Illustration of bacteriophage viruses attacking a bacteria.
The logo for WRAIR Science season one. (Photo Credit: Christopher Nititham) VIEW ORIGINAL

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research launched a new podcast today, called WRAIR Science. The podcast, available on most podcast apps and on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, will feature in-depth discussions of the medical research done at WRAIR. The first season will focus on antibiotic resistant bacteria, their threat to soldiers and the fight against this growing problem.

"We're excited to get this chance to tell the story of WRAIR's research into multidrug resistant organisms," said Lt. Col. Robert Cybulski, director of WRAIR's Bacterial Diseases Branch.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly three million antibiotic resistant infections occur in the United States annually and, during the Global War on Terror, infections were a constant threat to combat-injured troops, leading to an increased number of amputations.

"Antibiotic resistance is a global and constantly-evolving problem that threatens modern medicine as we know it," said Cybulski. "It has particular resonance with those of us in the military, based on the nature of the infections we've experienced in the conflicts of the last twenty years and the outlook for infections in future conflicts."

WRAIR Science co-host and WRAIR Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander Capt. Shanee Allen says the podcast will tell the story of the past, present and future of the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria in a way that should help everyone understand the basics of the problem.

"This is important work being done here and we believe the American public needs to know about it," said Allen, who added that the podcast also aims to be enjoyable. "We had two rules starting out: 1) the science has to be correct and 2) the show can't be boring. We know we're meeting the first requirement, but it's up to listeners to decide if we met the second."

The first season of the podcast will air every two weeks on Tuesdays until July 26th.