Quantum - Cells From Hell
In February 2000, an international team of biologists met in Hobart, Tasmania to discuss what they believe is a global crisis - the sudden appearance of strange marine micro-organisms capable of poisoning not just fish but people too. One researcher from North Carolina in the US told the conference she'd discovered an aggressive new species.
It wasn't the first time that JoAnn Burkholder had made such a claim. But back in 1992, when she'd tried to raise the alarm about a bizarre kind of alga, she'd been ridiculed. Three years later, that organism, known as Pfiesteria, re-surfaced to foul water, devestate American fisheries and cause one of the biggest health scares in recent US history.
This strange creature is now the focus of a divisive multi-million dollar research race that's become increasingly bogged down in politics, big business, and academic rivalry. Along the way JoAnn has had to face death threats and her research partner has been almost killed by Pfiesteria itself. It's a story with major implications for the rest of the world, including Australia where similar organisms have recently been discovered in coastal waters
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