How ‘Deep Time History’ Just Got Personal

They say knowledge is power. If that’s the case, then I felt on top of the world after watching CuriosityStream’s new 3-part series Deep Time History. It stuck with me for several days because I couldn’t help feeling a little overwhelmed by our universe’s astonishing 14-billion year history. It got me thinking about how brief the human experience is in comparison. And yet, there are humans who have significantly impacted our existence throughout time. Julius Caesar. Christopher Columbus. Albert Einstein. Mother Teresa. Malala Yousafzai. The list goes on.

As a marketer, reflecting on the human experience made me curious about the history of CuriosityStream’s community of viewers and followers. That curiosity felt like a natural alignment to the very premise of Deep Time History. So, we put the question out there as a way for people to bring their personal history into the larger conversation about the series: “What’s YOUR story?” Centered around the hashtag #MYdeeptimehistory, we asked people to share photos from their past for the world to see. I’ve been inspired, I’ve laughed and I’ve reflected on my own history while scrolling through the responses.

I dug up my old family photos and stumbled upon a few gems that I couldn’t help but share, including the baby picture below of me (in a very coordinated outfit, if I do say so myself) standing between two vintage cars.

Little Michael

I soon expanded to my father’s photo library and the scenery he has captured on camera. You see, my father is a world traveler and a few years ago, he put some of his favorite photos on a disc so that my brothers and I could cherish them forever. I learned that one of the places he has been to is The Perito Moreno Glacier, located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. I had no idea. But here is the photographic evidence to prove it.

Perito Morena Glacier

As the #MYdeeptimehistory hashtag started to spread, it wasn’t long before some people within my personal network got in on the game. While I hate to play favorites, it was my friend and colleague John’s post that took my breath away. John is an educator who has trekked across the globe and fortunately, he always brings his camera along with him.

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In summary, the three engaging hours I spent watching Deep Time History turned into something much bigger. I loved the series and by learning about the history of our universe, I was inspired to reflect on the history of my own family and friends, which has taught me new things about some of the people I am closest to. And I hope you will do the same. Check out the series for yourself and share your photos with our curious community by tagging them on Twitter and Instagram using #MYdeeptimehistory.

We all have some amazing stories to tell. What’s yours?

Michael Hammerstrom

Michael Hammerstrom is CuriosityStream’s Manager of Marketing and Engagement. Follow him on Twitter @mhammerstrom.

Deep Time History is available now in ultra HD 4K, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream.  The exclusive, original 3-part documentary series offers captivating insight into the links between astronomy, deep time geologic events and human civilization.

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Journey Into Deep Time With The Experts

Deep Time History is available now in ultra HD 4K, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream.  The exclusive, original 3-part documentary series offers captivating insight into the links between astronomy, deep time geologic events and human civilization. The host of the series is Dr. Jonathan Markley, a renown Big History expert, and a professor of history at California State University, Fullerton.  We sat down with Dr. Markley and he shared his thoughts on the series.

I’m really excited about the new Deep Time History project on CuriosityStream.  It’s a series that zooms out to take a bigger view of history as we know it. It’s an approach that people like myself have been promoting for years in the Big History movement. It’s a way of viewing history that really grabs you, and it has been growing steadily over the last decade. I’ve just left the International Big History Association conference in Amsterdam where I heard about some really exciting developments.  And, I was able to share the news of the release of CuriosityStream’s exclusive, new series.

I’ll give you just one example from episode 2 – Deep Time History: The Age of Discovery. Take pepper… It seems like something really ordinary, but what is it? Where did it come from? I know I was pretty amazed the first time I realized that pepper has a single source in southern India and just a few hundred years ago, that was still the only place you could get it. It was a big deal in helping build our globalized world, and it played a major role in the age of discovery, as ancient cultures struggled to find a way to get such far off exotic spices as, you guessed it, common ordinary black pepper! And the reason behind it all started as far back as the formation of the moon.


Later on in episode 2, watch for the scene with the modern meal and the salt and pepper packets, bringing this incredible story to life today.  By the way, that was the very last scene we filmed. When it was done I couldn’t believe it was all over.

One of the most fun location shoots we did was at the steam engine museum in Oceanside, California.  The directors were filming all sorts of historical recreations that day so I got to meet Thomas Newcomen, the man who first invented the steam pump, and a young Henry Ford (ok, I got to meet the actors portraying these giants in history!) They had an incredible working steam tractor that was straight out of the history books.

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I also got to climb into the middle of one of the steam engines. It was kind of scary, but how often are you allowed to get that close to working exhibits at a museum?

I’ve done a bit of on camera television work before but never as a host and narrator, so I learned something new every step of the way.  The director, Doug Cohen, would give me great suggestions to do a scene in a certain way, and after seeing the finished product I had to tell him, “Now I know what you meant!” I never realized just how many people are needed to put a massive effort like this together.  There were usually at least ten other people involved when we filmed on location. I can’t even begin to describe how much I learned from everyone involved in this important documentary production — cameras, sound, wardrobe advisor, producer, writer, lighting, make up, etc., etc., etc.

I hope you’ll watch each episode, be inspired by your own sense of curiosity, and come to a greater understanding of how the history of the cosmos, Earth, life and humanity all come together in Deep Time History.

Watch the trailer below and watch all three full episodes here:



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A Rendezvous With The King Of Planets

NASA’s Juno orbiter is speeding toward Jupiter with a flyby expected on July 4th.  Leading up to that rendezvous, CuriosityStream is giving viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into the story behind the mission to the gas giant.  Destination: Jupiter is a new, short-form documentary available now on CuriosityStream, in ultra HD 4K, as well as HD and standard definition.

The Juno Mission is one of the most highly anticipated planetary explorations to date.  Scientists hope it will help reveal the mysteries of Jupiter’s violent storms, its composition and formation, as well as uncover some secrets about our own planet Earth.

Destination: Jupiter chronicles the inside story behind the ground-breaking mission, featuring interviews with its chief scientists, as well as captivating CGI produced by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.  Also, get a sneak peek at some of the state-of-the-art technology on board the spacecraft that will help it power through and survive Jupiter’s severe high-radiation environment—the harshest in the solar system.



 

And stay tuned in with CuriosityStream.  On July 4th, Juno is expected to officially catch up to Jupiter and enter its orbit.  Mission scientists will be anxiously awaiting the first signal of success… a communication that will take 48 minutes to travel back to Earth.  And in the coming days, CuriosityStream and Destination: Jupiter will bring you the nail-biting action from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

If we’ve peaked your curiosity about other destinations in our solar system and you’re ready to dive deep into the mysteries of the galaxy, you’ll enjoy CuriosityStream’s Destination: Pluto, an original, 13-part series following the New Horizons mission from its inception to its close encounter with the dwarf planet, as well as Destination: Mars, a 5-part series chronicling a bold plan to land humans on the red planet.

Enjoy the adventure, and stay curious!

 

 

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CuriosityStream Debuts David Attenborough’s Light On Earth

Memorial Day weekend ushers in the summer season and the time outdoors that comes with it. As you enjoy getting out in nature this summer, CuriosityStream’s nonfiction documentaries will be there to help guide you.  Whether you prefer chilling at the beach, hiking and camping in national parks or simply spending an afternoon in your own backyard, there are always opportunities to reconnect with your natural surroundings and appreciate the breadth and depth of Earth’s wonders.

Perhaps along your summer journeys, you too will have questions.  Why does a firefly light up at dusk?  How does a millipede benefit from its own nighttime luminescence?  What causes those radiant, nocturnal tides in tropical waters?

These questions and more are explored in CuriosityStream’s exclusive debut of David Attenborough’s Light On Earth (available to U.S. subscribers).  This special 4K production utilizes new camera techniques to capture never-before-seen footage of bioluminescent phenomena, guided by the world’s foremost naturalist, Sir David Attenborough.

“In the oceans, and on land, living creatures of many kinds have harnessed the power of light in extraordinary ways: to mate, to lie or even to hide under a cloak of light. Yet with the latest cameras and technology we are only beginning to understand the lives of luminous creatures. There remain many mysteries. But what a beautiful world they create… and what a beautiful world awaits the scientists of the future.”  — Sir David Attenborough

The film represents the first collaboration between CuriosityStream’s in-house production studio and Terra Mater Studios (David Attenborough’s production partners). However, it is not the first association between CuriosityStream’s founder, John Hendricks, and Sir David Attenborough.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North & Sir David Attenborough, Smithsonian, May 2015

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Attenborough and hearing him reminisce about co-productions years ago between BBC and Discovery Communications, which my father, John Hendricks, also founded and led as Board Chairman until 2014.  The legendary British naturalist is as lively and curious as anyone I have ever met, and his animated story-telling had us all rapt.  Attenborough’s energy and enthusiasm is boundless, as you will see for yourself in Light On Earth.

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This bioluminescent mushroom emits light 24 hours a day, but is captured like never before using brand new camera techniques in CuriosityStream’s Light On Earth.

 

It is my hope that this film (and future wildlife films) continue to inspire wonder about the planet and engage the next generation of naturalists.  As David Attenborough’s Light On Earth magnificently conveys to viewers, we live on a planet with many mysteries waiting to be uncovered and better understood.

 

 

 

Let your curiosity guide you this summer.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is President and CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

 

Watch a preview of Light On Earth :



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Notes from the Filmmaker: American Wildlife

Mark Emery is the award-winning filmmaker behind CuriosityStream’s newest original 4K series, American Wildlife.  Emery is an in-demand wildlife and nature cinematographer and photographer, whose films and photographs have been showcased around the world. American Wildlife can be seen exclusively on CuriosityStream in ultra high definition 4K, as well as HD and standard definition.

In the fall of 2015, I heard CuriosityStream producer Jorge Franzini speak at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival about an intriguing idea – films for folks of all ages who like to be entertained but also like to learn, a kind of Netflix for the curious soul.  I have been working on films for many of the natural history companies for years. Though the formula for these shows can be entertaining, I was looking for a change. Steve Burns, the Chief Programming Officer for CuriosityStream, and Franzini worked with me to develop American Wildlife – the original short format pieces that you can see exclusively on CuriosityStream right now.

I worked with young editors, one who had created and edited the music videos for some of the best rock groups in the country. My long time friend, arranger and composer Tracy Collins, and I wrote the music and we were off and running. There is a wonderful freedom to this format. For one, the films are not edited for television, so there are no false build ups heading into commercials to make you come back, no repeating information after a commercial break – tricks that drive us all a little batty. You just build the story around the best footage and score the music to the rhythm of the animals’ movements.

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On the range

As for the narration, the team at CuriosityStream did not want the “Voice of God” narration found in so many shows. I am quite sure there is a God and I am quite sure it is not me, so that was not a problem! I just talked about the footage, somewhat like a director’s cut. I am not a scientist, not a biologist, herpetologist, or ichthyologist. Actually, I am a Presbyterian and not even very good at that, so the stories are reported in layman terms, the way I would explain these subjects to family and friends.

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Getting up close and personal

I also persuaded, through the extensive use of smoked salmon, Bruce Swedien to record some of the audio. Bruce is one of the premier recording engineers in the world with five Grammys and many more nominations. Bruce engineered Thriller for Michael Jackson, he’s worked with Paul McCartney, Duke Ellington, jazz greats Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock, he’s done 14 albums for Quincy Jones, the score for The Whiz and The Color Purple, and so many more.

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Mark and Mary’s adventures

We are amping up to do more as we continue to learn what we can do with this format. Many thanks to Steve Burns and Jorge Franzini for the excellent coaching and encouragement.  Now, I am off with my wife Mary to spend five months in bush Alaska, 300 miles from the nearest connecting road, to find more stories and catch more salmon to smoke for Bruce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind The Scenes: Notes From The Filmmaker

Award-winning filmmaker David Conover is the founder of Compass Light Productions, and the executive producer and director of CuriosityStream’s Big Picture Earth.  He was born and raised in a New England family with strong ties to the sea and a tradition of active storytelling. Now in its 29th year, Compass Light has a commitment to content revealing the wonder of the outdoors and the ocean, and has produced over 600 award-winning productions that have aired around the world.

November, 2014.   Ecstatic that Elizabeth Hendricks North has included us in her worldwide search for filmmakers to produce original content for CuriosityStream.  Her EVP of Production & Acquisition Steve Burns was a big supporter of my series Sunrise Earth when he was at Discovery Communications with founder and visionary John Hendricks.  Now… what kind of original global series can we make for curious people like us, some of whom have those 4K big picture televisions?  Hmm.  World class curiosity.

January, 2015.  Got it!  “A mindful and patient exploration of the big picture of time and the human role on the planet, from the wild to the structured back to the wild.”  We’ll visit beautiful wild places, but also ancient structures like Stonehenge, the Acropolis, the Nabataean lost city of Petra in Jordan.  These old structures of civilization were built with purpose.  Today –suspended between endurance and ruin – they are deep stories in their own right.  Could we create a distinctive approach for viewers to engage each story?  Let’s call the series “The Big Picture.”

February, 2015.  Our creative game plan is not there yet.  Elizabeth and Steve love the word “Earth” and wonder how we can include that word – and all it represents.  I’m an easy sell on that word.  They probably don’t know how many “Earths” already populate my life.  So now we have a real and final series title, “Big Picture Earth!”

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[photo: earth flag outside the Compass Light Production Barn in Maine]

 

 

March, 2015.  For our pilot, we head to a sea island in Georgia, home of a wild 17-mile-long beach and an abandoned castle-like structure named Dungeness, built by America’s mighty steel baron Andrew Carnegie.

conover 2Our very innovative series’ director of photography (DP) David Wright uses one of his gadgets for executing my key directive for Big Picture Earth…”the camera will NEVER stop moving.”  I love imagining I’m a sea crow stepping aside the sea foam that comes in with each wave.  Walt Whitman wrote about this in a poem that inspires my work.  [photo: shooting opening scene of episode “Cumberland Island”]

 

Shooting opening scene of episode “Cumberland Island”Series producer and 2nd camera Darryl Czuchra works his magic with stereo audio awaiting his favorite beverage, MOXIE. (p.s. Darryl also a drummer in an 80’s rock band).

 

 

June, 2015.  Now well into series production, the sun is rising and we’re taking shelter from the heat in a secret canyon.  Surprise (not really) there’s a city here.  We’ve found Petra, the lost desert city of the Nabataeans.

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Aerial maestro Dave Halton fires up his custom unmanned aerial rig, and like an aged swallow who once flew over the camel caravans carrying frankincense to the Roman Empire, we begin to soar – slowly.  Note DP David Wright’s latest overhead gyro-stabilizer he borrowed from Ghostbusters. [photo: shooting a scene of episode “Nabataean Lost Kingdom of Petra”]

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting a scene of episode “Desert of Wadi Rum”Last stop in Jordan is Wadi Rum.  I think you will recognize this evocative landscape if you were the one who chose to quietly paint hunting scenes on the cliff walls a few thousand years ago… or if you read the Bedouin exploits of T.E. Lawrence… or if you’ve just watched Matt Damon in “The Martian.” [photo shooting a scene of episode “Desert of Wadi Rum”]

Late June, 2015.  Closer to home, we reach even further back in time – well before our human role – to roam high on a ridge where a megalosaurus-type dinosaur walked 160 million years ago.  Far below and up a nearby canyon, more cliff paintings.  These are horses, which are viewable only on foot and reachable only at the speed of a patient walk.  I believe that a slow walk can access more of the big picture of our Earth than the fastest jet… (but after this year circling our earth, my crew might say that walking has its limits too!)  Back in our Compass Light barn in Maine, four editors begin to create the distinctive “time zone” for each episode.  Make yourself a cup of tea and prepare to slow down your hectic life.  And one last idea from CuriosityStream’s Steve Burns – give viewers a choice – a rich natural soundtrack on its own, or the natural soundtrack with music.  This is one of the exclusive beauties of video on demand!

My team and I are proud to add our contribution to the growing and spectacular lineup of programming on CuriosityStream.  There’s much to explore in this world!

Crew photo from location of episode “Colorado Canyons of Time,” with CuriosityStream’s Elizabeth Hendricks North in her other role as local dinosaur track guide.

 

[crew photo from location of episode “Colorado Canyons of Time,” with CuriosityStream’s Elizabeth Hendricks North in her other role as local dinosaur track guide.]

 

 

Big Picture Earth can be seen exclusively on CuriosityStream.  All 20 episodes are available now, in 4K as well as HD and standard definition.  Big Picture Earth leads CuriosityStream’s debut of Ultra HD 4K streaming content.  50 titles are available now, with 50 more in production.  CuriosityStream is on demand, always ad-free, and available worldwide.

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Celebrating the Planet and the Parks

More than 1 billion people around the globe take part in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.  And on this Earth Day, join CuriosityStream for a tour of some of the majesties of our planet.

Dive deep and start with the BBC’s 3-part series, Great Barrier Reef… a stunning and vivid look at the complex structure of the coral reef and the wildlife that lives on and around it.  Here’s a preview:

For more on this Earth Day: Curiosity Retreat Luminary and renown explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle shares her take on the The Health Of Our Oceans, in a Curiosity Studios original production.  Also, watch the BBC’s 3-part series How To Grow A Planet on the powerful force of plants in our past, present and future.  And learn more about the connection with severe weather in the Curious Minds: Climate Change collection.

This week also marks National Parks Week – a chance to highlight the vibrant culture, rich history and diverse wildlife of America’s treasured landscapes.

CuriosityStream board member David Shaw is also a director the National Park Foundation – the charitable nonprofit supporting the National Park Service. He shared his thoughts about the Find Your Park campaign and this year’s 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Created in 1916, our national park system now includes more than 400 parks attracting nearly 300 million visits annually across all 50 states.  At this historic moment, the centennial campaign will seek to strengthen public engagement in these national treasures  –  both for those who already know and love the parks, and for the next generation of park enthusiasts. As a director of the National Park Foundation, I feel fortunate to be working with the National Park Service and others in the design of a campaign to communicate the many ways that parks benefit those who experience these special places.  In parks that range from historic and cultural monuments, to majestic landscapes and marine ecosystems, experiences can be deeply moving and inspirational.  An important goal of the Find Your Park campaign is to share these experiences, via social media, with wide ranging audiences and diverse communities. My own experiences in national parks in America and across the world have been both very meaningful and long lasting. — CuriosityStream Advisory Board Member David Shaw

Shaw shared a few snapshots of some of his favorite national parks: Canyon De Chelly National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and the Petrified Forest National Park.

And for one more stop on your national parks tour, travel to one of America’s most iconic landscapes – Yellowstone — in all its stunning glory in each of the seasons.  The 3-part series is available to watch only on CuriosityStream. Here’s a preview of summer:

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Lincoln’s Last Night

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth.  President Abraham Lincoln

Strong and impactful words from the 16th President of the United States, in a message to Congress in 1862.  The country was in the middle of its deadliest war ever.

Less than 3 years later, the Civil War was drawing to a close.  General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army on April 9th, 1865. And just 5 days later, on April 14th, President and Mrs. Lincoln attended the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.  It was there that the course of history changed forever.

John Wilkes booth, a southern sympathizer, slipped into the President’s box and assassinated him… part of a larger, failed plan to revive the Confederate cause. The nation turned from relief at the end of the war, to mourning.

Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a free America was an uphill battle from the start, and ultimately put him directly in the line of fire.

Watch more of the documentary Lincoln’s Last Night on CuriosityStream. And don’t miss The Gettysburg Story, bringing to life the history of the greatest battle fought in the Western Hemisphere, with innovative imagery that captures the battleground as never seen before. And in our Curious Minds: American History collection, learn more about Lincoln’s fascinating relationship with abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

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And in October of this year, guests at the annual Curiosity Retreat will have the chance to talk directly to renowned Lincoln historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Goodwin, a Pulitzer prize-winner, is the author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincolnand she is a 2016 Curiosity Retreat Luminary.  You can learn more about the event, and all of our Curiosity Retreat Luminaries from the worlds of science, technology, civilization and the human spirit, here.

 

 

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CuriosityStream now on Apple TV

Enjoying your new 4th-gen Apple TV?  Make sure to look for CuriosityStream in the brand new app store!

All of your favorite science, tech, history and nature documentaries from CuriosityStream are now available on the device, which features a touch and Siri-enabled remote and a revamped user interface.

When Apple unveiled the new Apple TV last year, CEO Tim Cook talked about how the logistics of the television experience hadn’t changed that much in decades.  He said, “We believe the future of television is apps.”  We couldn’t agree more!

Of course, you can also find the CuriosityStream app on the other top streaming devices, including Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.

And of course, we still support earlier model Apple TV devices via AirPlay.

Check in with our CuriosityStream help center with any questions, and as always, stay curious!

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Fighting Zika

In the headlines this week, a major development in the fight against Zika — a first look at the virus itself.  Scientists have determined the 3D structure of the virus, revealing critical insights that will likely help the race to develop effective treatments and vaccines.

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Image courtesy of Purdue University/Kuhn and Rossmann Research Groups

Details of the new findings are published in the journal Science.

A team of researchers from Purdue University and the National Institutes of Health used cryo-electron microscopy to determine the virus’ structure at very close range – “near atomic resolution.”  They used a strain isolated from a patient infected during the French Polynesia epidemic 2 years ago, but with new technology, their work now took just one month.

They found several similarities to other flaviviruses – including Dengue and West Nile — and that wasn’t surprising.  But, they also discovered a variation on the virus’ surface, which could help explain how the virus works to attack cells and cause infection.

Also this week – news from the CDC that the type of mosquito that transmits the virus has spread further north in the United States.  Federal health officials thought the Aedes aegypti mosquito was concentrated mostly in the south.  But now, new maps show the insect’s range has broadened to the Midwest and as far north as New York City.

We learn more about this small but mighty vector in CuriosityStream’s new, original production — Viruses: Destruction and Creation.

Viruses: Destruction and Creation takes a closer look at these simple, but incredibly powerful organisms — that can sometimes be to our benefit, but oftentimes not.

Andrew Pekosz, PhD, is the director of the Center for Emerging Viruses and Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In an interview with CuriosityStream Studios, he helped to explain the evolution of the virus and what makes it so powerful.

Dr. Pekosz:  Stealth is one word that often comes in because a virus is able to find a cell, find a host. It’s able to get in and it’s able to cross-wire, disconnect, some of the alarm systems that a body has so that it can get a head start in terms of replicating itself and moving itself forward in terms of making enough copies of itself so it can spread to the next host. It can do a lot of this before a host even knows it’s infected. By the time you start responding and getting symptoms to an infection, oftentimes the virus is already well along its pathway of spreading to the next host and moving forward and propagating itself.

CuriosityStream: And how fast can that virus replicate?

Dr. Pekosz: A virus infected cell can make dozens, if not hundreds, of virus particles. From one infected cell you can easily get 20 infected cells. Each of those infected cells can then make another 20 infected cells. Before the host really has a way to respond to the infection with its immune system, you can have hundreds of thousands of cells, each of which are making hundreds and thousands of virus particles and that creates a huge bolus of viruses, in the case of Zika, in the blood, which now a mosquito coming to feed on that individual will pick up a blood meal that not just has the blood but also has the virus in it. That’s how the mosquito then becomes infected and can spread the infection on to other mosquitoes and, presumably, to other humans.

CuriosityStream: The Mosquito is the key here?

Dr. Pekosz: Mosquitoes are really fantastic little syringes… particularly female mosquitoes because it’s the female mosquitoes that need to bite and it’s the blood that the female mosquito ingests that she needs in order to lay an effective clutch of eggs. What a mosquito does is it not only bites but it also has to inject some of its saliva into that bite site in order to make sure that it can obtain a blood meal. Mosquitoes oftentimes bite several times before they actually will take their blood meal. Each time they bite they try to expel a little bit of saliva into that site to see if the blood will flow.

Where arboviruses have become exquisitely good at is finding ways to get into that saliva at very, very high concentrations. The virus has found a way to concentrate itself in that saliva so when the mosquito goes through its normal processes of trying to get a blood meal it inadvertently is introducing the virus into the host along with everything that it needs to try to pull that blood meal out.  It is an incredibly effective way for the virus to replicate, get into a host, get multiple injections into a host, and start its process.

CuriosityStream: The National Institutes of Health has called the Zika outbreak an explosive pandemic that is truly remarkable.

Dr. Pekosz: Once Zika virus entered South America it seems to have just exploded in terms of the number of human cases. In an incredibly short period of time we’ve gone from Zika not being present in a continent to having close to a million cases, probably, of infection. That explosiveness and how quickly the virus has spread and caused so many infections is one of the main reasons why national public health agencies and the World Health Organization are so concerned about this spread.

You can hear more from Dr. Pekosz, in Viruses: Destruction and Creation, premiering this week on CuriosityStream.

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