Journal Club: How to Win an Evolutionary Arms Race

Harmit Malik and Lauren Richardson

Posted December 10, 2020

Viruses (like HIV) and their hosts (like humans) are locked in an evolutionary arms race, with each trying to outwit the other. But viruses seem to have a big advantage (MUCH faster evolution), so how can the slowly evolving human arsenal keep pace? On this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, host Lauren Richardson talks to Professor Harmit Malik of the Fred Hutch about the new article from his lab published in eLife, “Mutational resilience of antiviral restriction favors primate TRIM5α in host-virus evolutionary arms races“. The article and the conversation reveals some surprising characteristics of human antiviral proteins that allow them to persevere in this evolutionary fight and how studying this history can inform new, possibly curative, treatments for HIV.