What if all viruses disappeared?

June 17, 2020

Viruses seem to exist solely to wreak havoc on society and bring suffering to humanity. They have cost untold lives over the millennia, often knocking out significant chunks of the global population. But the vast majority of viruses are not pathogenic to humans, and many play integral roles in propping up ecosystems.

2019 Wall Scholar Curtis Suttle is interviewed in this article by the BBC. He explains how viruses are the primary regulator of bacterial populations in the ocean, and likely in every other ecosystem on the planet.

Curtis Suttle is a Distinguished University Scholar at UBC, and a professor in the departments of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric SciencesMicrobiology & ImmunologyBotany, and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. As a Wall Scholar, Suttle is exploring ideas on the role of viruses in shaping life on Earth, human existence and thought. You can watch a video about his work below.