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January Meeting - Ancient Viruses and How They Influence Humanity

  • The Water's Edge at Giovanni's 2748 Boston Post Road Darien, CT, 06820 United States (map)

Please join us on Tuesday, January 15th, for a talk on ancient viruses and they influence humanity by Dr. Paul Lawrence.

The Water's Edge at Giovanni's
2748 Boston Post Road
Darien, CT 06820

Registration 5:30 - 6:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm
Speaker: 7:00pm

Abstract: Viruses represent one of four different varieties of pathogens that are culprits of disease on this planet. They are uniquely adapted to parasitize the protein synthesis machinery of an infected cell. However, viruses are more than just disease-causing agents to be tackled by modern medicine, they have also been influencing the trajectory of humanity in more ways than just one. This discussion will focus on two distinct groups of “ancient viruses” that have had profound impacts on us as a species and the environment within which we live. The first part will describe endogenous retroviruses that have been modifying our genome and altering our evolution going back to our very distant ancestors. The second half will involve the re-emergence of giant DNA viruses that were frozen in permafrost in a dormant state until global temperature increases started to thaw the ice. The true impact of the resurrection of these incredibly large viruses is a hot topic of debate in the scientific community. And finally, I will conclude with how we have now harnessed viruses such as these for our own benefit in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

Register below, or email Cynthia Valovich
SCC members: $45
Non-members: $50
Students and Unemployed: $35

Monthly Meeting Registration

Bio: Dr. Lawrence received his doctorate in molecular microbiology from Stony Brook University and before that obtained his bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from the University of New Mexico. During his career, he has conducted biological research in academia, industry, and for the United States government. He has conducted vaccine and anti-viral therapeutic research at Brookhaven National Laboratory and at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. In industry, he has participated in contract biopharmaceutical research and development for the former Collaborative Bioalliance and Dow Chemical. Dr. Lawrence was also the Director of DNA Production for the anti-counterfeiting biotechnology company, Applied DNA Sciences. Currently, he is the Director of Bioscience Research and Product Development for Biocogent. Over the course of his career, Dr. Lawrence has published more than 15 research manuscripts and review articles, more than 25 online science digests, as well as a textbook chapter on the molecular pathogenesis of the one of the world’s most infectious viruses.

Earlier Event: November 13
November Meeting - Emul-Fun Theory
Later Event: March 19
March Meeting - Silicones