Molecular Mimicry: Britt Glaunsinger uncovers how viruses interact with—and steal from—their hosts

Meanwhile my latest feature for UCB's Breakthroughs magazine covers the fascinating work of Britt Glaunsinger, who studies herpes and other viruses. She's a national leader in the field as well as a gifted teacher, who can impart both knowledge and passion. She certainly taught me a lot about these incredibly efficient and successful...not quite organisms, but beings.

Here's how the story starts:

A geodesic dome, a soccer ball, a herpes virus. What do they share? The shape of an icosahedron. Certain crystals and microscopic organisms do too. “It’s a structure repeated again and again throughout the natural world and the human-designed world,” says Britt Glaunsinger, a virologist in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. “There’s a beauty to it, and there’s a logic to it.”

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