The Blood-Eating Vampire Bat

Featuring Helen Osborne and Shenglin Liu

DR. SHENGLIN LIU is a postdoctoral researcher specializing in Comparative Genomics at the Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics and the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research in Frankfurt, Germany. He is an integral member of Prof. Michael Hiller’s research group, whose primary focus is investigating the genomic underpinnings of phenotypic trait variations among species. Shenglin’s work centers on the genomic adaptations of the only mammals that have evolved to feed on blood, the vampire bats. Leveraging advanced comparative genomic tools, he aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that enable these bats to thrive in their distinct sanguivorous lifestyle. With a robust population genetics, bioinformatics, and comparative genomics background, Shenglin has engaged in diverse research projects spanning various groups, including birds, chaetognaths, fishes, spiders, and, most recently, bats. His overarching research interests revolve around exploring evolutionary questions through genomic methodologies. 

In this podcast, Shenglin Liu talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The vampire bat, the only mammalian species to feed exclusively on blood
  • The trade-offs associated with eating a blood-only diet
  • The anatomical, physiological and molecular changes that allowed the vampire bat to adapt to such a lifestyle

Music by Skilsel from Pixabay.

Producer and audio editor: Clair Morgan

Note in proof: The longest-lived vampire bat was 29 years old.


HELEN: Welcome to Talking About Blood. I’m Helen Osborne, host of this podcast series and a member of the Advisory Board for the Blood Project. I also produce and host my own podcast series about many aspects of health communication and that’s called Health Literacy Out Loud.

Today’s guest is Dr. Shenglin Liu, who is a postdoctoral researcher specializing in comparative genomics at the Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics and the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research in Frankfurt, Germany. He’s an integral member of Professor Michael Hiller’s research group that is investigating genomic variations among species.

Shenglin’s research explores evolutionary questions through genomic methodologies. He is engaged in diverse projects that have included carnivorous worms, birds, fishes, and spiders. Shenglin is now working on genomic adaptations of the only mammals that have evolved to feed solely on blood, the vampire bat. Welcome Shenglin to Talking About Blood.

SHENGLIN: Thank you very much, Helen. Thank you for having me here. It’s great honor.

HELEN: I am so eager to hear more. I’ve never had a conversation with anybody but you about vampire bats. Tell us all a little bit about vampire bats. What makes them so special?

SHENGLIN: Yes, of course. Vampire bats. Yeah, they are pretty special. As the name suggested, they’re bats and vampire means that they drink blood. And you know some animals that drink blood, for example, mosquito-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … and the fly, but vampire bat they’re different. They’re mammals. There are about more than 6,000 mammal species in the world.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Vampire bats, there are three species of vampire bat. Vampire bats are the only mammals among those more than 6,000 to only drink blood as their diet. So that’s very special.

HELEN: That is.


HELEN: Oh my goodness. Well, I get bitten by mosquitoes, so I can relate to that one, but I haven’t heard any talk in New England about vampire bats coming after me. Where in the world are they?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, yeah. Luckily in North America you don’t need to worry about it. Vampire bats are only occurring in Central and the South America.

HELEN: So how did this evolve and do they feed on humans in Central and South America? Just on their other prey? Tell us more. Make it real for us.

SHENGLIN: Yeah, of course. As I said, there are three vampire bat species and one of them is called a common vampire bat.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: As the name suggests, they are the common ones.

HELEN: The common ones.

SHENGLIN: So if you see a vampire bat in the wild, it’s highly likely it’s a common vampire bat. And these vampire bats, they drink the blood of the other mammals mostly.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: And in Central and the South America, their main food source is cattle.


SHENGLIN: So, and also pig, goat. These animals stocks that are bred by humankind-


SHENGLIN: … because they are highly abundant and most available for them.

HELEN: The cows and the sheep, are the abundant ones?

SHENGLIN: Oh yeah, in Central and South America people, they have very strong agriculture in terms of cow and the goat. They raise a lot of them in the Central and South America. So they become the major food source for the vampire bats.

HELEN: Oh, thank you. I’m having this vision of just farms. You know farms like-

SHENGLIN: Yeah, exactly.

HELEN: … in the US with lots of cows and sheep and all of that. So the vampire bats go there to feed on the animals, but they don’t feed on the people? Just the animals?

SHENGLIN: Mostly animals. If they have chance, they would also bite people and drink blood from people. But that kind of cases are rare, not very common.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Mostly it’s just the animal stocks. Yeah.

HELEN: Are they like other bats that I, at least in my mind, they come out at night? They come out when it’s dark as opposed to during the day?


HELEN: Is that correct?

SHENGLIN: Yes. They come in the night, and specifically it appears they don’t like light at all.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: So they only choose a time in the night that is pitch dark to come out and to feed. Yeah. And one more thing I need to mention. Common vampire bat, they feed on other mammals, so mostly on the farm animals.

HELEN: Mm-hmm.

SHENGLIN: But the other two vampire species, they feed mostly on birds.

HELEN: Oh, really?



SHENGLIN: Yeah, like turkey or chicken, duck, these birds. Yeah.

HELEN: Huh? That is absolutely fascinating. So you talked about their prey. Now I want to know-


HELEN: … more about the bat. Just describe for us what one might look like. And then I really want to get to the core of your work, which is their adaptations and their feeding on blood and all that know that. But first, paint a picture for us. What does this bat look like? How big is it? How scary is it? And then we’ll get into how in the world did it become the only species that feeds solely on blood?

SHENGLIN: Yes, absolutely. Vampire bats, they’re not that big. That’s certainly not like a real vampires in our illusion that’s-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … like a human size. They are around 35 grams. So by our standard they’re really small.

HELEN: Okay. Very small.

SHENGLIN: But by the bat standard it’s a medium-sized bat.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: 35 grams. And from the appearance, they just generally look like all the other bats, big ears and they have wings. They can fly. The difference is that they have very sharp teeth.

HELEN: Very sharp teeth. Okay.

SHENGLIN: Yes. Especially the incisors in the front. Upper incisor-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … that’s razor sharp.


SHENGLIN: The purpose is that they can make a dent on the animal skin so that blood can flow out.


SHENGLIN: So it’s a very, very sharp.

HELEN: Okay. So does the prey mind these bats coming along? I mean are there cow bat battles here?

SHENGLIN: If they see them, of course they would mind, but they wouldn’t mind. But the problem I guess is that they don’t notice them. As I mentioned, the vampire bats only come out when pitch dark. Not even the moonlight.


SHENGLIN: Even the moonlight they don’t like.


SHENGLIN: So when they come out it normally means no light at all.


SHENGLIN: So it means the other animal probably cannot spot them either. So they will go to a place that animals cannot find them. For example, in terms of the farm animals, they will approach probably from the ground to the toe.

HELEN: Oh, okay.

SHENGLIN: The animals, the cow certainly cannot notice something is crawling from the back to their toe and then make a bite over there probably. And when they make the bite, something in their saliva can also ease the pain of the animal. So animal probably don’t feel anything-


SHENGLIN: When they get bitten.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Yes. And then the blood will start to flow out and not like the vampire we would normally imagine, one from TV or movies, we think of vampire bat suck blood. But vampire bats, they don’t suck blood, they get blood by licking with-

HELEN: By licking.

SHENGLIN: … their tongue.

HELEN: By licking it. So they had these sharp-


HELEN: … incisor teeth and then they get the blood and then they just lick what comes out of that little cut?

SHENGLIN: Yes, exactly. Yeah. It’s for a small dent and the blood will start to flow out and then their saliva can also can stop the blood from coagulating, so that they can continue to drink. And the entire drinking process can take a long time. Can take up to 40 minutes.

HELEN: 40 minutes?

SHENGLIN: Yes, exactly.

HELEN: You are dispelling all my notions, this whole story I’m creating of what happens.


HELEN: 40 minutes. Oh my goodness. So that the bat is hovering around the cow’s foot for 40 minutes.


HELEN: But the cow’s asleep or doesn’t know it or feel it?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, exactly. Probably cow is asleep, but also because it’s so dark they cannot notice the vampire bats.

HELEN: Oh, okay. And it maybe was numbed or something. Is there any harm to the cow for this?

SHENGLIN: Yes, of course there will be harm. For example, make the cuts, then probably the wound can get the infection. And also one obvious thing is that the cow will lose blood. Yeah. Each time, as I said, the vampire bat probably weighs around a 35 gram, and each time they can drink up to half of their body size, so between 10 to 25 gram of blood. So that’s a lot of blood they suck in. And imagine if a lot of vampire bats on feed on single cow, that is rare, that wouldn’t happen, then cow will lose a lot blood. But most of the lethal problem coming from the vampire bat is that some of the vampire bat individual, they carry rabies.

HELEN: Oh, okay.

SHENGLIN: Yeah. That can become a problem for farms and could also cause economical damage. So farmers in the Central and South America, they don’t like vampire bats that much-

HELEN: Right.

SHENGLIN: … because of the potential for spreading rabies. But there are many vampire bat individuals and the individual that carry rabies, it’s not such high frequency, but can still cause some economical damage.

HELEN: Thank you so much. I have a much fuller sense of what this is all about. I would assume many listeners do too.

Now our listeners could be practicing hematologists or scientists like you and researchers or those earlier in science careers and people like me who are just like, “Oh my goodness, I just never knew this and like learning new facts.”

Your work is studying the genomics of this bat. So tell us physiologically, chemically, molecularly, what’s happening with the bat. How does this one species or three bats out of 6,000 mammals, how did they come to being blood suckers and how did they survive when they suck so much blood?

SHENGLIN: Yes, that is a very good question and I cannot give you a perfect answer because this is what we are still studying on.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Out of 6,000 mammals, more than 6,000 mammals, only three of them are drinking blood. That is quite shocking. But in a way it’s also understandable because blood actually is not a very good diet source.

HELEN: Oh, it’s not?

SHENGLIN: Because, no, it’s not. It’s nutritionally very poor. So between 80 to 90% of the blood is water.

HELEN: Really?

SHENGLIN: And the blood is mostly protein. It’s very low in sugar and fat.

HELEN: Uh-huh.

SHENGLIN: So it means that first you need to drink a lot of blood so that you get enough energy for your life.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Second, because it’s all protein, and very low in carbohydrate and fatty acid. It means that in the body you need to go through extra procedures to convert those protein into necessary, for example, glucose so that your brain and the other organs that can survive. So if you are mammal that can really choose how you should evolve, blood sucking is certainly is not a good choice.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: In fact, yes. But just happened that these three mammals, all of them are vampire bats are choosing blood as their diet. And then our question is that why did they do?

HELEN: Yeah, that’s right.

SHENGLIN: And now that they have done it, how are they surviving on this blood diet?

HELEN: Right.

SHENGLIN: Because it’s a poor diet.

HELEN: So let’s start, you talked about two parts of this. Kind of why? Why did this get started? So I want you to talk about that. And then I also want you to talk about that, how can they possibly survive this inadequate diet?


HELEN: So let’s start with the why.

SHENGLIN: Yes. In terms of why that is still an open question. We don’t know why they started this kind of diet, but there are some hypothesis, there are quite several hypotheses. So I can just give one example.

One of the hypotheses that probably the ancestor of these bats millions of years ago, or like many other bats, they probably were feeding on insects and probably at some point they started to get the taste of those insects that is sting on animals to suck blood. For example, small mosquito or some blood drinking flies. Maybe they start to feed on them because those insects, they’ll be on the animal’s body. So they easy to pluck, right, easy to take. And maybe that is one possible way that they start to get the taste of the blood and then somehow further develop into only surviving based on blood. That is one possible way.

Another possible way was that probably some animals have wound. The wound can come from fight or beaten by other animal, then they will lick on the wound and then they slowly start to develop into blood-based diet. But all of these are just theories. So these are still big questions as for why vampire bats became vampire bats. Yes.

HELEN: I am fascinated with this. Oh, right. So this happened a long time ago that vampire bats-


HELEN: … started feeding solely on blood?


HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: That was many, many millions of years ago. Yes.

HELEN: Millions of years ago. Okay, so-


HELEN: … they can survive on it. You said there are many of these bats. Tell us-


HELEN: … I want to know more about your science and also how can they possibly survive on this, what you say was really an adequate diet.

SHENGLIN: Yes. Our angle would be from genomic perspective. We want to understand how these bats, by drinking blood for their life, it would have some influence in their genome because you need to adapt your physiology and also morphology to get into this kind of lifestyle. It means that they need to change their genome so that they can adapt.

So what we are interested in is in looking into this. For example, one thing obvious is that the blood is very low in sugar and the fatty acid. So what we found is that some key genes or some very important genes in the insulin regulation has changed.


SHENGLIN: As we all know, that insulin is very important in regulating the sugar and the fatty acids-

HELEN: Which gene body did you say?

SHENGLIN: … in the body.

HELEN: Which gene is very important?

SHENGLIN: There are multiple genes.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: For example, there is one gene called the FFAR1. That gene, we found that this is lost in all three vampire bats.

HELEN: It gets lost?

SHENGLIN: Yeah. This gene is lost and this gene is very important that it detects the fatty acid in the bloodstream and then give that signal to the pancreas and then pancreas will secrete insulin.

HELEN: Mm-hmm.

SHENGLIN: Yeah, make a response. But now that this gene is lost, it means that even if there is fatty acid in the bloodstream, then the pancreas wouldn’t respond to it.


SHENGLIN: This makes sense because vampire bat diet hardly contains any fatty acid. Yeah, it does contain a little bit-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … but not much. So we think this gene probably lost its purpose. Then through the evolution it just lost its function and then completely kind of got erased from the original. You can still find the trace of it, but this gene is not functional anymore.

And we also found that the insulin receptor, which is a very important gene in the entire insulin signaling pathway, this gene is under selection in all three vampire bats. We found a segment of probably around 10 or 15 base pairs. Now that is pretty long segment. This segment of DNA has changed completely in vampire bats, only in vampire bats, not in the other bats.


SHENGLIN: And yeah, this means that the insulin receptor has changed their structure in vampire bats, but we still don’t know what is the exact influence it does to vampire bat physiology. But we can just imagine that it is a vampire bat specific chaige. It means that the insulin receptor, when they get insulin, they probably have changed their signaling pathway inside the cell. So it means those cells will respond to the sugar and the fatty acid in the bloodstream in a different way than the other bats.

HELEN: Wow, thank you. So when the bat does this, so you’re talking about the physiology, the genetic changes so that they can process this food.


HELEN: This solely blood diet so they can survive. Do they survive a long time after that? Because I know other species sometimes they feed on something and then they die.


HELEN: The bat survives after it feeds?

SHENGLIN: Yes. Surprisingly overall bats are very well known to be a long-lived actually-

HELEN: Oh, long life.

SHENGLIN: … compared to their body size.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Yeah. There is a quite active research area in bat community about longevity of bats.

HELEN: Really?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, because overall bats are long-lived and vampire bats, if not even more than is equally long-lived. For example, this 35 gram vampire bat, I think they can be raised in the human environment if you have a cage and give them good enough environment, they can live inside. For years, I think the record probably was around 40 years.

HELEN: 40 years?


HELEN: Oh, my. You keep stunning me with all these facts. It’s never where I thought it was going. Oh, my goodness.

SHENGLIN: Yes. So blood is a very bad diet, but somehow they just survive on it very well. They must have did quite some change in their genome so that they can adapt so well and leave so long as well. Yeah.

HELEN: Thank you. Well, you’re talking about the adaptations. I’m also thinking about when you say they suck so much liquid out of there and you know, it’s half their body weight at one feeding, how do they survive? I mean, bats fly around. What do they do when they’ve absorbed this much liquid?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, that’s a very good question. As I said that they can drink up to half of their body weight. In the wild, when you catch those vampire bats, you can clearly see whether a vampire bat has fed or not because if a vampire bat is fed, you can see the stomach bulging out really big.

HELEN: Oh, okay.

SHENGLIN: Yes. Imagine if a humankind of drink half of their body size of the water.

HELEN: I can’t even picture it.

SHENGLIN: Yeah, yeah.

HELEN: And then you’re flying around or you go out to a big dinner and then you walk around. You can’t do that with half your body weight.

SHENGLIN: No, but the vampire bat can do that. It’s because their stomach has changed. We know that in humankind, the stomach… Yeah, the side is not, it’s a relatively big set, but it’s not that big to the point that you can see someone has eaten decent meal by the [inaudible 00:20:36].

But the vampire bat, their stomach has become a really big sack and it’s very elastic as well. So when they drink blood, most of that blood will first go into the stomach and they will store that blood in the stomach. Still, it’s not good idea to keep that much liquid in the body for a long time. So one thing they do is that while they’re drinking, they are already starting to absorb water from the blood. This mainly happens in the stomach.

HELEN: Mm-hmm.

SHENGLIN: In the stomach, while the blood comes into the stomach, the stomach will already pour the water into the blood and then go into the kidney and they’ll pee them out. So I mentioned that vampire bat, the feeding can last about 40 minutes, but already after five minutes probably they will start to pee.

HELEN: I’m just glad that cow’s asleep while all this is going on.

SHENGLIN: Yes, I’m glad too. Also, I’m also glad that they don’t bite human that much.

HELEN: Yes, I am too.

SHENGLIN: Yes. Yes, they will continuously pee and so that by the end of the meal already a big portion of the water in the blood will be excreted out of the body, but still quite some will remain in the stomach for some time. So this involves to adapt at least two adaptations. One is the size of the stomach-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … so it’s become really, really big. And the other will be that stomach has evolved this function of pulling the water, absorbing water out of the blood, because we know that in humankind at least stomach is not a major organ for absorbing water. Yeah, stomach absorbs the water to some extent, but very, very little. Major organ humankind for absorbing water is intestine.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Yeah, in vampire bats, it’s the stomach that is mainly absorbing the water. So we found some genes that might have something to do with the structural and functional change of the stomach.

For example, we found that some genes that are very important for the structure of the stomach. For example, there is one gene called CAPN9, C-A-P-N-9. This gene is very important in maintaining the structure of the stomach. Especially this genes are involved in mucus secretion because the stomach has mucus.


SHENGLIN: But the vampire bat stomach is very thin and the mucus cell is also very limited compared to humankind. And we found that this gene is lost completely in all three vampire bats. So probably this loss has caused a quite some dramatic change in the structure of the vampire bat’s stomach. We don’t know the exact detail how it does it yet, but this is the one very important gene involving the stomach structure.

There also many other genes, for example, we also found that ATP48, this is a very important gene for stomach because we know that in humankind stomach produces gastric acid, right?

HELEN: Mm-hmm.

SHENGLIN: Yeah. And this gene is the key gene that produces gastric acid. We found that this gene is under relaxed selection in vampire bats, so it means that the vampire bats probably are less reliant found on the gastric acid. So this gene is not so important to them anymore. This is still functional, but our data indicates that it’s probably becoming less important for them, so it also means that they’re probably producing less gastric acid. Yeah.

Sorry, last gene about stomach. We also found that there is one gene called Aquaporin. I think it was Aquaporin-5. Yes. Aquaporin-5. This gene is highly expressed in vampire bat’s stomach, whereas this gene is very low expressed in the other bat species in their stomach. And this Aquaporin-5, as the name suggested this is a water channel. So through this protein, water can go through the cell much quicker. So we think that this gene probably has something to do with the fact that the vampire bat’s stomach can absorb water so quickly from the blood.

HELEN: Wow. Now Shenglin, we’ve done these Talking About Blood podcasts for quite a while. It’s amazing to hear from people like you who are doing work that seems so seemingly different, but then there’s a connection to hematology and modern medicine and with humans. For example, we recently did one on sleeping bears and what that can mean for humans.


HELEN: We’ve done them on fish that survive these freezing, freezing cold waters. What do you think hematologists might want to know beyond the fascinating factor, about what would they know in their everyday practice? What should they know about from what you’re learning about bats?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, that’s a very good question. One obvious thing probably is don’t drink blood.

HELEN: Maybe that’ll be the title. Don’t drink blood. Okay.

SHENGLIN: Honestly, I cannot say how you can contribute to hematologist and generally study in the area of blood. I think the major connection between vampire bat and the blood is just the blood, it is the food source for vampire bat.

And as for what kind of application or insight can provide us for humankind to study the blood itself? Yeah, I cannot say much, sorry.

HELEN: Okay. Well maybe somebody else will take on that mission to figure-


HELEN: … that one out.

SHENGLIN: That’s got to [inaudible 00:26:27].

HELEN: Also, a lot of our listeners might be scientists or those early-


HELEN: … entering into a scientific career or entering into medicine.

Now your background is a scientist. You’re not a physician, but you’re a scientist. Correct? What would you want… I mean I’m curious about how you got involved with this species and you’re in Germany and you’re not even where the vampire bats are. How did you come up with doing your research on the molecular structure and the evolutionary adaptations of vampire bats? And what lessons would you want to pass on to those earlier in their careers?

SHENGLIN: Yeah, that’s a very good question. For me, studying vampire bat, it was a kind of powerful coincidence because before I studied the vampire bat, I actually didn’t study bats at all. So-

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: … that is very pity. Previously I was studying other species. For example, I did my PhD in fish.

HELEN: In fish.

SHENGLIN: But throughout my entire career I was mostly just studying the genomic perspective of a species evolution. Nowadays, that is my major interest of research, trying to understand evolution from a genomic perspective.

HELEN: Okay.

SHENGLIN: Yeah. When I joined this group, I already read the paper about the vampire bat because before I joined this group, they just published a paper in Science, the vlogs, and it got quite a lot of attention. But in that study they only included genome of one vampire bat species, which is a common vampire bat.

And then when I joined the lab, they got the genomes of the other two species and then they wanted to dig into this question much deeper because I liked that the paper they already published. Then I decided to take over the job and then continue looking into this question. And it has been really rewarding because a previous study using only one vampire bat, they found the gene loss of the 13 genes. Found the loss of 13 genes in the genome, and now we’re finding much more.


SHENGLIN: And not only gene losses, but also we found some genes are actively being selected and some genes that are not so actively being selected. So under relapse selection, so the list goes from 13 to hundreds. So that’s a lot of work, yes.

HELEN: So I’m hearing from you and I had the pleasure of seeing your face video-wise as we’re doing this, a great big smile on your face. I wonder if some of those lessons for early career people are, go where your passion is, where your knowledge is.

You took your body of knowledge. It was not about vampire bats, but it was interest in the adaptation and the genomic adaptation. And you’re putting that now towards a different species and you are increasing our body of learning in there. I think that’s great. I encourage early scientists and all people in the medical fields and science to go forth and do your passion because that clearly comes through with you.

Now just a question for people like me. You know I’m not going to be doing this work. I can tell you my reaction to what you’re saying is I am fascinated learning about other species and how somebody like you puts these different pieces of the puzzle together. Is there any other message you’d want the everyday person to know about vampire bats?

SHENGLIN: Oh, there are many things that I want people to know about vampire bats. This can go hours and hours.

HELEN: Well, how about picking one? What’s the thing that most surprised you or pleases you about what you’ve learned?

SHENGLIN: I think what I’m most excited about the vampire bats is that this is very cool system for studying evolution because yeah, there are only these three vampire bats that are drinking blood and they are also sister species, but they’re also far apart from each other. They split it also millions of years ago, so they’re not like recent split. They’re completely different species and this just gives a very convenient system for addressing a very specific evolutionary related question.

This is very clean because it’s just a blood drinking, the three species and the rest not drinking blood. Then you can just make a very simple comparison. Not like in the other system. For example, if you want to study the influence of carnivore and the herbivore because the carnivore, they are a carnivorous species. They are distributed across many mammal lineages, so over you need to do a lot of correction. And still after that you feel doubt yourself about whether this gene is really, really involved in the evolution of carnivore and herbivore. But in this case it’s very clean. So it is a very perfect system for studying evolution. Yes.

HELEN: Oh, Shenglin, you’re wonderful. You’ve added to my evolution of my learning about hematology and blood and specifically vampire bats. I thank you so much for being a guest on Talking About Blood and for doing all the amazing science that you are doing. So thank you, thank you, thank you, Shenglin.

SHENGLIN: Thank you so much. Thank you about being interested in our work and also inviting me as a guest. It’s a great pleasure. Thank you.

HELEN: As we just heard from Shenglin Liu, it’s important to look at the great big world of species and there’s something to learn from all of them, including vampire bats.

To learn more about the Blood Project and explore as many resources for professionals and trainees and patients, please go to thebloodproject.com. I invite you to also listen to my other podcast series about health communication, and you can find that at healthliteracyoutloud.com. Please help spread the word about this podcast series and the Blood Project. Thank you for listening. Until next time, I’m Helen Osborne.