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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How does a virus stick to a non-biological surface?

Recent events has triggered an renewed interest in understanding how a virus is able to stay on a surface. For sake of argument, let's assume we are dealing with a Corona-type virus. One can then ...
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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 attached ...
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Why are adenoviral vector vaccines safe in terms of insertion mutagenesis due to genome integration and E4 region's proteins effects?

Disclaimer: I'm neither a genetics professional nor an anti-vax fanatic, I just tried to compare COVID-19 vaccine types currently available on the market and got some questions that I'd like to answer ...
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Why there is no ELISA for SARS-CoV-2?

As far as I know, SARS-CoV-2 tests currently used worldwide are real-time RT-PCR. Why there is no ELISA for SARS-CoV-2? Compared to PCRs, ELISA is: Way cheaper; Way faster; Does not require trained ...
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Reason for partially double-stranded DNA of Hepatitis B virus

According to my school biology textbook and also Wikipedia, hepatitis B is the only Hepatitis virus to possess partially double-stranded DNA. I found an image from here What is the reason for the ...
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How was 2019-nCoV (Wuhan coronavirus) identified so quickly?

It seems that from the first few cases to identifying 2019-nCoV as a new disease happened very quickly. How were they able to identify this as a new disease and not an outbreak of a previously known ...
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What percentage of cells in the human body are infected during a non-fatal viral infection?

I understand that this would be a very rough estimate, but approximately how many cells in the human body are infected during an average non-fatal viral infection before the infection is eliminated by ...
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364 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 ...
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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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Do we know that PrEP actually prevents infection, rather than masking it?

Pre-exposure prophylactic treatment (PrEP) for HIV is commonly said to reduce infection rates by more than 75%. Similar treatments for already-infected patient treatments do not cure HIV, but reduce ...
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107 views

How does taking drugs speed up the development of drug resistant or viruses?

First, here is what I know: Some infectious illnesses, such as HIV or Hepatitis B, can be treated with the help of some drugs. The problem is that the virus sometimes undergoes mutations which grant ...
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Can 3% hydrogen peroxide be used as effective disinfectant and antiseptic?

I was curious to see whether 3% hydrogen peroxide can be used as antimicrobial and virucidal product for daily use in home. There are several disinfecting products in the market claim that use of ...
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Should gene therapy safety protocol include isolation?

In the case of a gene therapy trial where viral vectors are used to deliver genes into mammalian cells, including humans, should biosafety and ethical protocols include isolation of the patient as a ...
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How do adenoviruses interact with muscle tissue that it makes them acceptable as vector viruses?

From what I understand certain attenuated adenoviruses are popular as a vector virus, meaning a virus that is used as the active agent in a vaccine to infect cells and trigger a helpful immune ...
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Can human pathogens present on plants become plant pathogens?

Since human pathogens sometimes live on the surface of plant leaves(read here and and here), and there are plant-pathogen microbes also living on leaf surfaces, is it possible for plant virulence ...
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28 views

Protein half-life regulating gene expression

Are there any instances in real life of protein half-life regulating gene expression? For example, in a cell, Gene A produces a starting population of protein P, after which the expression of the gene ...
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Would symptoms differ from eating virus contaminated food versus breathing in virus?

Would symptoms differ from eating virus contaminated food versus breathing in virus? The COVID-19 causes respiratory symptoms and I guess that is because people are breathing in virus droplets in ...
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Could blood transfusions from COVID19 surviver be worth researching as a possible form of treatment

As a general viral immunology question (rather than seeking personal medical advice). Would a blood transfusion from a COVID19 surviver to a sufferer be worth researching as a possible form of ...
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design and assessment of qPCR primers for COVID19

I read the False Negative of qPCR test for COVID19 is high compare to CT scans. https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2020200642 I was curious if experts can comment on why and what makes it ...
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IU Unit in Virology

In a paper recently I saw "Cell are infected with 50,000 IU of virus per 100ul well". I can not seem to find a defintion of this unit? Is it a functional unit or just a count? If someone is familiar ...
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340 views

Are there examples of non-pathogenic RNA viruses?

There do seem to be some non-pathogenic DNA viruses, for example Foamy virus. Non-pathogenic viruses would be great to use for gene therapy applications, except DNA viruses incorporate themselves into ...
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Can HBV pseudotyped oncolytic viruses be used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma?

Chronic hepatitis B is the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Oncolytic virotherapy (OV) is an emerging tool to treat cancer. However, one challenge of OV is that our immune system may ...
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Mosquito vs Human: Swapping the roles

Is there a known mosquito-specific lethal (for some relevant species of mosquitos) virus that you could safely (for the humans) put into the blood of living humans? Is it technically possible to ...
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Do symptoms of common cold infections correlate with the infectious agent?

The common cold - in summary, an acute upper respiratory tract viral infection - is one of the most frequent viral infections in humans and can be caused by about 200 viral types [Eccles (2005)]. ...
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Can viruses replicate in a cell that's already dead?

Suppose a virus randomly lands on a cell that's just lying around. This cell may have just recently died, or died a while ago. This cell may also be part of tissue of a dead organism.* Does the virus ...
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Do all +ssRNA viruses have similar structures and life cycles?

Take HCV for example. HCV doesn't package any enzymes in it's virions. When it infects a cell, it first translates its RNA genome. It's RdRp is synthesized with other non-structural proteins. Then its ...
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HIV and open reading frames

In Wilk et al. 2001 I saw that HIV has 3 open reading frames. In the Watts et al. 2009, I noticed they mentioned HIV has 9 open reading frames. I don't understand this very well. e.g. ...
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How some virus are able to reach the CNS?

I know that the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) could provoke meningitis and encephalitis when this virus reaches the brain. However, there are other viruses like Varicella (VSV), ...
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Why do some vaccines lose their efficacy with time?

Why do some vaccines lose with time their efficacy? The two obvious examples that I have in mind are influenza and tetanus. The former case is clear, as influenza virus undergoes frequent gene ...
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20 views

SARS-COV-2 detectability versus viability

This week (#47 of 2020) two meta-reviews were published in the Lancet. Ct values and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, a brief review published on 19 November in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, ...
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instances of virus transmission-enhancing research approvals

In February 2019 this article by epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch and professor Tom Inglesby raised concern about secret virus research. Washington Post article link. In 2014, U.S. officials imposed a ...
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Coronavirus: Why does soap inactivate the virus on skin, but not on surfaces?

In a comment on "Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions", published today in The Lancet Microbe, it is stated that household soap is highly effective on the skin. Not ...
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What prevents the translation of the negative strand of negative-sense viral genomic RNA?

Some RNA viruses contain negative-sense RNA. Then they use this negative-sense RNA to make positive-sense RNA that is then translated into protein. My question is what prevents the translational ...
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Why all negative ssRNA viruses have helical capsids?

You can always say it's a coincidence, but is there particular need to have a helical capsid? Do they need their RNA to be more protected than +ssRNA? Is it better for RdRp attachment? This paper ...
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Is the receptor of SARS-CoV-like viruses in bats still unknown?

A fairly detailed 2012 review (Whittaker et al.) on the Mechanisms of Coronavirus Cell Entry Mediated by the Viral Spike Protein noted that SARS-CoV-like viruses have been isolated in bats. In this ...
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How large a part of the corona-virus is coding?

If you find an example of a sequenced string of coronavirus it is about 30.000 long. Looking for example here https://nextstrain.org/ncov/europe you'll see that by far the largest part of this is ...
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Are there other examples besides wasps' polydnaviruses in which a parasitic species introduces an immunosuppressant virus in the parasite's host?

An interesting form of mutualism: Parasitoid wasps serve as hosts for the virus, and Lepidoptera serve as hosts for these wasps. The female wasp injects one or more eggs into its host along with a ...
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Difference between infectivity and cell fusion abillity of Virus. (COVID 19)

I'm a computational chemist who have interest in COVID-19. As a physical chemist, I'm lack of basic knowledge for biology. What is the difference between 'infectivity' and 'membrane fusion activity'?...
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Can plasmodial slime molds be infected by virus?

According to the definition, plasmodial slime mold consist of a "single cell" with thousands of nuclei. How would such a unique type of cell response to viral infection (if any)? Google search yield ...
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small airborne microorganisms, are in many instances attached to bigger particulate substances?

From https://biology.stackexchange.com/a/90193/56476 very small airborne microorganisms, are in many instances attached to bigger particulate substances in the air, whether liquid micro droplets or ...
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Rescuing a virus from naked (c)DNA

Reading the articles it seems that for several human virus strains, synthesizing the full-length genome then electroporating into vero cells and incubating a few days gave birth to living viruses that ...
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Where can I obtain Sputnik virophage samples?

I'm working on a project where I'm trying to use virophages as viral vectors in introducing CRISPR-Cas proteins into other viruses. I was wondering where I might be able to find replication-defective ...
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Has there ever been an approved viral infection treatment method based on the physical/mechanical properties of virus?

I imagined that typical cells and viruses could have very different physical properties or reactions to mechanical stresses, which makes selective targetting possible. For instance, some major ...
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Can cell mediated immune response be transferred via blood transfusion

I read that human body can develop cell mediated immunity to viral infections and subsequently clear the virus. For example, people clear warts through cell mediated immune response against the wart ...
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Species diversity in cheese and yoghurt?

There have been studies on the number of species on humans and in various other environments. I was wondering how many species including: viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi inhabit ordinary farm ...
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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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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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Virus plaque assay, pfu/ml calculation on plates with too little plaques formed

I am a student, so I hope it is okay to put this question here. I've done the virus plaque assay in a practical recently and have a few questions regarding the plaque count for pfu calculation. In ...