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Biology   >   Virology

The Impact of Viruses

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In this course, Dr Sarah Gretton (University of Leicester) talks about viruses. To do so, this series of mini-lectures expands on: (i) the impact of viral epidemics and pandemics throughout history, as well as understanding some key aspects of viruses; before (ii) delving into more details about viruses including their size compared to other biological items, common viral components and their organisation; and then (iii) introducing the viral life-cycle; before (iv) understanding how viruses can cause disease, sites of infection and replication and routes of entry and transmission; and finally (v) discussing the means of preventing and fighting the spread of viruses.

The Impact of Viruses

In this first mini-lecture, we talk about the impact of viruses throughout history. As we are all aware, viral pandemics and epidemics have been a major discussion over the past two years or so, but in this mini-lecture we contextualise this latest global pandemic with other recently recorded epidemics in terms of their spread and lethality. We then talk about the other impacts viruses can have on human health, including certain cancers (Epstein-Barr virus). In addition to this, we begin to understand the scientific discoveries that have been made possible by understanding viruses better, such as immunology and vaccinations. To finish off, we give a brief description of what a general virus might look like, how many there are in the world, and how they might differ from bacteria and other living organisms.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gretton, S. (2022, August 30). Virology - The Impact of Viruses [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gretton, S. "Virology – The Impact of Viruses." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Aug 2022,


Dr Sarah Gretton

Dr Sarah Gretton

Leicester University