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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Why do people say that smallpox has been eradicated?

I keep reading things like “smallpox has been eradicated” or “there are only two samples of the virus left in existence in a lab somewhere”, but couldn’t there be a bunch of smallpox viruses in an ...
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Could bacteria and phages be found in tissues?

in the literature, there are several studies of the gut virome and microbiome, for instance Reyes et al. on Nature (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature09199?error=cookies_not_supported&code=...
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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 ...
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What virus properties affect their airborne contagiousness?

What properties of a virus affect it's ability to be transmitted by air? I assume it must be able to withstand different temperatures and be smallish in size? For example why is influenza very ...
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How do I tell if the mosquitos in my New York City apartment can carry Zika?

The species that carries Zika, A. aegypti, is unlikely to be found in New York. However, the related species A. albopictus is prevalent and quite concerning. So this question is focusing on A. ...
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Insight on HPV vaccine to prevent/control reactivation of latent infections in those already infected

Some women experience reactivation of HPV infection in their 50's due to weakened immune system and weakened immune memory. Is it outside the realm of possibility that giving the HPV vaccine to those ...
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In HIV-1, what produces Tat?

The Trans-activator of transcription (Tat) plays a crucial role in regulating the transcription process of HIV-1. But which state of the Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) produces Tat? Is it the "...
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How are viruses isolated?

I read several different articles about virology, including the Wikipedia article on viruses and none of them explain how a virus is isolated. Some talk of injecting a virus into a chicken egg, but ...
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Can you design a bacteriophage that attacks the part of the bacteria that makes them antibiotics resistant?

I read in a newspaper about a case where they had found a virus that could attack a specific form of antibiotics-resistant bacteria and managed to save a girl from a certain death by "infecting her" ...
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Why is HPV vaccines targeted for preteens?

Why is human papillomavirus products targeted to children before sexual activeness? Could all ages benefit from this vaccine even if they may have or have not contracted a form of HPV to prevent other ...
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Can cancers caused due to viruses be contagious?

Generally, viruses are infectious in nature and there are several cancer-causing viruses that are known (i.e. oncovirus) My question is: Are these oncoviruses infectious in nature? If so, what is the ...
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In marine DNA viral diversity studies, what would “paradigm of rampant mosaicism” refer to?

The recent paper in Cell Marine DNA Viral Macro- and Microdiversity from Pole to Pole describes the (huge) new Global Ocean Viromes 2.0 (GOV 2.0) dataset. In the Results and Discussion section, the ...
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Why are viruses considered to be non-living? [duplicate]

Viruses are widely known as disease and illness-causing agents that can spread quickly through living organisms. They are considered to be non-living due to their unique characteristics.
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What are the secondary structure requirements for cell-penetrating peptides AKA protein transduction domains

Cell penetrating peptides. Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are a class of short amino acid sequences which are sufficient for crossing cell membranes and delivering themselves along with any ...
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Can viruses pass through sweat pores?

I have read somewhere that viruses and other microbes can not penetrate skin but what about sweat pores? Can viruses pass through these pores?
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Computer Virus that infects DNA?

I have watched a talk by Mikko Hypponen (CEO of the security company F-Secure) called Silicon Plague. There, roughly at minute 51 of the talk, he mentions a computer code that is supposed to be able ...
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Why isn't a virus “alive”?

The recent news about a new supermassive virus being discovered got me thinking about how we define viruses as non-living organisms whilst they are bigger than bacteria, and much more complex than we ...
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Risks of latent viruses that reside in ancient genomes under research?

Some interesting research in reactivating mammoth genetic material (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40546-1) made me wonder what risks are inherent (or are not inherent) in reviving older ...
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Is there a known mutation of an insertion type that prevents being infected by a virus?

Recently there was big news about the mutation CCR5 delta 32, that prevents HIV from infecting white blood cells, that was a deletion type of a mutation. Do we know of an insertion type of mutation ...
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Enzyme inhibitors against common cold viruses

Would some inhibitors of viral enzymes work against common cold viruses? Are there any studies? What could a treatment look like?
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Which cells are prefered by the HIV virus to establish an infection?

We always read that HIV infects CD4 cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. However, is it a common event for HIV to infect non-immune cells within a host? If not, why? And also if not, why are ...
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For how long would a flu-contaminated parcel be an effective disease vector?

A parcel has been delivered and contaminated by a person who has the flu. For how long would the parcel be an effective disease vector?
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How do viral vaccines work?

I have read that a vaccine against a pathogen typically works by using a dead or weakened version of that pathogen and then inciting an immune response against the pathogen so that the immune system ...
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How did sneezing evolve?

Did we develop the sneezing mechanism to get rid of pathogens like bacteria and viruses in our nose? Or did pathogens develop a way to make us sneeze to propagate themselves? Or did we develop the ...
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How do DNA viruses keep themselves in the nucleus without inserting themselves into genome?

If I'm not mistaken only RNA viruses insert themselves into the host genome. As an example of DNA viruses, herpes viruses for example do not insert themselves in the host genome. Then how do DNA ...
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Can CRISPR also remove DNA viruses?

If I'm not mistaken only RNA viruses insert themselves into the host genome. As an example of DNA viruses, herpes viruses for example do not insert themselves in the host genome. Can CRISPR cut DNA ...
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Are viruses ever manufactured directly from viral DNA embedded in the genome?

Some viruses can cause their genetic material to be pemanently stored in the human genome -- even getting passed on to offspring. Endogenous Retroviruses, for example are thought to make up between 5~...
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What evolutionary advantage do viruses have in host specificity?

Warning: I have almost no knowledge of biology past the high school level. Viruses generally have three components: the DNA, the virus protein coat, and an outer membrane "decorated" with these ...
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Can (or have) antiviral drugs created drug-resistant viruses?

Evolution/emergence of antibiotic-resistance in bacteria is a known effect of extensive use of pharmaceutical antibiotics. Pharmaceutical antivirals have come into extensive use in recent decades – e....
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Why can't we find a broad spectrum antiviral drug to viruses like antibiotics to bacteria?

Antibiotics have a very broad spectrum because they attack the metabolism pathways many bacteria share. For example, penicillin inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis, which is vital for formation of cell ...
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Why doesn't HIV spread through vectors? [duplicate]

HIV spreads only through body fluids. If a mosquito bites an HIV infected individual and then an uninfected individual, will the virus spread to the new individual?
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How did Smith et al 2004 deal with missing HI [Hemagglutination Inhibition assay] values and HI values <10?

In the scientific paper "Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus's" Supporting Material, Smith et al write about determining antigenic distance Dij. However, I don't understand ...
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How do I interpret this graph regarding introduced genes and virus-infected cells?

This graph appeared in a practice test for the MCAT. I am trying to interpret it, but it confuses me a bit. On the x-axis we have some introduced genes, and on the y-axis we have % of cells infected. ...
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Learning industry skills for virology?

I am trying to learn more about virology for a tentative job I could be taking soon, as a quality control person in virology. However, I have not taken a formal virology course, nor any course work ...
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Fastest viral cycle (in eukaryotes) and theoretical limits?

I could not find any comprehensive review about this; I'm interested in comparing the duration of viral cycles from the entry in the host cell to the release of a mature virion. In particular, I am ...
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Infecting yeast with viruses

Is there any virus, either natural or engineered, known to infect yeast through mechanisms similar to phages/human viruses, that is, by horizontal contamination mediated by extracellular viral ...
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What does common viruses found in the body weigh?

On NPR public radio news it was said that if the bacteria that is natural that assist in body function or just present in your body was put it into a ball it would weigh more or less 7 ounces (...
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Why do -ssRNA viruses need to do intermediate positive strand (antigenome) instead of just replicate it negative strands?

I was reading about RSV replication here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3185921/, but i cannot understand what is the reason for making a antigenome instead of just replicate it negative ...
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What is the chemical composition / empirical formula of Herpes Simplex 1?

Viruses such as polio are so well documented that a search for "empirical formula polio" gives you something like ...
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How reliable is the life cycle information on PhagesDB?

If I'm understanding this correctly, PhagesDB users choose the Cluster/Subcluster during the upload, and the life cycle type is assigned solely based on this data. How reliable is that information? ...
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Choosing viruses for influenza vaccine

When scientists choose viruses for the influenza vaccine based on biological and clinical data, what indicates that a certain strain will circulate and likely be dominant in a certain season? Does a ...
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Can bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells be destroyed by resonance?

Radiotherapy has been used to treat cancer. Can the resonances by coordinated electromagnetic waves (and/or other forms of waves), of various frequencies, amplitudes and pulse rates, directed from ...
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Why can't bacteriophages survive inside the human body thus negating the possibility of using them against bacteria?

I read about the therapeutic uses of bacteriophages in Pelczar's Microbiology. It was written that it is reasonable to think that bacteriophages could be used to kill pathogenic bacteria. However, the ...
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Infant immunization

I know that polio vaccine consists of small dose of polio virus itself, which activates body's immunity against the disease. An infant is given a no of vaccines including chickenpox, tetanus, ...
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How Would I Isolate and Amplify a Viral Enzyme? [closed]

what procedures would I use to isolate and amplify integrase? If I am trying to study the integrase enzyme which is found in HIV how would I 1) destroy the viral capsule to release its contents. 2) ...
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We know that the hepatitis C virus can live on surfaces for at least six weeks. Maybe longer. The infectivity study ended after just six weeks; why?

Background A paper has found that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can remain infective for at least six weeks on ordinary household surfaces. You can see the free full text, or a summary for busy ...
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A study found that the hepatitis C virus can live on surfaces for six weeks. Did they end the study before the seventh week began?

A study once found that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can remain infective for six weeks on ordinary household surfaces. You can see the free full text, or a summary for busy clinicians. What happened ...
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How do we know that mild forms of rabies are nonexistent?

Wikipedia's rabies article says: "Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms. Survival is almost unknown once symptoms have presented, even with the administration of proper and intensive ...