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The Molecular Biology of Coronaviruses — Livestream Presentation Thursday

Jonathan McLatchie
Photo credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash.

Last week, many of you tuned in for a YouTube livestream featuring Dr. Mike Behe on the subject of the biochemical basis of COVID-19 (you can still view the recording here). The event was organized and hosted by the British Centre for Intelligent Design.

Tomorrow, Thursday, at 3 pm Eastern time (8 pm British time), I am going to be delivering the second presentation in the three part series. My presentation will last around 40 minutes and will be followed by a live Q&A. Click this link to join me! 

I will give a brief introduction to virology, including a discussion of the classification of viruses (e.g., naked versus enveloped; types of viral genomes), viral structure, and the human virome (including the domestication of endogenous retroviruses in our genomes, and how bacteriophages, which are viruses infecting bacteria, may actually be our first line of defense against pathogens). 

You will also learn about the molecular machinery that allows viruses to gain entry into cells. I will discuss the defense mechanisms that bacteria and archaea have acquired against viruses and how those may be countered by viruses. I will review the theories that have been offered regarding the evolutionary origins of viruses. Finally, I will discuss the distinctive aspects of coronaviruses specifically, and review the outbreaks that have been caused by this family of viruses, including the SARS outbreak in 2002-2004, the MERS outbreak in 2012, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash.