Questions tagged [virology]

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

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Expected number of mutations during virus transmission

Let's assume we have sar-cov-2 or any other virus with similar mutation rate. It should be likely that at the point of infection, the original host of the virus transmitted a number of different ...
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Why does the body not develop immunity to rabies during the period of incubation?

Rabies typically has an incubation period of 20 to 60 days and most cases develop only after at least a month after the bite from the infected animal. Nevertheless, rabies is nearly always fatal and ...
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How does natural selection interacts with sustained mask use?

At leasts in some European countries, the number of respiratory (non-covid) infectious diseases on children this term is higher than last year and similar to pre-pandemic years in spite of social ...
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Does specific immunity affect the incubation period of viruses?

My interest was inspired by the observed variation in incubation times for different strains of Covid-19, however I ask the question in the broader sense as it seems hard to find an answer in general. ...
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Do immunocompromised persons offer a preview of late viral infection?

I'm aware that every pathogen is different and biology is unpredictable. But as a rule of thumb, I'm wondering if some subset of immunocompromised persons infected with a pathogen can be inferred to ...
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Can viruses infect adipose cells? [closed]

Can viruses infect adipose cells or tissue?
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What If question relating to discovery of viruses (Beijerinck TMD experiment)

I was reading about viruses in Campbell and there was a What If question about Beijerinck's TMD experiment. If Beijerinck had observed that the infection of each group was weaker than that of the ...
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How do viruses/bacteria survive in extremely cold conditions?

So, recently, i watched a video, it was about a anthrax outbreak in Siberia. The cause, supposedly were reindeer carcasses, infected by anthrax. Due to the thawing ice they resurfaced, and that lead ...
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How would a virus “evolve” if someone is infected with both the omicron and delta variants at the same time?

If someone is infected with both variants (let’s say within a day or two), what are some of the likely outcomes with respect to the virus “evolution”? is it most likely that only 1 of the 2 variants ...
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How does the first organism infected by a disease get infected?

How does a micro-organism causing some communicable disease infect the first organism it infected? I was reading about HIV, when I found that HIV has jumped from chimpanzees to human beings. But, how ...
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How does araC exhibit both positive and negative control?

I was of the understanding that negative gene regulation = active form of the repressor protein shuts off the operon and positive gene regulation = active form of the regulatory protein increases ...
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Was the Harcourt COVID-19 isolate paper ever published?

One very interesting paper concerning COVID-19 was the paper describing the first isolation of the virus by Harcourt et al. However, this paper as far as I can tell was only published as a preprint in ...
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Could Sars-CoV-2 vaccines make the immune response less effective against new variants?

Some viral diseases (e.g. influenza and dengue fever) are thought to exhibit original antigenic sin. The immune system remembers viruses that it has been previously exposed to, allowing the body to ...
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Do mutations in a fundamental structure of a virus [Omicron Variant] make it more transmissible?

I am not a microbiologist, nor a virologist so I had a question - in the new Omicron virus variant, a large number of mutations were reported for the protein spike. From my naïve understanding, the ...
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Can a less fit strain of a virus impose over a fitter one? [closed]

According to this link, the Dominant Delta Variant may mutate itself into destruction. The Delta variant in Japan was highly transmissible and keeping other variants out. But as the mutations piled ...
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Can the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus mutate in people who have been fully vaccinated?

I am curious to know if the original SARS‑CoV‑2 virus, or any of its variants, can mutate in people who have been fully vaccinated. I am referring to those people who have received all the recommended ...
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What animal has the strongest immune system?

I'm wondering what animal has the strongest immune system. It can be defined as the most evolved immune system or the immune system that can eliminate or tolerate most number of (different) viruses/...
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Why don't viruses cause wounds?

A simple mental model of a viral infection is that an infected cell emits a lot of virions and eventually dies. The emitted virions have a chance of infecting other cells. Nearby cells are at a higher ...
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How many of each structural component of SARS-CoV-2 are there?

I'm interested in the composition of SARS-CoV-2, including how many copies of each protein are present in an assembled virus, as well as the overall mass and density. There are a few recent papers ...
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How do viruses attacking the outside of the body invade if the upper strata of the epithelial layer is metabolically inactive?

The top two layers of the epithelia, the layer of skin on the outside of the body, are the stratum corneum and the stratum lucidum. Both of these layers are metabolically inactive, in other words they ...
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How do mRNA vaccines work with respect to presentation of the antigen?

As I understand it, mRNA vaccines operate by taking a gene for some distinctive feature of the target virus and arranging for the cells of the vaccine recipient to manufacture the proteins that make ...
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Virus culture in artificial/synthetic medium

I am looking for a publication/paper in a well a circulated magazine/journal/government study on growing virus culture in synthetic or artificial medium. I have found this link on SARS Cov 2 being ...
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Are the terms "provirus" and "prophage" interchangeable?

Regarding the difference between proviruses and prophages, Wikipedia states that "these terms should not be used interchangeably. Unlike prophages, proviruses do not excise themselves from the ...
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Are fully vaccinated people more likely to not get infected at all with COVID-19?

I've found some papers which describe that the viral shedding does not decrease during infection (for fully vaccinated people). But the overall shedding time does decrease. Therefore it is possible to ...
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What is the likelihood of two or more simultaneous mutations at different genetic sites on the same virus?

I'm asking this in the context of vaccine/immune escape. Apparently if more than one component of the virus is targeted by antibodies, it is difficult for it to mutate simultaneously in two or more ...
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Do the genes for external viral epitopes mutate faster than for viral machinery (e.g. Proteases)?

To fight SARS-COV-2 we use vaccines which train our immune system against viral epitopes like the external S(pike) protein. Since these structures change a lot, would it not have been a better idea to ...
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On the origin and evolution of vaccinia virus

I was browsing Wikipedia and learned that vaccinia virus, the basis of the smallpox (variola virus) vaccine, was originally thought to be derived from cowpox but was later discovered to be a separate ...
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Do viruses do anything other than multiply? [closed]

Viruses are "on the edge of life ". They infect the cells and use it for multiplication of themselves but other than that do they do anything else like "eat food" like an amoeba ...
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What is an attenuated virus? What is done to it?

UPDATE: So it looks like I've asked a complex and technical question. I'm going to take @tyersome's advice and study Khan Academy on immunology, and from there, formulate a better question if I still ...
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Viruses in human history

How much do we know about ancient viruses and the viral evolution throughout the human history? To my knowledge the HIV history has been rather well documented for about hundred years back (e.g., see ...
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Can viruses grow?

Hey there everybody ! I know that viruses show only one living feature - Reproduction. However they cannot reproduce by themselves so on this basis they cannot be classified as living organisms. They ...
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Why do some viruses get deadlier over time?

I was wondering what reasons are that make some viruses become more lethal over time. By "more lethal", I am not referring to acquiring more mutations which make the virus more infectious ...
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How would a "synthetic defective interfering SARS-CoV-2" work in practice? Wouldn't it require a large fraction of all cells to be infected?

The abstract of A synthetic defective interfering SARS-CoV-2 is as follows. Abstract Viruses thrive by exploiting the cells they infect, but in order to replicate and infect other cells they must ...
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Is unihibited exhalation beneficial for someone with a contagious respiratory disease?

If someone has a contagious respiratory disease (I'll refer to as CRD - eg. COVID, FLU, etc.) I'm wondering if the process of exhaling could be beneficial for them. My first thought is that exhaling ...
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Why are more children being hospitalized with Covid-19?

I see that more children are being hospitalized with Covid-19. If I recall correctly, throughout the pandemic, researchers have thought that children were more resistant to the virus because they are ...
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Fluctuations in disease burden of respiratory viruses (especially influenza/coronaviruses)

Compared to peaks in terms of disease burden (morbidity and mortality, or incidence of severely symptomatic cases and deaths caused by a viral strain within a population), is the relatively light ...
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Can a polymer coated with antibodies have enough attraction to wrap around a virus?

Archived source for image Please ignore the signal release. Does anyone know if it’s possible for polymer to wrap around a virus?
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Viral vector vaccines - why doesn't the viral vector get attacked by the innate immune system?

I've been looking at how the Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine works: A chimpanzee adenovirus (the viral vector) is injected into the patient. After entering a cell, the viral DNA is deposited in the host ...
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Is there any chance that the COVID-19 virus could become more deadly by it interacting with the HIV virus?

I would like to know if there is any chance that the COVID-19 virus, or one of its variants, could become more deadly by interacting with the HIV virus. Let's say for example, that a person who has ...
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Methods of investigating the occurrence of non-standard bases in nucleic acids

Recently the popular scientific press gave considerable publicity to three publications in Science (30th April 2021 — see below) relating to the substitution of the nucleic acid base, 2-amino adenine, ...
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Can vaccines drive viruses to evolve? If so, how?

Obviously, destroying vaccine-vulnerable strains of a virus will leave the vaccine-resistant ones to represent an increased fraction of the overall viral population. I'm asking, though, whether/how ...
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What's happening in the "C" and "T" stripes of a covid test kit?

I have a COVID home test kit which produces C and T (control and test) stripes when the solution is applied to the strip. Something similar happens in pregnancy test kits. I understand the purpose of ...
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When does a virus become a different species?

Related: When does one decide to refer to a virus as a new variant? I've been thinking about all the news related to "variants" of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the infamous "Delta ...
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I already heard filtering the air to get rid of the Virus is not that effective but what about UV radiation?

Why they don't add a chamber to their air conditions and give the air treatment with UV radiation? I'm not a science guy. Please what might be the reason? Wouldn't it be also cheaper because the air ...
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Which molecular changes make certain SARS‑CoV‑2 strains more contagious?

Articles often state that certain SAR-COV-2 strains are more transmissible, e.g: Most studies indicate Delta is 50-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant How dangerous are covid-19 Delta and ...
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How do we know genes that are considered endogenous retroviruses are actually endogenous retroviruses and not just ordinary genes?

What makes these genes different as to be classed as an endogenous retrovirus? I've read the entirity of Wikipedia on retroviruses and didn't find the answer. I think it could be that these genes are ...
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Do mutations occur while growing virus for preparing inactivated viral vaccine?

The development of mutations in virus is reported to happen during replication, especially for an mRNA type virus like SARS-COV-2 Viruses that encode their genome in RNA, such as SARS-CoV-2, HIV and ...
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Does SARS-COV-2 produce toxins?

I wonder whether toxins are produced only by bacteria and fungi and not by viruses. Looking at the paper below, I read that several toxic proteins are produced by SARS-COV-2. Can these proteins be ...
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What determines the physical appearance of a tangible amount of bacteria or viruses?

As in the title, I was wondering how would feel an amount of one type of bacteria or virus, big enough to have a tangible size of the sample. What color, state (liquid, solid), textures, smell ecc. of ...
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What book teaches you about endogenous retroviruses [closed]

I'm interest in ERVs as evidence for evolution and want to learn more about them.

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