Imperial College London
What Are Viruses And How Do We Work With Them?
Imperial College London

What Are Viruses And How Do We Work With Them?

This course is part of Foundations in Virology and Vaccinology Specialization

Taught in English

Mike Skinner

Instructor: Mike Skinner

Included with Coursera Plus

Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Intermediate level

Recommended experience

11 hours (approximately)
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Recognise how viruses cause infection

  • Recognise how vaccines prevent infections

Details to know

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Recently updated!

March 2024

Assessments

11 assignments

Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Intermediate level

Recommended experience

11 hours (approximately)
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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This course is part of the Foundations in Virology and Vaccinology Specialization
When you enroll in this course, you'll also be enrolled in this Specialization.
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There are 5 modules in this course

The names of some viruses are instantly recognisable. The impact on an individual, a family, a community, and beyond, can be devastating. Disease, serious illness, and even death. Others have not been in the spotlight so much in recent years but have been incredible threats to humans and humanity. However, most recent COVID-19 pandemic, has shone a spotlight again on viruses and the fragility of our defences against, existing threats that are constantly mutating, adapting and evolving let alone against newly emerging threats. This week we look at the question: What are viruses?

What's included

6 videos5 readings2 assignments

How do viruses replicate and spread? If we want to understand the fundamental characteristics of viruses, so that we can find ways to tackle them, we need to know how viruses replicate and spread. In this module, we are going to look at virus replication and spread and introduce some terms around these concepts.

What's included

9 videos4 readings2 assignments

To be able to study viruses, we need to be able to isolate and then produce viruses using a process from horticulture called propagation. We can then use cells cultivated in mass quantities using laboratory techniques and pass the isolated virus cells through the cultivated cells to study the effects of the virus in a process called passaging. In this module, we will look at the development of propagation and passaging techniques – how these have evolved over time, and how they have impacted the development and production of vaccines.

What's included

8 videos5 readings3 assignments

There was a lot in the media about variants and mutations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had variants named after where they were first recognised. Then they were given Greek letter identifiers, such as delta and omicron. How important is it to have an understanding of how viruses evolve, and which types of viruses are likely to evolve much quicker than others? What is the impact of mutations on antiviral drug effectiveness? And overall, how are viruses, and the diseases they cause, shaped by mutation, selection and evolution? This week, we will look at virus mutation, their types and consequences, and the evolution of novel viruses through reassortment, recombination, and adaptation.

What's included

5 videos2 readings2 assignments1 discussion prompt

Conventional virus genetics talks about the range of genotypes, range of phenotypes, stability and quasispecies. Traditional genetic analysis often involves associating observable phenotypes with genotypes, then mapping the mutations causing those genotypes. Mapping normally involves looking at the genetic linkage between known and unknown genetic markers. In this module, we will look at viral genetics - the approaches used in conventional virus genetics, and the limitations of conventional virus genetics.

What's included

6 videos3 readings2 assignments1 discussion prompt

Instructor

Mike Skinner
Imperial College London
2 Courses74 learners

Offered by

Recommended if you're interested in Basic Science

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