Posts Tagged ‘phage’

A Short History of the Discovery of Viruses

6 March, 2015

Now much updated, streamlined, added to and otherwise tarted up!  This is the Web version of an eBook, which you can now get here:

A Short History of the Discovery of Viruses – Edward Rybicki


See also here for a “pocket reference version” of the discovery of viruses

Part 1: Filters and Discovery

Part 2: The Ultracentrifuge, Eggs and Flu

Part 3: Phages, Cell Culture and Polio

Part 4: RNA Genomes and Modern Virology

Sidebar 1: The Discovery of Filoviruses

Sidebar 2: Papillomaviruses and Human Cancer

Sidebar 3: Epstein-Barr Virus and Hepatitis B Virus

Sidebar 4: Human Retroviruses and Cancer

Sidebar 5: Maize Streak Virus: The Early History

Sidebar 6: Rinderpest and Its Eradication

Sidebar 7: Viruses and human cancer: the molecular age

Copyright Edward P Rybicki and Russell Kightley, February and March 2015, except where otherwise noted.

Happy Anniversary, Apollo 11!

16 July, 2009

Forty years ago today
Neil Armstrong was just learning to say
A giant leap for all mankind….

Apologies to messrs. Lennon & McCartney – but given my obsessive fascinations with (a) vintage rock, (b) outer space, I just HAD to do that.  One might also diffidently mention here the first decent musical commemoration of the first moon landing, which was of course “For Michael Collins, Jeffery and Me“, on Jethro Tull’s “Benefit” album.

“I’m with you, LEM
It’s just a shame that it had to be you
The mothership is just a blip
From your trip made for two…”

And, of course, added to this is the imperative from my professional obsession with inner space, and the vehicles that ferry genetic material across that: viruses, naturally!

Ten years ago, on the 30th anniversary, I included an interactive panel (called “The Virus as Spacecraft”) in my still-unfinished standalone multimedia teaching vehicle, “An Electronic Introduction to Molecular Virology”, commemmorating the date, and the fact that the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) looked exactly like a T-even phage, and why that should be.

Great presentation, I still think; made using a depiction of T4 coliphage as a machine (packed with floppy disks); official NASA images of Apollo spacecraft, Russell Kightley’s T4 pictures, and Linda Stannard’s EMs of T4, using the legendary “Illuminatus” multimedia suite (now a “legacy product”…B-(, with “In-a-gadda-da-vida” as the opening title backing track.  Ah, me….  I still use it, mind; it’s just that the Web is a much easier vehicle to use these days, and students’ access is SO much better.

But lest we forget: