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Human Vaccines and Their Importance to Public Health

Few medical interventions compete with vaccines for their cumulative impact on health and well-being of entire populations. Routine immunization of children in the United States now targets 16 vaccine-preventable diseases; and vaccines are now routinely given across the lifespan. Immunization efforts achieved the global eradication of smallpox, as well as the elimination of polio, measles, and rubella from the Americas. The childhood vaccine series including DTP, polio, MMR, Hib, hepatitis B, and varicella vaccines is estimated to prevent 14 million infections, avoid 33,000 premature deaths, and save $9.9 billion in direct medical costs as well as $33 billion in indirect costs for each U.S. birth cohort fully vaccinated. Newer vaccines such as pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, and hepatitis A vaccines have also reduced illness and hospitalizations among the target populations but also have amplified benefits beyond their direct effects through reduced transmission from those immunized to other groups. Although for most of the 20th century there was a substantial delay between a vaccine's introduction in developed countries and its broad use in poor countries, newer global public–private partnerships and advocacy are leading to accelerated uptake of new and underutilized vaccines. Since the Measles Initiative was established in 2001, more than 700 million children worldwide have received a measles vaccination and an estimated 4.3 million childhood measles deaths have been averted. The full impact of increasing routine immunization further and implementing new vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhea agents in the poorest countries could prevent more than 2 million additional childhood deaths each year.

 

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Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
Virus and bioinformatics articles with some microbiology and immunology thrown in for good measure
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It's a group effort - the curators:

It's a group effort - the curators: | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

get in touch if you want to help curate this topic

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Single-cell RNA-seq transcriptome analysis of linear and circular RNAs | RNA-Seq Blog

Single-cell RNA-seq transcriptome analysis of linear and circular RNAs | RNA-Seq Blog | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a new class of non-polyadenylated non-coding RNAs that may play important roles in many biological processes. Researchers from

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Leaky Vaccines Enhance Spread of Deadlier Chicken Viruses – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science

Leaky Vaccines Enhance Spread of Deadlier Chicken Viruses – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Over the past fifty years, Marek’s disease—an illness of fowl—has become fouler. Marek’s is caused by a highly contagious virus, related to those that cause herpes in humans. It spreads through the...
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40 Key Computer Science Concepts Explained In Layman’s Terms

40 Key Computer Science Concepts Explained In Layman’s Terms | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
To make learning more fun and interesting, here's a list of important computer science theories and concepts explained with analogies and minimal technical te
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Ebola Leads To Unexpected Rise In Malaria Deaths

Latest in the law of unintended consequences is the finding of a rising number of malaria deaths in Guinea as patients avoided treatment centers, fearing either being quarantined among those afflicted with Ebola, or being mistreated.A new study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that the deaths from malaria are likely to greatly exceed the total number of deaths caused by Ebola itself.

There were an estimated 74,000 fewer cases of malaria seen in Guinea healthcare facilities, as outpatient attendance dropped almost in half. As lead author, Dr. Mateusz Plucinski (of the CDC and President’s Malaria Initiative) explained, “One problem is that the early symptoms of malaria (fever, headache, and body aches) mimic those of Ebola virus disease…Malaria is one of the main causes of fever and health facilities visits in Guinea, but our data suggest that since the start of the Ebola epidemic people with fevers have avoided clinics for fear of contracting Ebola or being sent to an Ebola treatment centre.” Interestingly, this treatment drop extended to districts without any reported Ebola cases.


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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, July 23, 12:37 PM

Good reason to be more scared of malaria than Ebola.....

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Molluscum Contagiosum Virus Protein MC132 Is a New Inhibitor of Human Innate Immunity

Molluscum Contagiosum Virus Protein MC132 Is a New Inhibitor of Human Innate Immunity | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) is the only known extant human-adapted poxvirus. It causes a persistent infection by dampening the immune response against infected skin lesions, but the mechanism is unknown. Brady et al. report the discovery of MC132, a new MCV immune antagonist that binds and targets NF-κB p65, a key regulator of antiviral immunity and inflammation, for degradation using a strategy that is strikingly similar to that used by some gammaherpesvirus proteins. This research sheds additional light on how MCV evades human immunity to persist in the skin.

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Dozens of talks from the Evolution 2015 meetings are on YouTube

Dozens of talks from the Evolution 2015 meetings are on YouTube | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
If, like me, you didn't make it to the 2015 Evolution meetings — maybe the logistics of a trip to Brazil were beyond your financial and/or temporal means — you can make up for it with the big cache...
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Biologists and bioinformaticians have different software needs

Biologists and bioinformaticians have different software needs | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
I attended the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference last week in Dublin. Galaxy and Docker were the buzzwords of the conference. A recurring theme was grounding our bioinformatics back in biology,...
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Ebola continues to shift, but grows no more fatal

Ebola continues to shift, but grows no more fatal | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
In the West African epidemic, Ebola evolved and spread quickly, but the virus is not becoming deadlier over time.
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Ebola on the Web - 20 years on

I have already done a partial retrospective on having been reporting on Ebola haemorrhagic fever viruses for just over 20 years - but I totally forgot to commemorate that I have been producing Web ...
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Laurie Garrett: you may enjoy this B-)

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The mutation that unlocked corn kernels - Genes to Genomes

The mutation that unlocked corn kernels - Genes to Genomes | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
If not for a single-nucleotide mutation, each kernel on a juicy corn cob would be trapped inside an inedible casing as tough as a walnut shell. In the July issue of GENETICS, Wang et al. identify an amino acid substitution that was key to the development of the so-called “naked” kernels that characterize modern corn (maize).
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The Arctic fresh water virome

The Arctic fresh water virome | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Arctic fresh waters contain a diverse array of viruses, most of which are novel single-stranded DNA viruses not found in most other waters.
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Emerging complexity and new roles for the RIG-I-like receptors in innate antiviral immunity

Emerging complexity and new roles for the RIG-I-like receptors in innate antiviral immunity | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Abstract: Innate immunity is critical for the control of virus infection and operates to restrict viral susceptibility and direct antiviral immunity for protection from acute or chronic viral-associated diseases including cancer. RIG-I like receptors (RLRs) are cytosolic RNA helicases that function as pathogen recognition receptors to detect RNA pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) of virus infection. The RLRs include RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2. They function to recognize and bind to PAMP motifs within viral RNA in a process that directs the RLR to trigger downstream signaling cascades that induce innate immunity that controls viral replication and spread. Products of RLR signaling also serve to modulate the adaptive immune response to infection. Recent studies have additionally connected RLRs to signaling cascades that impart inflammatory and apoptotic responses to virus infection. Viral evasion of RLR signaling supports viral outgrowth and pathogenesis, including the onset of viral-associated cancer. 

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Good review on an interesting topic.

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Cleaning Up Ancient Human DNA for Next Generation Sequencing

Cleaning Up Ancient Human DNA for Next Generation Sequencing | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

With the genomes of Ötzi, the 5300-year-old iceman, and even Neandertals pouring out of DNA sequencing labs lately, you might think that it’s now a piece of cake to glean the entire genetic code of an ancient human. But it turns out that those studies used exceptionally pure samples of DNA taken from human bone, tooth, hair, or other tissue typically preserved in frozen soil, ice, or a chilly cave. More often, human remains found by scientists have been sitting in soil warm enough to harbor bacteria, which swamp out the human DNA with their genes and make it too costly to analyze. A clever new method for purifying ancient human DNA samples—reported here last week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics—could change that, however.

 

The average ancient DNA sample taken from, say, a human tooth or bone is often less than 1% short, degraded pieces of human DNA; the rest is bacterial DNA. Although scientists could sequence this gemisch, they would have to run the samples through their sequencing machines many times to zoom in on the human DNA portion, and it’s not worth the cost. Instead, researchers often prepare stretches of modern human DNA that roughly match the genes or sequences they’re interested in and use these so-called probes to filter the sample. (Modern and ancient human DNA are similar enough that the probes will stick to the ancient DNA.) But this is still expensive, and it reveals the sequence of only a subset of the genome.

A team at Stanford University has now come up with a better idea.

 

Postdoctoral researcher Meredith Carpenter and others in the lab of Carlos Bustamante made their probes from RNA instead of DNA, which is “super cheap,” Bustamante says. They found a way to make enough RNA probes to cover the entire genome of an average modern human. The probe has a chemical group that sticks to special beads, so when the researchers mix the probes with an ancient DNA sample, they can wash away the nonhuman DNA. The final step is to use an RNA-chewing enzyme to get rid of the probes, leaving only pure ancient human DNA that can then be fed into a genome sequencing machine.

 

When the researchers tested this filtering method on a dozen ancient bone, teeth, and hair DNA samples from 500 to 3500 years old, they gleaned twofold to 13-fold more human genetic sequence from the samples than they could have by simply sequencing the mixture the same number of times. This higher resolution yielded new information about the samples. For instance, while previously they could only say that a more than 2500-year-old Bronze Age tooth from Bulgaria was European, they could now narrow its ethnic origin down to central or southern European. The team was also able to determine that a more than 500-year-old Peruvian mummy did not have European ancestry, as Spanish explorers claimed.

 


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Genomes Tell Story of Native American Biological Origins

Genomes Tell Story of Native American Biological Origins | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

The first human inhabitants of the Americas lived in a time thousands of years before the first written records, and the story of their transcontinental migration is the subject of ongoing debate and active research.  A study by multi-institutional, international collaboration of researchers, published this week in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3884) presents strong evidence, gleaned from ancient and modern DNA samples, that the ancestry of all Native Americans can be traced back to a single migration event, with subsequent gene flow between some groups and populations that are currently located in East Asia and Australia.


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High containment: inside the £145M virus lab - YouTube

The BBSRC National Virology Centre, inside The Pirbright institute’s new £145M Plowright Building , is one of the biggest investments in the science infrastr...
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Comprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human virome

Comprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human virome | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

ABSTRACT

The human virome plays important roles in health and immunity. However, current methods for detecting viral infections and antiviral responses have limited throughput and coverage. Here, we present VirScan, a high-throughput method to comprehensively analyze antiviral antibodies using immunoprecipitation and massively parallel DNA sequencing of a bacteriophage library displaying proteome-wide peptides from all human viruses. We assayed over 108 antibody-peptide interactions in 569 humans across four continents, nearly doubling the number of previously established viral epitopes. We detected antibodies to an average of 10 viral species per person and 84 species in at least two individuals. Although rates of specific virus exposure were heterogeneous across populations, antibody responses targeted strongly conserved “public epitopes” for each virus, suggesting that they may elicit highly similar antibodies. VirScan is a powerful approach for studying interactions between the virome and the immune system.


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Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, June 5, 3:23 PM
Science 5 June 2015: 
Vol. 348 no. 6239 
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0698RESEARCH ARTICLEComprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human viromeGeorge J. Xu1,2,3,4,*, Tomasz Kula3,4,5,*, Qikai Xu3,4, Mamie Z. Li3,4, Suzanne D. Vernon6, Thumbi Ndung’u7,8,9,10,Kiat Ruxrungtham11, Jorge Sanchez12, Christian Brander13, Raymond T. Chung14, Kevin C. O’Connor15,Bruce Walker8,9, H. Benjamin Larman16, Stephen J. Elledge3,4,6,†

+Author Affiliations

1Program in Biophysics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA.2Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.4Department of Genetics, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.5Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA.6Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA.7KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.8HIV Pathogenesis Programme, Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa.9Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.10Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Chariteplatz, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.11Vaccine and Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; and Chula-Vaccine Research Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.12Asociación Civil IMPACTA Salud y Educación, Lima, Peru.13AIDS Research Institute-IrsiCaixa and AIDS Unit, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Badalona, Spain Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain.14Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.15Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.16Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.↵†Corresponding author. E-mail: selledge@genetics.med.harvard.edu
Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, June 5, 3:24 PM
Science 5 June 2015: 
Vol. 348 no. 6239 
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0698RESEARCH ARTICLEComprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human viromeGeorge J. Xu1,2,3,4,*, Tomasz Kula3,4,5,*, Qikai Xu3,4, Mamie Z. Li3,4, Suzanne D. Vernon6, Thumbi Ndung’u7,8,9,10,Kiat Ruxrungtham11, Jorge Sanchez12, Christian Brander13, Raymond T. Chung14, Kevin C. O’Connor15,Bruce Walker8,9, H. Benjamin Larman16, Stephen J. Elledge3,4,6,†

+Author Affiliations

1Program in Biophysics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA.2Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.4Department of Genetics, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.5Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA.6Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA.7KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.8HIV Pathogenesis Programme, Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa.9Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.10Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Chariteplatz, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.11Vaccine and Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; and Chula-Vaccine Research Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.12Asociación Civil IMPACTA Salud y Educación, Lima, Peru.13AIDS Research Institute-IrsiCaixa and AIDS Unit, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Badalona, Spain Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain.14Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.15Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.16Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.↵†Corresponding author. E-mail: selledge@genetics.med.harvard.edu

 

Systematic viral epitope scanning (VirScan).

This method allows comprehensive analysis of antiviral antibodies in human sera. VirScan combines DNA microarray synthesis and bacteriophage display to create a uniform, synthetic representation of peptide epitopes comprising the human virome. Immunoprecipitation and high-throughput DNA sequencing reveal the peptides recognized by antibodies in the sample. The color of each cell in the heatmap depicts the relative number of antigenic epitopes detected for a virus (rows) in each sample (columns).

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Better method for building with DNA

Better method for building with DNA | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Scientists come up with an improved method for building tiny 3D structures out of strands of DNA.
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Mind-boggling...so cool!

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Tools and techniques for computational reproducibility

When reporting research findings, scientists document the steps they followed so that others can verify and build upon the research. When those steps have been described in sufficient detail that others can retrace the steps and obtain similar results, the research is said to be reproducible. Computers play a vital role in many research disciplines and present both opportunities and challenges for reproducibility. Computers can be programmed to execute analysis tasks, and those programs can be repeated and shared with others. Due to the deterministic nature of most computer programs, the same analysis tasks, applied to the same data, will often produce the same outputs. However, in practice, computational findings often cannot be reproduced, due to complexities in how software is packaged, installed, and executed—and due to limitations in how scientists document analysis steps. Many tools and techniques are available to help overcome these challenges. Here we describe six such strategies. With a broad scientific audience in mind, we describe strengths and limitations of each approach, as well as circumstances under which each might be applied. No single strategy is sufficient for every scenario; thus we emphasize that it is often useful to combine approaches.
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MIT Biology and Office of Digital Learning Team Recognized for DNA Video

MIT Biology and Office of Digital Learning Team Recognized for DNA Video | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
By Lisa Eichel, MITx Community and Outreach Manager   A DNA structure animation created for the MITx course 7.28.1x Molecular Biology: DNA Replication and Repair won the BioCommunications Asso...
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An Ebola playback from Wayback

*****************************************************************

[The Electric Library] [Go to Best Part][Image][Image] [Image][Image] [Image] [Image]

 

Killer Ebola Virus Strikes in Gabon

By Laurie Garrett. STAFF WRITER

 

The Ebola virus has struck in Africa for the third time in a year, this time in equatorial Gabon. At least 10 people in the remote village of Mayibout have died from the disease, and nine more are currently in an isolation ward in the city of Makokou, the provincial capital, according to the World Health Organization. Sources in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, said that at least four more cases of the deadly disease had surfaced in Mayibout. The Ebola virus infects the endothelial tissues that compose the walls of capillaries, blood vessels and key organs such as kidneys and liver. When viral colonies grow in the tissue, they punch microscopic holes that eventually can cause massive hemorrhaging, with blood draining from patients' internal organs and externally from the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, and even pinprick holes in the skin. There is no vaccine or treatment for Ebola. Transmission primarily involves contact with contaminated fluids through patient care or burial procedures. The northeast Gabon village of Mayibout is so remote that it can only be reached via a 93 mile motorboat trip up the Ivindo River from Makokou. Last year a suspected epidemic of yellow fever, a mosquito-borne disease that can cause hemorrhagic symptoms, raced through the same region, killing 36 people. Although Ebola was suspected then, no cases were confirmed. The current outbreak appears to have begun in Mayibout around Feb. 5. On Jan. 26, villagers reportedly ate meat from a chimpanzee that died in the rain forest, and doctors suspect the chimp was the source of the epidemic. If so, this would mark the second time that a chimp was implicated in an Ebola epidemic. The first time occurred in November, 1995, in the west African nation of Ivory Coast. There, a Swiss scientist contracted the disease after dissecting a chimpanzee. Even if the chimp were to be confirmed as the source of this particular Gabonese outbreak, it would be unlikely to solve the mystery of what creature serves as the reservoir of the deadly virus in between human epidemics, experts say. That's because chimps appear to suffer and die from Ebola; a reservoir animal or insect would presumably carry the virus without harm to itself. Ebola broke out 13 months ago in Kikwit, Zaire, about 300 miles southeast of Mayibout. Ultimately, 245 people died of the disease in the Kikwit area, with 316 cases confirmed - a 77 percent fatality rate. A single case of ebola was confirmed in Ivory Coast in December. Three previous Ebola epidemics have occurred in equatorial Africa: in Yambuku, Zaire, in 1976, and in N'zara, Sudan, in 1976 and again in 1979. Studies conducted by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute on Infectious Diseases at Ft. Detrick, Md. late last year showed that captive rhesus monkeys could spread the virus to one another through the air. Autopsies of Kikwit victims by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that all Ebola victims had colonies of the virus in their lungs. Still, there is no evidence that airborne transmission of the virus has played a significant role in previous human epidemics, or if it has played any role at all. WHO has dispatched a three-person team to Makokou, according to Dr. David Heymann, head of the agency's emerging disease division in Geneva. The WHO team includes a west African veterinarian, a French virologist and a WHO public information officer. The CDC and the international Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders), both of which played pivotal roles in Kikwit, offered their services to Gabon, but have been declined. Gabon, which has close ties to the French government, is relying on French military personnel for disease control efforts. CDC officals say that there is little immediate concern that this epidemic could spread outside of Gabon, and particularly to the U.S., because of the extreme isolation of the area. Only two European airports (and no U.S. airports) offer flights to Gabon - Paris and Brussels - and access to Makokou requires twice-weekly flights from Libreville. No accessible roads service Mayibout.

Copyright 1996, Newsday Inc.

Garrett, Laurie, Killer virus strikes Africa for the third time in a year / Killer Ebola Virus Strikes in Gabon., Newsday, 02-17-1996, pp A07.

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Dogs trained to detect prostate cancer with more than 90% accuracy

Dogs trained to detect prostate cancer with more than 90% accuracy | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
The ability of two German shepherds to identify the most common form of cancer in British men has sparked hopes of finding a practical application
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A new strain of 'flesh-eating' bacteria is spreading globally, scientists warn

A new strain of 'flesh-eating' bacteria is spreading globally, scientists warn | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A dangerous new variant of flesh-eating bacteria has been discovered, and researchers have found that it's already contributed to a spike in severe infections in the UK, Canada, Japan, France and Sweden. Usually group A streptococcus bugs cause...
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Science Documentary: Personalized Medicine, Synthetic Biology , a documentary on genetic design

Science Documentary: Personalized Medicine, Synthetic Biology a documentary on genetic design Within our DNA lies the instructions for our cells. These cellular ...

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