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Coral reefs struggle with the herpes virus just like we do. In fact, this virus runs all through the animal tree of life. How has it managed to become so successful? By effectively hiding from immune systems.

Press play to explore the following:

  • In what specific way are phages so important for bacteria?
  • Why biological thinking may be too cell-centric, and how a fundamental change in the way we understand viruses could lead to important discoveries
  • How viruses can sense whether a cell is living or dead

Forest Rohwer is a microbial ecologist and professor of biology at San Diego State University who focuses primarily on two ecosystems: coral reefs, and the human body. He says that the former is a good analog of the latter, especially human mucosal surfaces. The ecology of cystic fibrosis, SARS-CoV-2 in the environment, and coral reef restoration are three areas of active research for Rohwer. With experience in a wide range of topics and research projects in biology, he contributes his knowledge and opinions on a series of compelling questions about viruses.

He explains the difference between viral and cellular replication, what governs when and why a virus will re-enter the lytic phase after a latency period and how this is associated with the health state of the host, whether viruses can be considered a quasi-species in their coordination to enter and infect cells, and so much more.

Visit https://coralandphage.org/ to learn more.

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK

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