Best of P.I.D. Radio: Dr. Henry Niman — Return of the Spanish flu


Dr. Henry Niman

Originally broadcast May 8, 2005

With the sudden eruption of a new strain H1N1 (swine flu) over the last week, it seemed worth digging into the archives for an interview with one of our earliest guests. Molecular virologist Dr. Henry L. Niman is the founder and president of Recombinomics, Inc., and he tracks emerging diseases around the globe.

In May of 2005, Dr. Niman described for us the chain of events in an unusual story from South Korea, where a strain of flu virus created in a lab 65 years ago had turned up in sick and dying pigs. The World Health Organization responded with press releases denying that there was a problem.

WSN/33, a variant of H1N1, is a danger to humans. We can catch viruses from pigs, and this particular virus is one that we have no immunity against. Yet, at the time of the interview, the World Health Organization had only two scientists assigned to work full time tracking emerging diseases like this.

If Dr. Niman hadn’t stumbled onto the genetic sequence of the WSN/33 virus in a public database while doing research for a scientific paper, we might still be in the dark about that potential threat to human health.

For more on Dr. Niman’s research into the spread and mutation of H5N1, avian flu, listen to our first interview with Dr. Henry Niman by clicking on the second player below.

Show links:

Note: P.I.D. Radio is proud to be part of the Revelations Radio Network, a collection of like minded Internet broadcasters. You’ll find all the shows collected at

Click arrow on the player below to listen now, or right-click (control-click for Macs) the “download” link to save the mp3 file to your computer.

8 comments on “Best of P.I.D. Radio: Dr. Henry Niman — Return of the Spanish flu

  1. Pingback: Daily News About Podcast : A few links about Podcast - Thursday, 30 April 2009 00:13

  2. sharonkgilbert Post author

    And let’s not forget Louie the Chameleon’s advice: “Never trust a ferret to do a weasel’s job.”

  3. Pingback: Weapon of Mass Distraction » Return of the Spanish flu

  4. John

    I’m sure Dr. Niman is very difficult to get in touch with now but if you could interview him again it would be very timely.

  5. Chris

    I re-listened to this interview and it’s spooky relevant. I’m really surprised the Dr. Niman isn’t all over Dateline and 20/20 now.

  6. Sharon Gilbert

    John, we’ve been sending email requests to Henry, but he’s very busy right now. We’ll keep trying. — Sharon

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