A Form of Biology
What is Virology?
Virology is the study of different kinds of viruses. This includes learning about their structure, classification, evolution, and the different ways they infect and exploit cells for reproduction. Virology is very important because many different diseases caused by viruses have been cured or at least had a way to prevent them. Virology is a form of biology because viruses are living things and they affect living things in different ways. Often, they are detrimental to a living organism, but in many cases they can be used to help.
Edward Jenner was born on May 17, 1749, in Berkely, Gloucestershire, England. Jenner was a keen observer of nature and in 1770 he went to St. George's hospital to study anatomy under many well known surgeons like John Hunter and the likes. Afterward he set up his own medical practice in Berkely. On January 1823 he was found in a state of apolexy with his right side paralysed. Because of his ailment he died on January 23, 1923. Before his death though, he managed to find a cure for smallpox. In 1788, smallpox was running rampant through Gloucestershire and Jenner noticed that most of the victims were ones who worked closely with cattle. Because of this he began testing on one of his patients, an 8 year old boy named James Phipps, by putting a small amount of smallpox into him. The boy reacted the way a smallpox victim would react but after a small amount of time he was fine and no longer reacted to the smallpox virus. Jenner was a virologist because by studying viruses he discovered the vaccine for polio.
Salk was born on October 28, 1914. As he got older he eventually joined the Michigan School of Public Health. Later in 1949, he became the leader of the Pittsburg virus research lab. While he was at the Pittsburgh research lab, he began researching Polio, a kind of virus that can paralyse you. He realized that there were 3 main strains of Polio and began testing for a cure in 1952. He continued testing for a little over 2 years and over 2 million children were tested. In 1955, the vaccine for polio was approved for widespread use. Salk was a virologist because he studied the Polio virus.
Dr. Robert Gallo
Gallo was born on March 23, 1937 in Waterbury Connecticut to a family of italian immigrants. He eventually grew up to earn his M.D. in biology and work at the National Cancer Institute. Gallo is known for co-finding HIV as the cause for AIDS and for creating the blood test that allows blood transfers to be safe. He also discovered the first human leukemia virus, one of the first viruses found to cause cancer. Gallo was a virologist because while researching different viruses such as Leukemia and HIV, he discovered more of what causes them and how to find them.
Robert Gallo today
Jonas Salk on Time Magazine
Portrait of Edward Jenner