Ask US Something: Can viruses be good for us?

Is your head consistently spinning with outlandish, mind-burning questions? In case you’ve ever questioned what the universe is manufactured from, what would occur when you fell right into a black gap, and even why not everybody can contact their toes, then it’s best to remember to hear and subscribe to Ask Us Something, a model new podcast from the editors of Common Science. Ask Us Something hits Apple, Anchor, Spotify, and in every single place else you take heed to podcasts each Tuesday and Thursday. Every episode takes a deep dive right into a single question we all know you’ll wish to stick round for.

Viruses have been the discuss of the city this previous 12 months, and for good cause. A reasonably lethal one—SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19—has discovered its strategy to each nook of the globe. This pandemic has proven simply how harmful viruses could be, and it’s undoubtedly not the primary to take action. However the world isn’t essentially black and white, and viruses aren’t any completely different. So on this episode of Ask Us Something, I’m excited to offer a highlight to the do-gooders of the virus world. 

Sure, good viruses do exist. Actually, all kinds of microorganisms, from viruses to micro organism and fungi, exist in and on our our bodies with out harming us. Researchers have dubbed our resident viruses the “virome.” However viruses are a bit completely different from the micro organism and fungi that decision our our bodies residence. Particularly, they will’t replicate and not using a dwelling host. They enter cells and hijack their controls to make copies of themselves. Fairly gnarly and sneaky, besides, they will nonetheless confer advantages to the dwelling beings they rely on—human or in any other case. 

For instance, the event of the placenta was helped partly by a bunch of particular viruses referred to as historical retroviruses. To listen to in regards to the quite a few different ways in which viruses have helped form who we’re at present and what researchers are nonetheless discovering about how they assist us thrive, take heed to this week’s episode. 

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