In this week's microbiology journal club we will have a great guest speaker:
Dr. Eugene Koonin
The world of viruses, its global organization, and evolution (abstract below)
Dr. Koonin is an NIH distinguished investigator who published...621 publications!
He is one of the most productive scientists in the last decades, certainly in the field of evolutionary and computational biology.
Feel free to share the invitation.
The world of viruses, its global organization and evolution
Viruses and virus-like mobile genetic elements are ubiquitous parasites (and sometime symbionts) of all cellular life forms and the most abundant biological entities on earth. The recent, unprecedented advances of comparative genomics and metagenomics have led to the discovery of diverse novel groups of viruses and provide for a vastly improved understanding of the evolutionary relationships within the virosphere. Arguably, we are approaching the point when the global architecture of the virus world can be outlined in its entirety, and the key evolutionary events in each of its domains can be reconstructed.
I will present such an outline of the global organization of the virus world and the corresponding megataxonomy structure that has been recently approved by the International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses. Although the global structure of the virus world is becoming apparent, major groups of viruses within the established realms, with unique features of genome organization and expression, are being discovered at a high pace. Examples of such new viruses will be presented including the most abundant bacteriophages in the human gut.
P.S. Let me know if you have people you'd like us to invite as speakers. I am aware that we had only male speakers recently, working hard to change it!