Genome Alberta's Chronic wasting disease is lead by Debbie McKenzie and David Wishart at the University of Alberta but they are just the tip of a large team of researchers working on new ways to test for CWD in wildlife and in the environment.
The fatal, brain destroying disease is found in deer, elk, and moose in North America and has the potential to kill as many as 2 million animals. Not all strains of the disease are created equally and Camilo Duque Velasquez is focusing his portion of the project on studying the CWD strains and how they evolve and interact with the genetics of the infected animals. By understanding this interaction we will have a better idea of how the disease is spread between animals, and what factors could affect the spread of the disease to people.
Freelance broadcaster Don Hill talked with PhD candidate Camilo Duque Velasquez, and Project Manager Cathy Cullingham.