How do animals get viruses to pass on to humans? That’s what listener Ian wanted to know. To find out, we’re exploring the science of virology - the study of viruses. Virologist Dr. Jasdave Chahal explains how coronavirus jumped through two species into humans, and where they came from in the first place. Plus, we’ll find out how scientists discovered viruses before even seeing them, and how they built the tools to fight back.
If you're a "virologist" it means you study viruses. Here's a brief rundown of what a viruses is, from the Ameoba Sisters.
We also talk about the big events that led scientists to understand viruses. Read more on Wikipedia about the history of virology.
BATS & VIRUSES
Why are bats winged pools of viruses? Scientists are still trying to figure it out. (It's a field called, "Bat immunology." Kinda cool.)
Here's a great video explaining why bats don't get sick from all their germs.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW VIRUSES SPREAD?
MIT (where Jasdave developed his work on vaccines) has launched an online learning platform with lessons for each week. Their first week for the early grades is about how diseases spread. Follow along with videos and activities!