Science is mostly outside my area of knowledge.  I took notes.  It was informative.

Viruses follow a three-part strategy:

  1. They package their genetic information into a particle.
  2. They plug into a cell to produce new virus particles.  A few viral genes can take over a cell.
  3. They must take down host defenses.

Viruses are a tool to dissect biological nodes and replicate.  There’s potential for technological development there that waits research.  A virologist has good job security: where there’s life there’s viruses — extremophile viruses have been discovered and have information for us about stable structures for nanotechnology.   A virologist has to know a little bit of every informational domain.

Sequencing technology is a game-changer.  As the boffins among us map out the gene sequences of viruses advantances in software and bio-informatics will be needed.

The closer study of what viruses do to us raises questions.  Are viruses the pathogens that cause the disease, or a sympton?  What’s the good stuff and what’s the bad stuff?  And what are they doing in our gut?  They need intestinal microflora to replicate.

Systems approach: study genes over an array of strands.    Information flows through networks, diseases arise when information flow is disturbed over networks.  What networks are active when you’re sick?

Public need and support drives research.  Scientists remain talking to the community.  It may be basic stuff, like how to run a laboratory.  And scientists remain talking to each other, across disciplines.  New discovery will not come out of following what’s popular trends.  Personal curiosity drives discovery, the “a-ha” moment, the “now, that’s interesting” moment.  Look for the gaps in our knowledge.