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Virus Whisperer

Lev Zilber: Not seeking favours from nature.

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The name of Soviet virologist and immunologist Lev Zilber is known by scientists around the world, thanks to his groundbreaking discoveries. He deduced as early as 1937 that Siberian encephalitis virus was transmitted by ticks, but was later arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of spying for Nazi Germany. Zilber spent eight years in labour camps, continuing to make critical scientific advancements while working as a camp doctor. He used reindeer lichen to develop a cure for pellagra that saved many inmates from dying of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition. Watch our new documentary to find out more about one of the 20th-century's most outstanding scientists.



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