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What would you name a virus?

Lab Note #3
Jan 18, 2015

I have found over 80 viruses that are completely new to science, and I am likely to find even more throughout my research project at FSU. All of these viruses need names, and I am asking for help from the community to ensure these new viruses have the most creative names. Please read my note and then leave a comment on my main project page with what you would name a virus.

Viruses can be given general names that include the virus type, and a unique identifier. Common virus names for projects similar to mine are along the lines of "Unassigned Circovirus" or "Uncultured Gemini-like Virus." Unfortunately, this is quite boring and I would like the new viruses I'm discovering here in Tallahassee to have unique names that represent our community and my backers. For example "GoClassOf2015", or "MartyMcFly".

In case you are wondering what these viruses look like, I have includes computer modeled pictures of viruses that are similar to the ones I am finding.

Geminiviridae have a really cool shape and are pictured below. They are often referred to as looking like two balls that are attached on one side.

The Circoviridae have the simplest external structures of any of the viruses. Virus coverings are made of proteins and as you can see this one simply takes on a ball-shape with no defining characteristics.

The following is a Microviridae virus. The proteins pictured in grey make up a simple ball structure, like the Circoviridae pictured above. A different feature in these viruses are the spike protein structures (pictured in blue). These aid in attachment and in injecting the genome into the host cell (the entire virus does not enter the cell).

*The Circoviridae and Microviridae image were made by me using VMD and their protein database numbers are below each image.

*Geminiviridae was not available in the database I use for making my model pictures. This Image came from the article referenced in the image, titled Structure of the Maize Streak Virus Geminate Particle.

Don't forget to check out my project page to learn more about how I find these viruses and how you can help further my explorations!

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