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

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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 ...
19
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1answer
538 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 ...
17
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4answers
1k 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, ...
16
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6answers
2k 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?
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?
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3answers
1k 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?
14
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
220 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?
13
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2answers
226 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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1answer
215 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
401 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.
10
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2answers
2k views

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
136 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
165 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
78 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?
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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3answers
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 ...
8
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2answers
3k 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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1answer
401 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
166 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
627 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
169 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
61 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?
6
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1answer
5k 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 ...
6
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1answer
101 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
94 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
170 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
36 views

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
93 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 ...
4
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3answers
48 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
182 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
164 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
191 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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1answer
27 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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1answer
57 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 ...
3
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2answers
93 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
971 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
176 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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2answers
155 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 its protein coat? I would guess that it ...
3
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0answers
111 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
144 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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3answers
109 views

What equipment would one use to modify a virus? [closed]

Would anyone be so kind as to give me a few examples of the equipment involved when modifying a virus? Otherwise my novel may end up reading Eva entered the lab and modified a virus. Not much back ...
2
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1answer
74 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 ...
2
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2answers
117 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
70 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
50 views

How does the MMR vaccine affect lymph nodes in preventing measles?

I am trying to understand this statement about the Measles part of the MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) vaccine Measles prevention: MMR (AB protect during primary and secondary viremia) Measles ...
2
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1answer
60 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
713 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
68 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 ...