The naming of viruses: an urgent call to order

The naming of viruses: an urgent call to order Virology Division News 631 Arch Virol 144/3 (1999) Virology Division News VDN L. Bos DLO Research Institute for Plant Protection (IPO-DLO), Wageningen, The Netherlands Introduction Science aims to describe reality for the reliable storage and retrieval of information, and to allow trustworthy communication and efficacy of human interference. This requires preci- sion with respect to the identification of organisms, objects, and phenomena; in short, of any item, so that we know what we are talking about. Precision must be optimal, for example, where economic effects of pathogens, including viruses, are concerned and where legal conflicts may ensue. Nomenclature and the classification on which it is based cannot be enforced by regular law however, other than in technology and commerce. For widest acceptance, consensus among professionals is required, as achieved or stimulated through learned societies in their relevant fields. That is how the nomenclature of viruses depends on agreements reached within the International Committee on Nomenclature of Viruses (ICTV) of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies, as summarised in the International Code for Virus Classification and Nomenclature [9]. The rules defined by the Code should promote precision in communication on viruses instead of reducing the means Archives of Virology Springer Journals

The naming of viruses: an urgent call to order

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