A recent New York Times article on 'Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day' focused on the role of viruses of microorganisms in shaping life on Earth. The article highlighted a recent call for a new initiative in this area, proposed by Prof. Weitz and colleagues - Prof. Steven Wilhelm (UT-Knoxville) and Prof. Matthew Sullivan (Ohio State University):

'Last year, three experts called for a new initiative to better understand viral ecology, especially as the planet changes. “Viruses modulate the function and evolution of all living things,” wrote Matthew B. Sullivan of Ohio State, Joshua Weitz of Georgia Tech, and Steven W. Wilhelm of the University of Tennessee. “But to what extent remains a mystery.”'

The initiative proposed by Weitz, Wilhelm, and Sullivan is termed Unveiling the Viral Ecology of Earth and was released as part of the Science Philanthrophy Alliance's XO Files.