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

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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?
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1answer
698 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 ...
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4answers
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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, ...
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2answers
852 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 ...
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2answers
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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?
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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?
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1answer
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What do viruses do during incubation period?

For example, there is an incubation period of around 1 to 3 days for common cold, and that of AIDS can range over to decades. What do viruses do actually do during the incubation period? What ...
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2answers
3k views

Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

We all suffer from common cold, and that, frequently. Why have we not developed immunity against it till now? By immunity I mean immunity as a species.
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1answer
253 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?
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259 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 ...
12
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2answers
178 views

Are there viruses that affect cells across different 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 ...
12
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1answer
242 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 ...
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2answers
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How long does the Ebola virus remain infectious on contaminated items or surfaces?

I'm sure there will be variation depending on what the contaminated item or surface is made of - linens, I could imagine, would remain dangerous for longer than a door-knob. But if the items are not ...
10
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1answer
156 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 ...
10
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1answer
85 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?
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2answers
2k views

To what extent is Ebola airborne? (aerosols)

Recently, CIDRAP at the University of Minnesota announced that Ebola may be more transmissible through aerosols than previously thought. I lack the familiarity with the field to critically evaluate ...
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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?
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2answers
4k 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Why is the current Ebola outbreak different from previous outbreaks?

I don't know if this question has an answer at this time, but I would like to know if there is some biological reason why the current Ebola outbreak is so much more complicated and widespread than in ...
7
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1answer
445 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 ...
7
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2answers
179 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 ...
7
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2answers
777 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 ...
7
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1answer
81 views

How exactly can dsRNA be introduced to a cell?

Is it just by viruses or are there other means by which it gets into cells, such as plasmid uptake?
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1answer
178 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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1answer
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Viruses selected by evolution

First let me apologize in advance for I know almost nothing about biology. I had a conversation today with a family member who is a bio-computer-scientist and he talked to me about what his colleagues ...
6
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1answer
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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 ...
6
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1answer
105 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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1answer
102 views

Can we really 'discover' 85% of mammalian viruses?

This virology [blog] discusses estimates of the number of mammalian viruses and the costs of 'discovering' 85% of them. My question is whether this is not a forlorn hope. The ".632 rule" in ...
6
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2answers
203 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, ...
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1answer
120 views

Why is it called “Ebola virus disease”, not just “Ebola” or “Ebola disease”?

Why do scientists (pretty consistently) call it Ebola virus disease, rather than just Ebola, or Ebola disease? Many other diseases are caused by viruses, but they don't seem to have this detail of ...
5
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2answers
63 views

How does a virus reach its host, it is always passive? [closed]

We know that viruses are non motile and cannot metabolise, and that it enters the host cells via binding to the receptors. But how exactly it reaches the host (that is, how it go from the ...
5
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5answers
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Can an influenza virus carry other infectors with it?

This idea came to my mind when thinking about how many people become ill in many locations with similar symptoms (fever and rough cough) from Influenza. There are of course different types of ...
5
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2answers
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Can a virophage potentially be used to cure a viral disease?

Wikipedia states "Virophages are satellite viruses that inhibit or impair the reproduction of the auxiliary virus." Is it theoretically possible for a virophage that doesn't hurt the human body to ...
5
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2answers
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Balanced vs Maximized Codon Optimization

I have worked with the optimization of several viral proteins, from different viruses/families, with different results. When Menzella, 2011 was published I tried that method. I found quite the ...
5
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2answers
165 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
155 views

Lentivector biosafety

Lentivectors are widely used in molecular biology, most commonly to transduce in a stable way a desired gene. These vector system takes advantage from the ability of viruses to introduce their own ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Can we attack viruses by attaching proteins and such to their shells?

Haven't looked into this to very long, but an initial search didn't return anything. HIV uses certain co-receptors to enter our cells. Could we flood the blood stream with specially designed ...
4
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2answers
190 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?
4
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0answers
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Are there any viruses that have infected all humans in the past or present? [closed]

Are there any known viruses that have managed to infect all of humankind either in the past or presently, either benign or otherwise?
3
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2answers
60 views

What does the gene name “lexA” stand for?

It is an important gene expressed in E. coli that represses the SOS response and also the expression of lambda lytic phase genes. UV light and damage to DNA is responsible for its breakdown and hence ...
3
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1answer
40 views

Are some virus loads introduced to human cell but never triggered?

Is there a term or any evidence of phage DNA integrating into chromosomes/ DNA but never being triggered? For example, could a virus that affected Neanderthals still infect human cells today but is ...
3
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2answers
49 views

What is correct MVM vs. MMV?

I'm writing up a report and I see conflicts everywhere on the internet. Should it be Murine Minute Virus (MMV) or Minute Virus of Mice (MVM). The followup question is does it really matter.
3
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1answer
60 views

At which temperature is the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus destroyed?

At which temperature is the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus destroyed? If there is no data specifically for TBEV, is there any data for typical temperatures at which other Flaviviruses / Flaviviridae / ...
3
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2answers
136 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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2answers
63 views

Hydrophobia Outside of Rabies?

RELATED: Why does rabies cause hydrophobia? Agony, Hydrophobia and viruses in the light of evolutionary principles Has hydrophobia been found outside of rabies? I have only seen it ...
3
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1answer
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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
58 views

multiple HIV infection in same T cell

I was wondering can multiple HIV virus infecting same T cell ? Coz in flu virus they have SA to cleave of those sialic acid residue preventing re-infection of the same cell by other viruses to ...
3
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1answer
213 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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1answer
44 views

Recommendations for an intro level virology textbook?

I'm a college sophomore, and I was just accepted into a research lab that works with retroviruses. Since I haven't taken any classes on the topic yet, does anyone have recommendations for good, ...