Science Café on the Coast Presents “The Secret Life of Zika Virus”

Science Café on the Coast, hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Library, will present The Secret Life of Zika Virus on Tuesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. at Bay St. Louis-Hancock County Library.

Zika Virus has affected people not only through its physical effects, such as the crippling deformities it causes newborns, but by lack of knowledge and the perpetuation of conflicting and confusing information. Dr. Ishrat Syed will explain the Zika Virus, where it originated and when it was first seen. He will also discuss why its effects on the body can be dangerous as well as how it spreads. Syed’s research also informs us of how mosquito, which is already very efficiently, spreading Dengue and Chikungunya decides to acquire and transmit Zika.

Syed is a pediatric and general surgeon who trained at Grant Medical College in Bombay. He writes as Kalpish Ratna, a pseudonym he shares with his surgical colleague Dr Kalpana Swaminathan. Before The Secret Life of Zika Virus, they published ROOM 000, a peripatetic history of the 1897 bubonic plague epidemic in Bombay, and the genesis of our modern practice of medicine. Once Upon A Hill is an account of the geology of Bombay and the ecological mayhem the burgeoning city has wrought. A Compendium of Family Health and Uncertain Life & Sure Death are among some of their earlier work. Their book FAT—Dispatches from the Obesity Epidemic is due this summer.

Together they have also published two novels, The Quarantine Papers and The Nalanda Chronicles, and children’s books that include, Doctor Wrasse of Crystal Rock and Nyagrodha.

Syed, who divides his time between Bombay, India and Long Beach, Mississippi, also enjoys photography. His last solo exhibition, The Persistence of Memory at Bombay’s Prince of Wales Museum, previewed his larger work, a pictorial history entitled Palimpsest—The Erasures That Made Bombay.

Science Café on the Coast is a collaboration of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library, Harrison County Library System, Long Beach Public Library, Hancock County Library System and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston. This event offers those with minimal background in science the chance to meet and discuss scientific issues in a relaxed social setting. Admission is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Adrienne McPhaul at 228.214.3467 or adrienne.mcphaul@usm.edu.