Photo: Steve Waldhauser

SCIENCE IN PUBLIC: Almost 6,000 people attended the Nobel Conference, showing a high degree of public interest in science.
When a group of leading virus researchers and scholars presented their reports on "Virus: The Human Connection" at the annual Nobel Conference in St. Peter, Minn., last month, the story that emerged was one of war and peace. The primary themes emanating from these talks--which were open to the public--outlined a heavy viral volume of battles won and lost. Viruses still mystify humans in many ways. Where do they originate? When and where will the next viral threat emerge, and how will it be transmitted? Research science, however, has delivered humans into a new era of virology and medicinal biology--uncovering ever more sophisticated means to thwart deadly invasions as well as the technology to harness viral power to extend lives. Nevertheless, the absolute unpredictability of viruses, coupled with...

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