From the flu to HIV, RNA viruses challenge our immune systems like no other infectious agent on the planet. RNA viruses provide unique insights into the patterns and processes of evolutionary change in real time. The study of viral evolution is especially topical given the growing awareness that emerging and re-emerging diseases (most of which are caused by RNA viruses) represent a major threat to public health. How do RNA viruses adapt and change, and how do our bodies respond? Why are diseases like HIV so difficult to predict and contain? In episode 35 of MicrobeWorld Video, Eddie Holmes, professor in Biology at Pennsylvania State University leads a discussion before a live audience at Busboys & Poets in Washington, D.C. on the genetics and evolution of RNA viruses and how we can combat them. The Dish was created by the Marian Koshland Science Museum and is made possible by a Science Education Partnership (SEPA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health. This program was held in collaboration with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.