Virology deals with the study of viruses, infectious entities that require the machinery of a host cell to replicate.

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420 views

Why is rabies incurable?

I'm still not sure about the mechanics that lead to rabies being incurable. I know that it can be treated before any symptoms show up, but why is it that once symptoms show the person is a dead man ...
17
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4answers
992 views

How to understand influenza strain designations?

What do the strain designations for flu mean? For example avian flu is classified as H5N1, what do the letters H, ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Harmless virus?

Is it possible for a virus to live symbiotically with its host? Is the human body plagued with viral infections that do negligible harm, or even serve a beneficial role?
15
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1answer
391 views

How did viruses come to be?

My question is out of curiosity and got me thinking. How did viruses with the head, tail and tail fibres actually evolve? These viruses look more like machines than biological entities. Are there any ...
12
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6answers
1k views

Why isn't a virus “alive”?

The recent news about a new supermassive virus being discovered got me thinking. What biological differences between viruses and cellular organisms have made viruses be deemed non-living?
12
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1answer
171 views

How does herpes (HSV) infection suppress HIV?

HIV compromises the human body to defend against infection. Yet people who are infected with herpes are at less risk of developing AIDS. How does this work?
12
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1answer
198 views

Why do people dying of immune deficiency diseases appear sick?

Please forgive the obviously silly appearance of this question, and/or of the tenor which may come across as flippant or dismissive of real world suffering. My intention is none of the above. As a ...
10
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2answers
444 views

What causes a 'stuffy' or 'runny' nose when you have a cold?

When humans get the common cold, a common symptom is a stuffy or runny nose. Is that the body's immune response or is that the virus's doing?
10
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2answers
138 views

What is the contribution of viruses to the evolution of mankind?

I'm interested in horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, viruses, and organisms such as Bdelloid Rotifers. I've just read in Carl Zimmer's 'A Planet of Viruses' the following passage: As a host ...
9
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2answers
152 views

Are there viruses that affect many kinds of cells across species?

I'm not a professional in biology nor a student, but I'm curious about this. To be more specific: why doesn't a plant virus affect animal cells? I suspect that different kinds of cells have different ...
9
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1answer
107 views

What determines when a virus becomes a “new strain”?

The reason we cannot find a cure for the common cold is because viruses mutate rapidly. Where do the mutations occur in the DNA/mRNA of viruses and does this have any effect on the protein level? what ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Why do I need a flu shot every year, while many other vaccinations last years or even a lifetime?

Is it a viral vs. bacterial thing? Is there just more variety among types of flu than other diseases, so that this year's vaccines don't cover next year's flu?
8
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2answers
2k views

What is the life cycle of a wart?

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on research done on warts. What is the life cycle of a wart? How does it spread? -- specifically how does it recruit cells to spread it? What ...
8
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1answer
68 views

Are homozygous carriers of the CCR5-Δ32 allele fully immune to all known strains of HIV?

Or is there documented evidence of even one homozygous carrier contracting HIV and staying infected?
7
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2answers
457 views

How does Iota-Carrageenan achieve an antiviral effect?

"Cold Defence" nasal sprays are recommended to be taken either preventatively or in the early stages of a cold. The active ingredient in these sprays is Carrageenan. After some research, the active ...
6
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1answer
161 views

How Do Large Ocean Viruses Form Their Own Organelles?

Several large viruses (Arslan 2011) form their own organelles within the amoebae they invade. How do these organelles form? Reference: Arslan, D., Legendre, M., Seltzer, V., Abergel, C., Claverie, ...
6
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2answers
148 views

Is it possible for parasitic wasp to alter the behaviour of it's host after emerging from it?

I know that parasitic wasp larvae could live for a long time inside their alive host (eg. caterpillar), but I always thought that they kill the host when they eventually get out of it. But once I've ...
6
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1answer
96 views

What is the biological mechanism linking temperature and probability to be infected with a virus?

It is common knowledge that when you're cold you could get a cold. What is the mechanism linking temperature and viral infection?
6
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2answers
122 views

Why are some viruses not communicable person-to-person?

Below are two quotes from the CDC about Hantavirus: "Researchers believe that people may be able to get the virus if they touch something that has been contaminated with rodent urine, ...
5
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1answer
4k views

How long will norovirus live?

I hope this is the right place to ask. I subscribe to several Stack Exchange threads, and regard them as the best internet forum for genuine and credible answers. I spent last evening talking to ...
4
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1answer
237 views

How can highly virulent but uncommon diseases (like ebola) maintain a stable equilibrium?

I'm wondering how can very uncommon diseases remain in a relatively stable equilibrium. For example, if it started to spread, the spread could accelerate and become an epidemic. However, if it doesn't ...
4
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2answers
142 views

Is every part of a virus important for replication?

Is every component of a virus absolutely essential for its infection and replication in a host cell? Or can you just have parts of it to cause infection?
3
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3answers
159 views

Are there people cured of HIV by means of HAART?

I wonder if there people who were cured of HIV only by means of highly active anti retro-viral therapy (HAART) or other drugs rather than by bone marrow transplant? I know that HAART can suppress HIV ...
3
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2answers
48 views

Are viruses self-propelled?

So obviously, viruses are nonliving. But when my teacher was teaching viruses in the video (we're doing "flip" learning this semester), the way he described it, it seemed like the viruses responded to ...
3
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1answer
298 views

Is it possible for a person to become “reinfected” with the same strain of a virus?

If a person contracts a virus, viral conjunctivitis for example, is it possible for the individual to become "reinfected" with the exact same strain of the virus once the person has it treated and the ...
3
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1answer
39 views

What happen's to a virus's capsid after it injects its genetic material into the host cell?

After a virus (one of the varieties which infects the cell via injection and not endocytosis) injects its genetic material into the host cell, what happens to it's protein coat? I would guess that it ...
3
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1answer
136 views

What is the best way to clean plastic flasks that have been used for cell cultures - is virkon a good idea?

When you use cultures e.g. insect cells, which are infected with virus one way to clean the (plastics) shake flasks is with virkon. Which is the most effective way to clean your flasks in order to ...
3
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0answers
89 views

Cheapest Way to Measure Germ Density

I would like to measure the surface density of Staphylococcus bacteria and Rhinoviruses (only those two, to be specific) within my home. What's the cheapest way? The textbook procedure is to: rub ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Is this a valid principle of curing HIV?

I have a set of questions actually, it will be very helpful if you answer them in order. Where does the HIV virus hide (during incubation period)? Let answer be X cell. Is X cell in the bloodstream? ...
2
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2answers
86 views

Can retroviral delivery systems “overwrite” genes?

As the question states, what are the limits of retroviral genetic delivery systems? Are they limited to adding additional gene sequences to a cell, or can they actually overwrite specified segments ...
2
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2answers
58 views

Are B Cells unique to an individual's immune system?

I was wondering how the body "remembers" viruses after having once overcome them, and while reading this article on the immune system (page 14, Vaccinations), I read: There are many diseases that, ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Why don't we see new diseases more often? Or, ever?

It seems like every disease we ever hear about is something that's been around since ancient times, since thousands of years ago. Of course new diseases were catalogued over the course of the past ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Lytic Viruses — Cell lysis?

So in the video my instructor sent on viruses, he said that for lytic viruses, new viruses manufactured by the host cell could get out of the cell in one of two ways. The new viruses would leave by ...
2
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1answer
327 views

Difference between viral and human genetic material

I have heard that there is a difference between viral and human genetic material. What is that difference? If I take my cells and take DNA out of them and insert only a small part of it having a ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Does this patient have HHV6 or HCMV after transplant surgery?

I have been given mock results from a PCR test on blood samples taken from kidney recipient patients and their donors. The PCR reaction can detect single copies of viral DNA. I have been asked to ...
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0answers
21 views

What is the origin of viruses? How could they get both living and non-living characteristics? [duplicate]

I read that viruses are called intermediate between living and non-living particles. Well, if so, then where did they originate from? From living or non-living? If they originated from either living ...
2
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0answers
72 views

How long does Lentivirus take to express in vivo mouse neurons?

Does anyone know how long it takes for a standard Lentivirus vector to express its genes (under a strong promoter such as CAG, CB7, etc.), after injection into the brain of a mouse? By hearsay I ...
2
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0answers
115 views

Virucides - Herbal and otherwise, for HHV6 type virus or any inner-cell virus

Does anyone know where I can find a reliable list of virucides (not anti-virus) that can be used by humans? This virucide must be able to affect viruses that are already inside the cells. St John's ...
1
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1answer
46 views

Is it impossible for a retrovirus to be lysogenic?

Is it impossible for retroviruses to be lysogenic? In the lysogenic cycle, the viral genetic material is incorporated into the host cell's DNA. Because retroviruses have RNA, it would be impossible ...
1
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1answer
288 views

How do viroids propagate to other hosts?

As viroids are simply non-encapsidated non-coding RNA molecules, it is difficult to imagine a mechanism for their continual infection, other than horizontal transfer which doesn't seem to be the case. ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Agony, Hydrophobia and viruses in the light of evolutionary principles

I'm undergraduate physics student, but I've always been interested in biology. So I have a couple of questions about an application of the evolutionary principles to practice. Agony as the last ...
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3answers
206 views

Do Viruses produce a biomagnetic field?

From wikipedia: Biomagnetism is the phenomenon of magnetic fields produced by living organisms. The present scientific definition took form in the 1970s, when an increasing number of researchers ...
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1answer
22 views

Do any nonhuman species have effective ebola immunity?

I've read that ebola is an effective killer in humans because it has the ability to interrupt dendritic cells from manufacturing proteins that cause the immune system to destroy the dendritic cells ...
1
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1answer
20 views

In the lysogenic cycle, does the provirus split from the cell's main genetic material for replication?

In a diagram of the lysogenic cycle sent by my instructor in a video, it shows the provirus splitting from the cell's main DNA when the dormancy period ends and the viral DNA is "activated". Is this ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Do lysogenic viruses only infect bacteria?

In the video sent by my teacher on viruses, the example he used for lysogenic viruses was a bacteriophage infecting a bacteria. When he was describing how the genetic material was incorporated into ...
1
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1answer
145 views

How to deduce if RNA virus infection or DNA virus infection

Is there any general rule to say this must be RNA virus infection and the other one DNA virus infection? Example of a case: 5 children develop a bright red rash on the face and turns violet after a ...
1
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0answers
53 views

Carrying or packaging capacity of SAD B19 dG rabies virus

I'm wondering about the carrying capacity also referred to packaging capacity or loading capacity (how many base pairs can be packed efficiently into virions) of the pseudotyped rabies virus SAD-dG as ...
0
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1answer
117 views

Why not use SDS-PAGE as a method to detect viruses?

Recently, I have been researching about DNA and I know the most popular method for detecting viruses is based on DNA. After learning about proteins, I wonder why we do not detect viruses based on ...