Thought LeadersProfessor Peter StockleyProfessorUniversity of Leeds
In this interview, News-Medical spoke to Professor Peter Stockley about his latest research that looked at what makes viruses infectious.
What provoked your research into viruses?
I started life as a chemistry student but realized that the chemistry of life was more of interest. Viruses straddle the line between a living and non-living life cycle and so are fascinating objects, especially in their ability to encode the repeated building of the non-living protective “lifeboat” we call a virus.
Virus. Image Credit: [email protected]/Shutterstock.com
Please can you give an overview into what viruses are and how they spread?
Viruses are non-living parasites that use cellular hosts to replicate and create new viral particles. These often cause infected cells to burst open, releasing new viral copies.
However, it is not in a virus’s interest to kill its host, since that would reduce the number of future hosts it can infect. Such consequences seem to be accidental side-effects of the way hosts respond to infection.
What is meant by the term ‘virion’?
The virion is the “lifeboat” protecting the viral nucleic acid through escape from one cell and invasion of the next…