Montana State University

MSU scientists to be featured Jan. 3 on national PBS show

December 22, 2006 -- From MSU News Service


Mark Young, left, and Trevor Douglas sample viruses from Yellowstone National Park hot springs. They will be featured Jan. 3 in the first episode of a PBS science show. (Photo courtesy of MSU's Thermal Biology Institute).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu
BOZEMAN -- Two Montana State University scientists who study heat-loving viruses in Yellowstone National Park will appear nationally in the first episode of a possible new science series for the Public Broadcasting Service.

"Wired Science" will air on PBS during the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 3. Local listings will give the exact time.

Trevor Douglas and Mark Young were filmed at Yellowstone and MSU in September and will be featured in one segment of the hour-long show. Jennifer Fulton, an MSU doctoral student, was also involved in the on-campus filming. She ran the Scanning Electron Microscope.

Douglas and Young study viruses that live in the thermal pools of Yellowstone Park and look for ways to use the virus' protein shells. The shells are tiny containers that can hold a variety of materials. One goal is to use the containers to carry drugs to specific parts of the body. Douglas is a faculty member with MSU's Thermal Biology Institute and director of MSU's Center for Bioinspired Nanomaterials. Young is one of the founders of the Thermal Biology Institute and currently a TBI researcher. Fulton is funded by TBI.

PBS is considering three science shows that could be developed into a series. "Wired Science" is one of them, according to a PBS news release. The first episode takes viewers into the world of meteorite hunters and travels to Yellowstone with Douglas and Young. The show also dives underwater to find NEEMO, NASA's extreme astronaut training program, and introduces viewers to rocket-belt inventors, stem cell explorers, and the developer of an electric that goes zero-to-60 in less than four seconds.

"Wired Science" is a collaboration between Wired Magazine and KCET/Los Angeles, PBS's West Coast flagship station. Wired Magazine is an irreverent publication that focuses on science and technology. The pilot program will be used as a centerpiece for a joint K-12 educational effort focused on nanotechnology with the Thermal Biology Institute and the Center for Bioinspired Nanomaterials.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu