Influenza viruses are transmitted by membrane-bound virus particles, or virions. Unlike some viruses, which produce near-identical virions from a well-defined set of viral components, influenza virions are assembled from shifting mixtures of viral and host components and vary markedly in their size, shape and composition. In this talk we will show how a variety of advanced methods can be combined to explore the complex structure of influenza virions. We will examine sources of variation in influenza virions and discuss the challenges this variation creates for understanding how influenza viruses infect new cells.
1. Gain a detailed understanding of the structure and composition of the virus particles that transmit influenza infections.
2. Understand that the idea of a single type of influenza virus particle is a simplification, and that in fact influenza infections involve interactions between a highly variable mixture of different particles.