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Purdue students discover new virus, name it ‘Daddy Daniels’ after university president

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Students and scientists at Purdue University have identified a new type of bacteriophage–one that could put them at the forefront of biotechnology.

A bacteriophage is a virus that attacks bacteria, Dr. Kari Clase, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agriculture, told News 8.

“The knowledge that we gain from this we is something we can actually use to leverage and attack other bacteria.”

Essentially bacteriophages are a good thing and can be liked to nature’s own antibiotics.

I also spoke with graduate student, Lauren Novak, who tells me their bacteriophage–which they’ve dubbed “Daddy Daniels” after former governor and current Purdue University President, Mitch Daniels–has potential for not only medical application, but beyond.

“The largest [application] is phage therapy…the ability to combat antimicrobial resistant bacteria. But there’s also potential use in agriculture, biofilms, biopesticides and even vaccines,” she adds.

Novak also tells me President Daniels was happy to have their discovery named after him. When they approached him about it she says he told the students he’s had many animals named after him, but never a bacteriophage.