In today's hyper connected world, viruses can spread faster than ever, but thanks to science some of the worst infectious, microscopic agents like smallpox have been eradicated. Some, like the measles, continue to plague us, and then there are newer ones like Avian bird flu, SARS and Ebola.
"Emerging viruses cause about two thirds of the newly-recognised diseases in the world," says Ronald Corley, the director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) where a select group of scientists study the deadliest pathogens on the planet to understand their evolution.
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