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Viruses: The Most Abundant Thing You've Never Seen

Dr. Koci explains what a virus is, how common viruses are and the basics of the virus "life cycle" (although viruses don't meet the biological definition of "alive"). You'll hear about what we know about viruses and the enormous impact of these tiny microbes.

Published onJun 22, 2022
Viruses: The Most Abundant Thing You've Never Seen

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  • This Release (#2) was created on Jul 13, 2022 ()
  • The latest Release (#4) was created on Aug 03, 2023 ().


In his video, Matt Koci, Ph.D. will introduce himself, how he came to work on poultry diseases, and why viruses are fascinating biological paradoxes.  He’ll explain what a virus is, how common viruses are, and the basics of a virus life cycle, even though viruses aren't alive.  All of this will introduce you to what we know about viruses, and how much we still have to learn, so we can make sense of how something so small ends up being so consequential. 

Matt Koci is a professor in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science, where his research, teaching, and outreach program is focused on understanding how the immune system recognizes, responds to, eliminates, and ultimately develops resistance to pathogens.  His teaching includes an undergraduate course that focuses on how our food and fiber production system, economics, politics, and society are interconnected -- and how disruptions to our food supply by infectious diseases can impact the whole system.  In addition to research and teaching, he is also passionate about science outreach and has developed several innovative K-12 STEM outreach programs.

Viruses: The Most Abundant Thing You've Never Seen (Matt Koci)

This video was originally produced for an audience of entering first-year and transfer students at NC State University as a part of an interdisciplinary experience. It is available for noncommercial reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 License,



  1. Want to know more about viruses in general or coronaviruses specifically?

  2. The long link between animal diseases and human diseases

  3. How did this move around the world and what is it doing now?

  4. Answers to COVID-19 related questions

If you want to keep up with what’s going on with COVID-19 and other plant and animal (humans are animals) diseases follow the Twitter account for Dr. Koci’s course on food system disease disasters @Agrosecurity411 where he is posting news and updates on the pandemic and research to stop it.

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