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Adaptation and Evolution: The Life of an RNA Virus (MWV35)

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source: Scivee (Making science visible)

March 5, 2010
From the flu to HIV, RNA viruses challenge our immune systems like no other infectious agent on the planet. RNA viruses provide unique insights into the patterns and processes of evolutionary change in real time. The study of viral evolution is especially topical given the growing awareness that emerging and re-emerging diseases (most of which are caused by RNA viruses) represent a major threat to public health. How do RNA viruses adapt and change, and how do our bodies respond? Why are diseases like HIV so difficult to predict and contain?

 

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