The Other Side of Viruses

How humans and viruses evolved together and what's in our future.

Image credit: AdobeStock

Viruses are genetic parasites mostly known for their ability to induce disease in their host. Apart from causing harm, viruses have also played a critical role in contributing to what we know today as the human species.

A major driver of human evolution

What makes us human

Around 8–10% of the human genome is of viral origin.

Virus Emergence

Elevated risks

Likely causes of viral emergence entail a combination of changes in the environment and human behavior, especially changes in the ecosystem, how humans interact with animals (wild and domestic), and how a pathogen responds to the new environment.


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Julia A. Graf

Big data executive, impact investor, champion for a sustainable future