Virology

Tag archives for Virology

Domesticating wild organisms– Whether its domesticating teosinte or aurochs, bending wild organisms to our will is always a game-changing event in human history. The domestication of viruses is no exception. We now live in a world where small-pox, a virus that once wiped out entire continents, is now functionally extinct.  Generations of people see iron…

Look, scientists are nuts.  Virologists, on the other hand, are certifiably insane.  As Hedwig would say, virologists make the strangest things seem suddenly routine.  Yesterdays absurd future technology (GENE THERAPY!) is now something as miraculous as curing genetic diseases, and as mundane as an anti-smoking therapy. Todays insane idea? Using mouse and rat parvoviruses to…

GMO Virus for Nicotine Addiction

I used to think gene therapy was an absurd ‘solution’ for HIV/AIDS.  Well, ‘absurd’ is putting it lightly.  I thought gene therapy was a perverted solution– Even if it ‘worked’, it would only be available for the richest people in the richest countries, not the millions and millions and millions of individuals living in poverty…

Family Guy, S07E02 ‘I Dream of Jesus’: Peter: Brian, can I see that paper for a sec? (Brian gives Peter the paper. Peter peruses the paper.) Peter: Huh… that’s odd… I thought that would big news. Brian: You thought what would be big news? Peter: Well there seems to be an absence of a certain…

Many roads lead to Rome– there is no one ‘right’ way to solve an evolutionary hurdle. Viruses encounter the same evolutionary ‘problems’, but have evolved lots and lots and lots of different solutions to the exact same problems. Random chance of mutations + the bumbling blindness of natural selection (‘good enough’ is selected, not ‘BEST!’)…

I first wrote about honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) in 2009— Since ~2006, honey bee colonies in the US have been dropping dead overnight. Literally. They call it ‘colony collapse disorder’. While large populations of organisms dying is disturbing, no matter the species, we need honey bees– they help pollinate so many of our…

Ive written about noroviruses a few times on ERV.  Theyre insidious little bugs that hide on door handles and food utensils (… and food…) and if you ingest them, you poop.  A lot.  Like I have said before, any time you hear about a ton of people getting sick on a cruise ship, you can…

I mentioned this in my interview with Karl, and its a topic Im going to be speaking about at FreeOK2 this year— hell, its something Ive mentioned over and over and over and over on this blog: We arent Cave Men dancing around a fire chanting ‘OOGA BOOGA VIRUS BAD!’ We are modern humans who…

Know what sounds like fun? Testing almost 5,000 bats and over 4,000 rodents, from all over the world, for a cadre of viral infections 😉 Im not kidding! Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses Think about this: Where did, say, measles, come from? How were humans originally infected? Where were they infected? Just because we have…

Endogenous viruses in viruses

Viruses are everywhere. Theyre even in other viruses. ? A couple of scientists at Portland States ‘Center for Life in Extreme Environments’ just found a virus in the sediment of Boiling Springs Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park (‘boiling’? ‘volcanic’? sounds cozy!). It is a single-strand, circular DNA virus. Well, okee dokie! Every new virus…