Quo Vadis Astrovirology?
When: October 25, 2010 11AM PDT
What is “Astrovirology” and where is it going? In the last few years there has been a quiet revolution in the study of viruses on our planet and in our ecosystem. The presence of vast numbers and astounding diversity of viruses in all known environments has been confirmed. Moreover, the discovery of new “giant” viruses has blurred the accepted definition of viruses. Currently, the role of viruses in terrestrial global cycles and their role in origins and evolution of life as we know it are under intense investigation. We consider these studies to be “Astrovirology”. Other central questions in “Astrovirology” include: “What is a virus?”, “How old are viruses and how can they be detected?”, and “What is (or are) the origin(s) of viruses?”. This presentation will address these questions and discuss recent results from our research on virus preservation and a discovery-based study of viruses in an extreme environment, Boiling Springs Lake, in Lassen Volcanic National Park.