Throughout evolution, viruses have developed mechanisms to interact with and manipulate the genetic material of their target cells. As a result, modern virology uses a growing number of applications to understand these agents of disease. Such applications range from transfection of cells for genetic manipulation to medical studies with a strategic focus on developing novel vaccines, treatments, and gene therapies. Assessment of virus type and content is also important for ensuring food and drinking water safety as well as for surveillance of pathogens and disease outbreaks.
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