Learn about viruses and more with online courses and lessons on edX today!
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University System of Maryland
What are Viruses?
Viruses are organisms that replicate only within the living host cells of other organisms. They lack key characteristics of biological life forms, such as cell structures, consisting of simple strands of RNA genetic material held within a capsid or protein coat. Viruses are frequently known as "life at the edge" or simply "replicators" because of this lack. A viral infection starts with a virus invading the host cell and forcing the cell to begin replicating the virus from within. Viruses do not respond to traditional treatments the way bacterial infections do, and the presence of a virus requires a different medical protocol. Our immune system handles many viruses we contract, but new viruses may prove more challenging to manage. Virology studies viral diseases, helping develop new treatments for this particular type of infectious disease.
Learn About Viruses
Viruses have caused quite a few high profile epidemics, including the Ebola virus and COVID-19. Viruses that have been around for a long time, such as the coronavirus family, are still capable of mutating in response to environmental input. EdX.org offers courses designed with leading institutions in the field. You can take them from anywhere in the world and on your own schedule, providing a jumping-off point for careers in healthcare, research, or simply knowledge you can use in everyday life.
Virus Courses and Programs
IsraelX offers an introductory course to the structure and treatment of viruses in its course, Viruses and How to Beat Them. In it, you'll learn the basic structure of viruses and how they hijack cells to reproduce themselves using high profile virus case studies from different viruses like AIDS and Influenza virus. You can also study aspects of the healthcare system, including courses on our response to epidemics and public health crises with organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can also take courses on the basic biology of viruses themselves and how viral replication happens.
Build an Understanding of Viruses
Whether you're studying specific viruses like Hepatitis B or Chickenpox, or you're interested in the development of particular viruses, edX can help you get started on your path. You'll learn foundational skills about handling pandemics, build your understanding of the genetic information of virus types, and identify how viruses cause disease due to infected cells. There are many types of viruses, including retroviruses and DNA viruses, but edX can provide a critical overview of the world of virus particles. It's time to gain an understanding of current events and the history of humanity's response to illness.