2014: The Year of the Virus
Ebola is now a dreaded household name. Everyone has heard of this virus, causing thousands of deaths in countries in Africa particularly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. We followed the plight of health care workers who put their lives on the line to battle the viral disease, trying to prevent the virus from spreading to the next host. But what about the Enterovirus D68? And what about Chlorovirus, Densovirus, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Ranavirus? (See Bullets below).
Our understanding of the viral world is severely limited. Viruses are the most numerous and diverse entities on earth with estimates of 1.7 billion different viruses and levels as high as 1030 viruses in the ocean alone (This means 30 zeros after the 1! known as a nonillion, far beyond a quadrillion). Hundreds of known viruses infect humans, yet this is the tip of the ice berg. Using advanced next generation sequencing techniques we are gaining a glimpse into the viral world and are astonished by what we are finding.
In human sewage we have only been able to identify 11% of the genetic signatures (89% are unknown to us). We find human, animal, —> Read More Here