It was in December 1949, the first Meeting to Discourse about Virus
(predecessor of the Japanese Society for Virology: JSV) was launched. In March
1951, the board members of this meeting published the first issue of the
journal “Virus”, and this journal has been continued to date as our official
journal. Our first annual meeting of the JSV was held at Osaka University on May
1953, this is the official starting point of our proud history. Ever since, for
over 60 years we have organized the JSV annual meetings to promote the
advancement of virology in Japan. Also note that, in Japanese, we pronounce
virus as “we-loo-s,” and this way of pronunciation and notation in Japanese letters
(ウイルス) was adopted in 1950’s. Until then, we didn’t have a particular Japanese
word to describe virus but call it in German-like or English-like ways.
VIRUS literally means virulence factors, first identified in 1892 as a
micro-pathogen in tobacco leaves. This is now known as tobacco mosaic virus.
Since then, viruses are found in all living organisms such as bacteria, fungi,
plants, and animals. Both bacteria and viruses are called as microbes, however,
viruses are smaller than bacteria and even many viruses that can propagate in
bacteria have been found.
Viruses only can
propagate in living host cells. Therefore, viruses are constantly seeking
hosts. Occasionally viruses cause serious diseases in host organisms. Many
viruses show asymptomatic infections and may develop symbiotic relationship to
persist in the hosts for many years. Even some viruses transmit their own
genetic information to the next generations of host organisms. Viruses and
living organisms co-evolved on earth for about 4 billion years by sharing their
genetic bases (4 letters) and principles to log genetic information. When you
understand the manner of their genetic information being manifested in viruses,
you will be able to understand the other living organisms’ way of life, too.
Virology is one of the most exciting research fields
of life science now. Every year, interesting findings are reported and quite
active discussion is developed at the JSV conference. You will feel the active
lively atmosphere stimulated especially by young students’ and researchers’
presentations and discussions. You can be a member with only \1,000 enrollment
fee and \4,000 for student and \8,000 for regular member’s annual membership
fee. Those who are interested in virus, living organisms, life, and diseases
are cordially invited to be a member.