SLS Organizes Virology Workshop

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The School of Life Sciences at IUB organized a three-day workshop to introduce a small group of exceptional students to techniques used to study viruses, specifically bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect bacteria. Not only are bacteriophages excellent model systems for animal viruses that infect us, they are also a potential line of defense against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Viruses are tiny parasites that multiply inside a host cell,and one class of viruses, the lytic viruses, then rupture and burst out of the host cell. Students, under the supervision of Ornob Alam, Lecturer at the School of Life Sciences, learned how to grow and count lytic bacteriophages. In addition, they learned techniques to determine different measures of viral growth and fitness, namely lysis time (how long it takes for infecting bacteriophages to burst a host cell) and burst size (how many bacteriophages are released during each burst).

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