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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

One Wormy World

Around 4,000 years ago, on the wind-swept island of St. Kilda, Scotland, people started creating a food storage of sorts. They moved a population of sheep to the island, likely as a back-up food resource for when times were tough. Little did they know that their actions would affect 21st century science. Today, rather than ending up as a meal, sheep from this isolated population are the subjects of research on immune function. Evolutionary ecologist Andrea Graham takes Dr. Biology on a trip of exploration through the dangerous cliffs, windy conditions, and wormy world that the Soay sheep deal with on St. Kilda.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 18MB

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Topic Time
Introduction 00:00
Why work on the Soay Sheep? 01:27
How did the sheep get on the island? 03:55
How does the body defend against a parasite? 05:15
Can up you get rid of round worms without treatment? 06:49
The difference between tolerance and resistance. 07:11
Do all the sheep have round worms? 08:26
Do you have to collect the specimen, or will a photo do? 05:18
How do the sheep get the worms? 08:29
How do you catch the sheep? 09:44
Unpacking a question from Andrea's website. 11:20
Autoimmune system, sheep, and Lupus. 13.52
Could our improvement in health and nutrition be a possible cause of some autoimmune diseases? 16:39
Where is the symbiotic part of your work? 18:27
Importance of bacteria in the gut. 19:16
What is next to discover or explore with the Soay sheep? 19:51
Let's talk about your background in art, science, and teaching in K-12. 20:33
Does your art enhance your science or vice versa? 22:44
Three questions - When did you first know you wanted to be a biologist or artist? 23:34
If you couldn't be a biologist or artist, what would you be? 24:38
What advice do you have for a budding biologist? 26:26
Sign-off. [learn more - Coping with Parasites in a Wild World] 27:25

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One Wormy World

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Soay Sheep Lamb St. Kilda

To learn more about parasites and the Soay Sheep of St. Kilda check out the PLOSable story - Coping with Parasites in a Wild World.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Soay Sheep Lamb St. Kilda

To learn more about parasites and the Soay Sheep of St. Kilda check out the PLOSable story - Coping with Parasites in a Wild World.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.