Lars Larson and I discussed on his program the distinction between eradicating and controlling viruses and the complexities of virus management posed by different viral characteristics.
Although viruses are not alive, they have evolved into a perfect replication machine. And they do so without having to exert themselves at all. The infected host cell does all the work because the virus tricks it into doing so. Reproduction without life; pretty fascinating.
Although COVID-19 is giving us a temporary respite, influenza in humans and animals remains a serious threat. Its deadly H5N1 strain is spreading geographically and in more species of mammals, making the emergence of a pandemic strain more likely. We need to prepare.
'Tis the season. As we turn to the holidays, their spiritual meanings, and the liminal moment as we end another extraordinary pandemic year, we should take stock of our position. We should consider that a bit of DNA, far smaller than we can see, that we could not imagine until 1892 has brought the world to its collective knees. Where exactly do we stand in the grand scheme of life?
Bats are unique. For instance, they are the only mammals that can fly. But they also seem to be the mammal that hosts the greatest number of highly virulent viruses that can infect humans. Why?
There are three major reasons why SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, will never be eradicated.
In the Digital Age, we have access to more information than at any time in human history. But that doesn't stop the spread of conspiracy theories. Here are the best (worst?) ones involving the new coronavirus and the disease COVID-19.
All told, there are probably a couple of hundred different causes of the common cold. Amazon's attempt to create a common cold vaccine is, therefore, a foolish waste of money. Instead, the asset-rich company should spend it on antiviral research.
Boeing has designed self-cleaning airplane bathrooms that implement UV light. To stop the spread of infectious disease, the entire airplane cabin -- and perhaps other public places -- should also be bathed in UV light.
Why do microbes kill some people but not others? This is one of the hardest questions to answer in medical microbiology. Here's what we know about the senator's tragic death from the rare tickborne virus.
Identifying the cause of an infectious disease is time-consuming and not always easy. So a company called Karius has developed a blood test that analyzes cell-free DNA to identify more than a thousand pathogens.
You don't need to purchase an air purifier for your house. You have a built-in air purifier called the respiratory system.