Viruses in Honey Bees and Humans – a talk by Prof. Robert Pickard
September 16 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Details of how to attend this online lecture will be circulated shortly.
Professor Robert Pickard
Robert Pickard is an Independent Member of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cardiff, Visiting Professor at the Royal Agricultural University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Society of Medicine and the Learned Society of Wales.
Professor Pickard has studied bees since 1956 and his postgraduate students are spread through 50 different countries worldwide. He is Chair of the International Bee Research Association, Patron of the Welsh Beekeepers Association and President of the UK Central Association of Beekeepers. Formerly, he was Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research, Director-General of the British Nutrition Foundation, Chair of the UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and Chair of the UK Consumers’ Association, Which?.
Viruses in Honeybees and Humans
Viruses exist at the borderline between the living and the non-living. Individual viruses probably outnumber all other systems in the world that contain nucleic acids. This talk illustrates the morphology of the different types of virus and the ways in which they invade host cells. The mechanism by which the viral genetic code is expressed is also described. Viruses constantly threaten the wellbeing of all complex organisms but they can also be extremely beneficial to them. Viruses transfer genes between different host species, add some of their code to their hosts’ DNA, and take some of the hosts’ code for themselves. In doing so, they can transform an evolutionary process. The production of the human placenta relies on a sequence of viral DNA that has been incorporated into the human genome. Signs of honeybee viral disease will be discussed along with activities in beekeeping that can reduce the problems created by viruses.