Viruses: The enigma of life with Pavel Plevka

This episode is with Pavel Plevka. He is a research group leader at Central European institute of technology (CEITEC). His research is focused on solving the structures of viruses in order to understand their mechanism of action.

For this conversation, My co-host is Anna Papageorgiou.

Here we talk about general aspects of viruses, their genomes, evolution of viruses, their infection strategies, impact of viruses on human health, environment and agriculture.

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00:00:00 Introduction

00:01:01 What is a virus and why do we study them?

00:02:02 Size of a viruses

00:03:57 Viroids and Gene Transfer Agents (GTA)

00:05:17 How to visualize viruses?

00:07:03 Different structures of viruses

00:08:34 Classification of viruses

00:10:01 How do viruses recognize their hosts and infect them?

00:16:58 Viral mechanism of action

00:19:42 How viruses can infect multiple hosts?

00:21:52 Essential features of viral genomes

00:23:30 Membranes and envelopes of viruses

00:26:05 Evolutionary origins of viruses

00:29:22 Why viruses are not part of the tree of life?

00:30:17 Co-evolution of viruses and hosts

00:37:24 How widespread viruses are?

00:39:47 Therapeutic strategies against viruses

00:42:26 Prevention against viruses

00:44:55 Phage therapy

00:47:27 Use of viruses in cancer therapies

00:49:00 Gene therapy

00:51:02 Importance of viruses for ecology

00:54:44 How viruses survive the extreme conditions?

00:58:40 Honeybee viruses

01:00:12 Do viruses carry known functions?

01:01:35 Are viruses alive?

01:02:29 What the technology lacks?

01:03:34 Pavel's favorite virus

01:04:21 Recommended article

01:05:10 Thank you!

Music by: Ahmed Hassan (