Your article refers to a virus as a “microbe.” I think of a virus more as a seed or spore. What definition is Science News using for the word?

Neil Murphy
Walnut Creek, Calif.

Medical dictionaries differ in defining viruses as microbes . Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition ( 2003, Merriam-Webster ) says that viruses are “regarded either as extremely simple microorganisms or as extremely complex molecules . . .” Nevertheless, we’ll try to abstain from using “microbe” as a synonym for “virus .”—N. Seppa