• Question: would any of you be able to cure ebola?

    Asked by 449evoa26 to Anthea, Chloe, Kevin, Sean on 19 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Sean Kelly

      Sean Kelly answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      I can’t comment on the knowledge and skills of my fellow scientists but, right now, I certainly wouldn’t be able to cure ebola – it’s just not what I’ve studied and not what I’ve learned to do!

      This does bring up a very important component of modern science – reproducibility. All scientific methods, practices, technologies and completed research should be recorded so that other people can understand and repeat/recreate it if they should need to. This means that whether you work on x-rays, identifying new species, understanding how birds evolved or developing drugs and vaccines for diseases, you should record your work for people to read and understand both today and in the future. This one of the main reasons why scientists publish their work – so that it is on permanent record for everyone! So, technically, this means that with enough time, effort and money, people such as the scientists here and you (yes, you!) could be able to treat or cure ebola.

    • Photo: Chloe Kinsella

      Chloe Kinsella answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      No, as much as I would love to be able to find a cure, this is not the area of science that I work in. My area of research is marine ecology- how marine life interact with each other and their environment.

      Virologists and epidemiologists are the scientists that are working on finding a cure for Ebola. They are researching blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies as possible cures. At the moment two potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing. So fingers crossed there will be a cure discovered soon.

    • Photo: Kevin Healy

      Kevin Healy answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      Personaly no. Sceince is a very diverse field with many sections working on very specific problems. I work on ecology which is the study of how animals interact with each other and thier envirnment. Virologists and epidemiologists are the scientists working a on a cure however ecologists do have something to say on it.
      It is suspected that animals such as fruit bats are the ones that gave ebola to humans. one of the questions that ecologists are asking is can we predict which species and why might give humans the next deadly disease. (For example did you know squirrels can give you the plague)