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Disruptive technologies in retrovirus research

New Content ItemA review collection published in Retrovirology
Edited by Johnson Mak

During the mid 1990’s, Clayton Christensen (who attained tenured full professorship at Harvard Business School within six years - shorter than anyone in Harvard history) coined the term ‘Disruptive Innovation’ in his best selling book ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’. Disruptive Innovation is defined as ‘An innovation that creates a new market by providing a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market’. Strictly speaking, ‘disruptive technology’ is an innovation that will lead to the creation of a new market, which is different from ‘sustaining technology’ that does not significantly affect existing markets through ‘evolutionary-’ and ‘revolutionary-’ substantive innovation.

Through improvements in digital technology, particularly the speed of computer central processing units and improved data storage capacity, major advances have been made within the few decades. Technology such as the smart phone and social media have revolutionized how things operate in our society, and it is hard to imagine that any aspect of our lives has not been reshaped by these innovations.

Scientific research is part and parcel of our society, and it too has also been bombarded by waves of innovation that have fundamentally changed how science is done. In this special thematic issue in Retrovirology, a number of researchers have been invited to contribute a series of review articles describing how some of the disruptive (and sometime substantive) technologies have advanced our understanding in retrovirology, and how some of these discoveries have questioned many of preconceived notions of virology and biology in general.

I hope our readers will enjoy this special issue as much as those of us who spent the time to put it together. Hopefully, one or more of these thematic articles will inspire some of you to consider a different approach to complement your existing research program.


This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

View all collections published in Retrovirology

  1. Content type: Review

    Retroviruses can cause severe diseases such as cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A unique feature in the life cycle of retroviruses is that their RNA genome is reverse transcribed into double-stra...

    Authors: Xu Zhang, Xiancai Ma, Shuliang Jing, Hui Zhang and Yijun Zhang

    Citation: Retrovirology 2018 15:20

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Review

    The multiple roles of both viral and cellular RNAs have become increasingly apparent in recent years, and techniques to model them have become significantly more powerful, enabling faster and more accurate vis...

    Authors: Dhivya Jayaraman and Julia Claire Kenyon

    Citation: Retrovirology 2018 15:11

    Published on:

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