- Ben Fuchs
The universe is filled with a lot really cool things, from neutron stars that are so dense that they are capable of crushing all known matter into one homogenous mass, to quantum substances that flash in and out of existence in nanoseconds, to the cell, the fundamental unit of biology, that can produce over 100,000 different molecules a second, all in the space of 1/00th the size of head of a pin. But nothing, absolutely nothing is more interesting, intriguing or more fascinating than a virus.
Viruses are the most abundant biological entity on earth. They’re about a hundred times smaller than a typical human cell. While viruses are mysterious, what most of us do know about these enigmatic entities is that we don’t like them. The dictionary uses terms to define word “virulent” (virus-like) such as severe, harmful, poisonous, toxic, lethal and fatal, among other awful descriptors of doom. Many of the scariest health challenges anyone can have to deal with, from polio to AIDS to smallpox to cancer, have been associated with these mysterious entities. But what exactly is this enigmatic entity that is the cause of so much consternation and concern?