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At Oscillations: Information on the Linnean Society Virtual Meeting (June 28–29)

Oscillations is science writer Suzan Mazur’s blog. Mazur draws attention to the Linnean Society’s virtual conference, Evolution ‘On Purpose’: Teleonomy in Living Systems: “Living systems exhibit an internal teleology, the full implications of which have not been explored. This meeting will address various aspects of this phenomenon, including its scope and meaning, and its many forms and facets.” Read More ›

Virus expert highlights the conflict over whether viruses are alive

From science writer Suzan Mazur, at Oscillations, interviewing Bogdan Dragnea, who studies the physical structure of viruses via spectrosopy: Suzan Mazur: Do you consider viruses live organisms since viruses can recognize their targets, attach, and infect their hosts—most viruses using a tail spike and needle [see following Parent lab image]—and as you’ve noted, they can “drive large-scale phenomena across the entire biosphere”? Bogdan Dragnea: No, I don’t. I will stick with the definition that requires for a living organism to reproduce and produce mechanical work in a thermodynamic cycle. If it could do that, then I would say it’s alive. But the virus cannot do mechanical work as part of a cyclic transformation. That is because they do not have Read More ›