Bats have a bad reputation as disease carriers or as the alter ego for vampires in folklore. Karen Mossman and Arinjay Banerjee do not see them in the same way. The McMaster University researchers have been studying bats and how they are able to be carriers of certain viruses without contracting the disease. We talked with Karen Mossman
in May when she received a CIHR grant to learn more about the relationship between humans, bats, and the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
We decided to return to the subject of bats because they are being increasingly blamed for contributing to the pandemic, even though we have not found the same viral strains in bats that are currently spreading among people. If we look more closely at the biology of bats we should be less afraid of them, and instead be more focused on what we can learn from these flying mammals.
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill talked with Karen Mossman and Arinjay Banerjee, a post-doc in Karen Mossman’s lab, to learn more about the evolution of bats which have been around longer than humans.