Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Build your own virus

Build your own virus! is a simple, quick, and fun game that provides a good way to introduce students to features that are used to distinguish viruses.

The game works like this:
  • First, you choose whether the virus has an envelope or not.
  • Next, you choose whether the genome is single or double-stranded.
  • Then you pick your favorite kind of nucleic acid - RNA or DNA
  • Last, you decide if the viral particle should be small, medium, or large.
  • And the site tells you what kind of virus you built (computer is not a choice!).
A good memory game is to pick a virus and try to remember it's characteristics to see if you can get it built.

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Blogger WendSight said...

I like your blog and will follow your stories and post your blog on my blogroll - I have a science and medicine blog called WendSight at My recent story on viruses was a popular story in the news:

Virus implicated in weight gain

I have been following this line of thinking for several years now - it was presented several years ago at the Experimental Biology conference and continues to be studied.

Scientific American reports,"New study results bolster the controversial hypothesis that certain cases of obesity are contagious. Over the last 20 years, some research has suggested that certain strains of human and avian adenoviruses--responsible for ailments ranging from the chest colds to pink eye - actually make individuals build up more fat cells. Having antibodies to one strain in particular, so-called Ad-36, proved to correlate with the heaviest obese people, and in one study, pairs of twins differed in heft depending on exposure to that virus. Now researchers have identified another strain of adenovirus that makes chickens plump."

Read more about this interesting work at Scientific American's web site.

5:56 AM  

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