Aligarh : Prof Asad U Khan, Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) explained the mechanisms of how viruses change and why it is going to keep happening.
He was speaking on ‘Viruses and their Emergence as New Variants’ in a special webinar for Class XI and XII students of the Sharjah branch of the Delhi Public School in the United Arab Emirates.
Discussing how viruses mutate and create new variants, Prof Asad stressed, “Viruses are not technically living things—they invade living cells and hijack their machinery to get energy and replicate, and find ways to infect other living organisms and start the process over again”.
“Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist”, he said.
Prof Asad also discussed the evolution of viruses over time into new variants and talked about Omicron as a new SARS-Cov-2 variant.
As a senior AMU faculty member, Prof Asad gets regular invitations to speak in international and national conferences, but he also makes time to deliver popular science lectures at schools to keep youngsters abeam with major scientific developments.