Virology is defined as the study of viruses, which are "small, acellular entities that usually possess only a single type of nucleic acid and that must use the metabolic machinery of a living host in order to reproduce."
Virology is important because of the many human diseases caused by viruses. The study of viruses has also significantly contributed to the advanced knowledge in the fields of molecular biology and genetic engineering.
Viruses are interesting because although they are so closely tied to living things, viruses are technically not considered to be alive because they cannot reproduce on their own. Viruses require host cells in order to reproduce themselves.
The process that viruses use to take control of a host cell can be quite complicated without the aid of pictures and diagrams. The Internet is an excellent resource for locating virus images and animations that help to simplify viral processes. Detailed lecture notes and informational articles published by college professors and enthusiastic virologists are also available. Listed below are some of the best websites available for studying virology.
INTRODUCTION TO VIROLOGY
All the Virology on the WWW
This is a comprehensive resource for all topics relating to virology.
Pathology, Forensics, & VirologyCenter
This website is an excellent resource for virology research with links to virology journals, databases, lecture notes, and more.
Biological Diversity: Viruses
This is an online biology textbook with information on virology, complete with diagrams.
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
This page links to informational articles on a list of infectious diseases provided by the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.
This is an article about the body's innate immunity against foreign cells.
This is information about influenza.
The Rabies Virus
This website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses the rabies virus.
International Herpes Management Forum
This website is devoted to educating patients and medical practitioners about the herpes virus.
This is a website that provides resources for AIDS education.
VIRUS IMAGES AND ANIMATIONS
The Big Picture Book of Viruses
This website is exactly what it sounds like: a large collection of virus pictures and information.
Virus: Foe or Enemy?
This is an interesting animation of how a virus invades a living cell.
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