Virtual OMSI Science Pub: Extreme Virus Mutation | Learn About Rampant Recombination in Novel Viruses with Ken Stedman, PhD, Professor of Biology
Extreme Virus Mutation: Rampant Recombination in Novel Viruses with Ken Stedman, PhD, professor of biology and founding member of the Center for Life in Extreme Environments at Portland State University
Viruses outnumber all cellular organisms on Earth by at least 10 fold. Some viruses, like SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, make people sick, but the vast majority do not. In fact, most viruses co-evolve with their hosts and do not cause disease. Viruses may have co-evolved with cellular life since the origin of life itself. All organisms probably have viruses that infect them; some viruses even infect other viruses. Some viruses, like SARS-CoV-2, use RNA as their genetic material, others use DNA, like all cellular organisms, including us. RNA viruses in particular are known to evolve very rapidly, including by recombination. RNA and DNA viruses were thought to evolve separately, but recently we found evidence for recombination between RNA and DNA viruses.
In this talk, extreme virologist Ken Stedman will describe research in our group on virus mutation, first in the widespread extreme virus SSV1, and then in a completely new group of viruses that we discovered, the Cruciviruses or RNA-DNA hybrid viruses. These viruses appear to have evolved by an unprecedented recombination between RNA and DNA viruses and this recombination seems to be ongoing, constantly generating new viruses. Dr. Stedman will also do his best to answer your questions about viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
How to watch the event:
Go to OMSI’s main facebook page at 6:15pm. Here’s a link: https://www.facebook.com/omsi.museum/ You DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch the live stream. Also, watch for scammers trying to get you to sign up for the event. OMSI will NOT send you a request to sign up to view the Facebook Live event.
f you are unable to join us live, the video will automatically post OMSI’s Facebook Videos.
Each event will begin with our 10 question trivia game. Grab a pencil and paper and compete against your family! We will also host Q&A after the lecture. In order to ask a question, all you have to do is comment on Facebook.
Thanks to our video partner, Selestream for providing the live-streaming of Science Pub and thanks to Fingers Crossed Interpreting for providing the ASL interpreting!