Research NewsVirology

Viruses Have Many Ways to Be Unwelcome Guests

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Science  10 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5361, pp. 204-205
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5361.204

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LYONS, FRANCE-- Despite their apparent molecular simplicity, viruses have evolved sophisticated strategies to survive and propagate within their hosts, including slavish dependency, blatant molecular thievery, and occasional haughty independence. At a recent meeting here, some 150 virologists gathered to review current research on the lifestyles of more than 40 viruses that infect organisms from bacteria to humans. Among the topics discussed were the various strategies viruses use to produce all the proteins they need with their limited number of genes, and how viruses with double-stranded RNA such as rotaviruses manage to replicate when their host cells do not have the enzymes necessary to replicate double-stranded RNA.