A branch of Biology by Braden Fink
A virologist studies viruses that affects humans and other living matter in community clinical, agricultural, and natural environments. They usually work in a research or instructive settings. Some even acquire additional training and work with pharmaceuticals.
In 1788, smallpox swept through Gloustershire. Jenner noticed that his patients who worked with a lot of cattle and had been exposed to a milder disease, Cowpox, didn't contract smallpox. Jenner conducted an experiment in 1796 on an 8 year old boy. He made two cuts on the boy's arm and applied some cowpox puss. The boy had a slight fever but remained healthy. Weeks later Jenner repeated this except using smallpox puss. The boy remained healthy and Jenner's treatment was named vaccination after the medical name of cowpox, Vaccinia.
Esward Jenner picture courtesy of Lena Masonic Lodge
Skin lesions caused by smallpox. Picture by James Hicks
Edward Jenner administering the first smallpox vaccination in 1796. Painting by Ernst Board.
Jenner left a legacy behind for others to follow. His work with viruses before they were even known to be a thing paved the way for future virologist by bringing interest to the branch. His vaccination helped destroy smallpox where it can now only bee seen in a lab effectively mastering the concept of a virus.
The same year as becoming head of the virus research lab, Salk began research on Polio. By 1951, he realized that there were 3 types of the virus. With this he developed a "killed virus" vaccine and began testing in 1952. Using formaldehyde, Salk killed the poliovirus, but kept it intact enough to trigger the necessary immune response. 2 years later with approximately 2 million children given the vaccine to prove its effectiveness, it happened. In 1955 the vaccine was approved for widespread use leaving Salk a national hero.
Gallo discovered a T-cell growth factor which would keep white blood cells alive longer outside the body. This allowed for the discovery of a human retrovirus in 1981, which was called HTLV or Human T-cell Leukemia Virus. Gallo noticed similarities between this and a new disease called AIDS. He suspected it was caused by a virus or a retrovirus. A year later he succeeded in identifying the AIDS virus. Gall developed a test to screen blood for antibodies to the virus.