The Abrescia Lab has recently published two new book-chapters on virus evolution in the Encyclopedia of Virology 4th edition (Elsevier)

VOLUME 1 – The Virus as a Concept – Fundamentals of Virology

Evolution Steered by Structure
Nicola GA Abrescia
Viruses permeate the entire biosphere and are by far the most abundant biological entities, outnumbering all cellular organisms in the biosphere by ten-fold. A recognition of the evolutionary relationships among their diverse lineages helps us to understand how viral infections impact host populations. Moreover, untangling the complexity of viral diversity is an essential component of the human effort to comprehend the natural phenomena of which we are a part.


Classification of the Viral World based on Atomic Level Structures
Janne  J Ravantti and Nicola GA Abrescia
The science of classification is the process of revealing both similarities and differences between sets of study subjects. Atomic level three-dimensional structures provide a wealth of information about proteins. Thus, by classifying structures, functional and evolutionary relationships can be inferred. However, such process relies on some predefined metrics to measure similarity or difference (i.e similarity score), which in turn affects both computations and interpretation of the results. Herein, both historical and current methods for classifying structures based on their atomic structures are described, together with a discussion of the used similarity scores and the description case studies and structural phylogenies derived from those classifications.


About the Encyclopedia of Virology 4th ed.:
In five volumes, the Encyclopedia of Virology, Fourth Edition, provides a comprehensive coverage of the whole virosphere, making this a unique resource. The content includes those viruses present in the environment and the pathogenic viruses of humans, animals, plants and microorganisms. Key areas and concepts concerning virus classification, structure, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention are discussed, guiding the reader through chapters that are presented at an accessible level, and include further readings for those needing more specific information. More than ever now, with the Covid19 pandemic, we are seeing the huge impact that viruses have on our life and society. This encyclopedia is a must-have resource for scientists and practitioners, and a great source of information for the wider public.


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