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Renowned for his knowledge and expertise in biology, University of Oxford Professor Denis Noble once again returns to the show to share his insight. Today’s episode deals with the topic of viruses, and it is the first in what will be a thorough and compelling series on virology.

Throughout the course of this series, Richard Jacobs will interview approximately 30 scientists and researchers, each with something unique and meaningful to contribute to the conversation.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why, evolutionarily speaking, some types of viruses multiply within the host’s cells before killing the host’s cells soon after, and why other viruses reside dormant within cells for years, often undetected
  • What is actually going on during the “latency period” of a viral infection, and how the answer might have more to do with the reaction of the host’s own immune system than the virus itself
  • Why there seems to be a correlation between the mechanisms for viral spread and the types of cells infected by a given virus

The COVID-19 situation has created an unprecedented global stir of questions about viruses: Why would one type of virus have such a different structure and function than another type of virus? How do viruses spread, and why do they seem to trigger different immune responses in different people? Why can it be so challenging to find an effective way to eliminate them?

Noble provides a great deal of compelling information on these topics and more, including the possible connection between exosomes and the origin of viruses, the ways in which the microbiome might change around a cell once the cell is infected by a virus, how viruses find their targets, and the role of viruses in evolution and speciation.

Learn more about Denis Noble’s work and publications at

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