The discovery of the Mx gene-dependent, innate resistance of mice against influenza virus was a matter of pure chance. Although the subsequent analysis of this antiviral resistance was guided by straightforward logic, it nevertheless led us into many blind alleys and was full of surprising turns and twists. Unexpectedly, this research resulted in the identification of one of the first interferon-stimulated genes and provided a new view of interferon action. It also showed that in many species, MX proteins have activities against a broad range of viruses. To this day, Mx research continues to flourish and to provide insights into the never-ending battle between viruses and their hosts.