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João Marques, Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, provides an overview of
his research, discussing viruses and explaining RNA interference mechanisms, arbovirus structure, and more.

Podcast Points:

  • How do viruses evade immune systems?
  • What is RNA interference?
  • What can we learn about viruses by studying mosquitos?

Dr. João Marques earned his PhD from the Brazilian Federal University of Minas Gerais. Dr. Marques’ work was centered on the interaction between viruses and select host immune responses.

Dr. Marques discusses his background and why he became so interested in viruses in particular, and devoted much of his study to them. As he explains, they are fascinating because as small as they are, they can still have immense power within species, when the right conditions are present.

He explains why he was interested in viruses, and how hosts recognize virus infections. Dr. João Marques began working with insects and focused some of his studies on the mechanism of RNA interference, a very important antiviral response for most animals.

Dr. Marques explains how some viruses are excellent at evading immune systems. He discusses HIV in particular and how it targets cells. Continuing, he explains acute infections, and how some viruses proliferate rapidly, jumping from host to host.

The research doctor explains how double-stranded RNA is involved in the process of virus life, and he discusses how systems seek to contain infection. Going deeper, Dr. Marques explains how the production of proteins plays a role in informing other cells that certain cells are infected.

The research doctor talks about some of his work and experimentation with mosquitos, explaining infection and how viruses grow. As he explains, there is much still to learn about viruses and infections, and there are many intriguing questions. Continuing his overview,

Dr. Marques provides in-depth information on how viruses spread, detailing how the goal of a virus is to grow to a high level but not kill the host. Going further, he explains how viruses may appear, and how viruses that infect humans may have previously been solely mosquito viruses.

This virus evolution is a complex process, but it appears to be happening, though more research needs to be done to confirm theories.

Wrapping up, the virus expert talks about signature viruses that can tell us a lot about specific biology. He talks about density issues and how viruses within mosquitos mutate.

 

 

 

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