Science Visualized: An image of Ebola emerges

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Copyright Broad Institute, 2013. All rights reserved.
In the last year or so, scientists have seen dangerous outbreaks of hemorrhagic fevers caused by highly contagious viruses such as Lassa and Ebola. These outbreaks raise concerns about emerging pathogens — microbes that have recently jumped from animals to humans or have gone from rare to widespread as human behavior has shifted.

In a perspectives piece in Science November 9, Stephen Gire, a researcher in Pardis Sabeti’s lab at the Broad Institute and Harvard University, and co-authors describe the widespread prevalence and ancient origins of these viruses. They suggest a different reason for why we are seeing more of these diseases: we have become better at spotting outbreaks and diagnosing these deadly viruses. In this video, Gire gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what inspired him to create a striking image that accompanied the perspectives piece.

Learn more about the projects that Gire and his colleagues are working on:

-Sabeti lab homepage (

-Broad Institute Infectious Disease Program (

-Science perspectives piece (

Video courtesy of Nick Dua, Broad Communications


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