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Aug 29, 2018

Earth’s most abundant biological entities are viruses, and they can be found everywhere where there are living organisms, including extreme (hellish) environments with e.g. low pH, high temperature, etc.

Dr. Ken Stedman is a professor at Portland State University and one of the founders of the Center for Life in Extreme Environments. Dr. Stedman studies viruses from hellish environments like acidic boiling hot springs at Lassen Volcanic National Park.  

Dr. Stedman talks about how studying viruses in extreme environments can give insights into the evolution of life on earth, whether a virus is actually alive, how he started studying these unique extremophile viruses, and whether there might be viruses in space (heaven).   

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Ella Copter, a third grader who gets sick after eating her favorite meal at the school cafeteria.



  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Kenneth Stedman, Ph.D. (Portland State University)
  • Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Jesus Romo (UTSA)