Author: Van Wilson

  • Viruses: Intimate Invaders

    My book on virology for the general public is now available at Springer as either an ebook or a softcover bound volume. It is also available on Amazon.

  • Epstein-Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis – Another Link

    In a recent post, I reported on a massive retrospective examination of military personnel records that strongly implicated the ubiquitous Epstein-Barr virus (EBV-the agent of infectious mononucleosis) as a major risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). What was lacking in this epidemiological study was a mechanism by which EBV could physically initiate […]

  • The DNA Packing Problem

    I think everyone can relate to packing problems – how to get a cart full of groceries into the fewest bags or how to strategically organize the needed clothes and accessories into one carry-on suitcase? Packing problems abound in life from our personal needs to manufacturing concerns about how to fit the most items into […]

  • In Memorium – Luc Montagnier, The Discoverer of HIV

    I don’t know how well-known Luc Montagnier is to the general public, but in my field of virology he was both a giant and a controversial figure. I only met him once as my wife and I had dinner with him and several other scientists at a small HIV meeting in Austin, Texas in 2012. […]

  • Another COVID-19 Mystery

    SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating for over two years now with successive waves where cases surge dramatically and then recede over time. The most recent wave is dominated by the Omicron variant, a highly infectious though perhaps slightly less virulent strain. The U.S. and most of the world seem to be on the downhill side of […]

  • Viruses, Viruses Everywhere

    The 1918 influenza pandemic killed nearly 50 million people worldwide. Almost exactly 100 years later SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) exploded into human populations leading to the COVID-19 pandemic that so far has infected nearly 400 million people and killed close to 6 million people. The COVID pandemic, in addition to being a horrendous medical crisis, has […]

  • Rabies – A TrueScience Public Service Announcement

    Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a stark reminder about the dangers of rabies in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). After two consecutive years with no rabies deaths in the United States, there were five deaths in 2021, including a 7-year old child. Four of the recent […]

  • Multiple Sclerosis – The Search Narrows

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious autoimmune disease that affects about 3 million people worldwide and over 900,000 in the United States. The disease symptoms are quite varied but typically begin between the ages of 20-40. Symptoms can include vision problems, impaired hearing, decreased taste and smell, headaches, weakness and fatigue, muscle tremors or pain, […]

  • HIV 2022 – The Battle Continues

    In 1982, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) coined the term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to describe a new disease that had appeared in the United States. Initially mysterious in its cause, AIDS was quickly shown to result from infection with a newly discovered virus (a discovery that eventually earned Dr. Luc Montagnier the 2008 […]

  • The Origins of Life

    As we contemplate the beginnings of a new year, an interesting paper by Wimmer et al. in Frontiers in Microbiology reexamines the beginnings of the first biochemical compounds. We know the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago and that life originated about 3.8 billion years ago, but a key question has always been how […]