Sunday, 30 March 2014


Starting to write again, take 1:

Viruses are parasites. Specifically, they are obligate intracellular parasites.  I end up thinking about these kinds of parasites everyday in work and in my personal life. While they replicate inside all kinds of cells, can cause disease and may actually manipulate your behaviour, they are only one often-devastating example of the parasite world all around us. And, as sad it is to admit it (as a card-carrying 'virologist'), other kinds of parasites might actually be just as interesting as they are. What kinds of parasites, I hear you ask? Well, watch this amazing TED talk of Ed Yong or, if you prefer paper, read this recent book on the topic by Dickson Despommier: 'People, parasites, and plowshares'. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, viruses can be devastating but let's not forget that they have helped us throughout evolution, too: for example, the mammalian placenta expresses viral proteins. :-)