by doctors after an attempt at serotyping the strain with a bank of common serotypes, which failed due to the O104:H4 serotype being more rarely associated with this type of outbreak. Hence the original description as new until the correct serotype was identified. (Serotype refers to distinct variations within a subspecies)
6. If not, where does it come from, which are the closest ancestors?
7. Why is it deadly?
9. Is it possible to predict if a harmless E. coli strain will turn into a lethal one?
10. What were your most interesting findings?
11. What is the next step to fully understand O104:H4?
There is still no substitute for questioning of the patients to find a common factor in a group, for example going to a particular shop or restaurant. Genome sequencing and analysis is very powerful but it does not tell us at which shop or restaurant a contaminated product was found.
13. Can we say that bioinformaticians are able to save lives?
14. How do you think that science can build up a better society?
15. What would be your advice for the new generation of scientists?
Science is cool, come and join in!
16. Any last ideas that you would like to add?
For more information please check
Microbe outbreak panics Europe. [http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110607/full/474137a.htm]