Earth & Conservation

How Scared Should We Be Of Unknown Viruses?

While our knowledge of viruses that have come and gone is extensive, there are constantly new viruses popping up all around us.

Related on TestTube:
How Many Times Have Viruses Almost Destroyed Humanity?
Are Viruses Alive?

Related on TestTube:
How Many Times Have Viruses Almost Destroyed Humanity?
Are Viruses Alive?

This week on TestTube Plus, host Trace Dominguez talks about viruses. In the first episode, he discussed times that viruses almost destroyed humanity, followed up by an exploration of whether or not viruses can be considered "alive". Future episodes are going to be about how scientists are hacking viruses to help us live longer, and whether or is humanity a virus? In this episode he'll be talking about how much of a threat unknown viruses are to life on our planet.

Before 2001 we didn't know MERS existed. Sequencing of the sputum from an infected person in 2012 discovered current outbreak. Advances in genetic sequencing are helping geneticists discover new viruses all the time.

TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each weãk host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on topics like death, genetics, and artificial intelligence. TestTube Plus will also be available as a podcast--click here to subscribe!

Learn More:
Discovery of the first virus, the tobacco mosaic virus (NIH.gov)
"Two scientists contributed to the discovery of the first virus, Tobacco mosaic virus. Ivanoski reported in 1892 that extracts from infected leaves were still infectious after filtration through a Chamberland filter-candle. "

Are Viruses Alive? (Scientific American)
"Although viruses challenge our concept of what "living" means, they are vital members of the web of life"

General Properties of Viruses (ATSU.edu)
"Viruses contain either DNA or RNA as their genetic material, but not both. This nucleic acid usually has unique chemical and/or physical features which makes it distinguishable from human nucleic acid."