Viruses: the history of their discovery
VIRUSES: THE HISTORY OF THEIR DISCOVERY
Professor Ed Rybicki, Department of Microbiology, Director, Biopharming Research Unit, University of Cape Town
Viruses as a concept are just a little younger than bacteria. They were first described only in the 1890s, yet have probably co-existed with cellular life through nearly the whole of evolutionary history on this planet. They infect all types of cellular life forms, have very significantly influenced the evolution of all of them, and even constitute nearly 10% of our own genome. This course will introduce the concept of viruses as organisms, and give an account of the history of their discovery, concentrating on the technological developments that were necessary for the discovery events to happen. The lectures will also highlight what is understood of how viral pandemics occur, and what can be done to protect ourselves from them.
1. Introduction to viruses and their discovery
2. Early history of the discovery of viruses
3. The dawn of molecular virology
4. Viruses and human cancer
5. Pandemics and panic
This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.
Rybicki, E.P.,2015. A Short History of the Discovery of Viruses. Apple Books This book will be available from the author, also as a PDF file, once participants have registered for the course.