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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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Equine infectious anaemia reported in UK | Vetsonline

Equine infectious anaemia reported in UK | Vetsonline | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
DEFRA has reported a case of equine infectious anaemia in the UK. The disease has been slowly making its way across Europe, with cases already seen this year in Germany, Belgium, and most recently, France.
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Might Smallpox Virus Help Fight a Lethal Breast Cancer? - US News and World Report

Might Smallpox Virus Help Fight a Lethal Breast Cancer? - US News and World Report | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

New animal research suggests it may be possible to use a form of smallpox virus to infect and kill the tumor cells of a particularly virulent form of breast cancer.

 

They mean vaccinia virus - the smallpox vaccine!!

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Breast-milk molecule raises risk of HIV transmission

Breast-milk molecule raises risk of HIV transmission | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Although one type of sugar in breast milk from HIV-positive mothers can boost likelihood of transmission, many other sugars protect against disease.
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BMC Genomics | Eukaryotic genomes may exhibit up to 10 generic classes of gene promoters

The main function of gene promoters appears to be the integration of different gene products in their biological pathways in order to maintain homeostasis. Generally, promoters have been classified in two major classes, namely TATA and CpG.
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No novel coronaviruses identified in a large collection of human nasopharyngeal specimens using family-wide CODEHOP-based primers

Novel viruses might be responsible for numerous disease cases with unknown etiology. In this study, we screened 1800 nasopharyngeal samples from adult outpatients with respiratory disease symptoms and healthy individuals. We employed a reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assay and CODEHOP-based primers (CT12-mCODEHOP) previously developed to recognize known and unknown corona- and toroviruses. The CT12-mCODEHOP assay detected 42.0 % (29/69) of samples positive for human coronaviruses (HCoV), including HCoV-229 (1/16), HCoV-NL63 (9/17), and HCoV-OC43 (19/36), and additionally HCoV-HKU1 (3), which was not targeted by the diagnostic real-time PCR assays. No other coronaviruses were identified in the analyzed samples.

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Evolutionary analysis improves ability to predict the spread of flu

Evolutionary analysis improves ability to predict the spread of flu | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
New research may lead to more protective flu vaccines by helping developers more accurately predict strains most likely to strike the population in the coming season.

To make this advance, scientists analyzed the DNA sequences of thousands of influenza strains isolated from patients worldwide, dating to 1968. By analyzing this dataset, researchers were able to determine which strains were most successful at expanding into the entire population, and which mutations were least successful in spreading. Using a new statistical method, the researchers found that many more mutations than we thought initially succeed in replicating and surviving. These mutations compete; some make it into the entire population, others die out. This analysis of the virus enables prediction of trends which can help vaccine developers understand the rules of flu virus evolution. This knowledge, in turn, can be used to predict which strains of the virus are most likely to spread through a human population.

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Microsoft Health Tech Today: Mapping Mutations

Finding an HIV vaccine relies on tracking huge amounts of data and rapid mutations. Learn how researchers are finding pivotal characteristics with help from Microsoft Research.

 

Nice video, even if they do say "HIV Virus..." B-(

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10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species

10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
A host of infectious and deadly diseases have hopped from animals to humans, and the other way.
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HSV-1 latent rabbits shed viral DNA into their saliva

Rabbits latent with HSV-1 strain McKrae spontaneously shed infectious virus and viral DNA into their tears and develop recurrent herpetic-specific corneal lesions.
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Lethal Mutagenesis of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Involves Shifts in Sequence Space

Lethal Mutagenesis of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Involves Shifts in Sequence Space | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Lethal mutagenesis or virus transition into error catastrophe is an antiviral strategy that aims at extinguishing a virus by increasing the viral mutation rates during replication. The molecular basis of lethal mutagenesis is largely unknown. Previous studies showed that a critical substitution in the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) polymerase was sufficient to allow the virus to escape extinction through modulation of the transition types induced by the purine nucleoside analogue ribavirin. This substitution was not detected in mutant spectra of FMDV populations that had not replicated in the presence of ribavirin, using standard molecular cloning and nucleotide sequencing. Here we selectively amplify and analyze low-melting-temperature cDNA duplexes copied from FMDV genome populations passaged in the absence or presence of ribovirin Hypermutated genomes with high frequencies of A and U were present in both ribavirin -treated and untreated populations, but the major effect of ribavirin mutagenesis was to accelerate the occurrence of AU-rich mutant clouds during the early replication rounds of the virus.

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CIDRAP >> Researchers find novel hemorrhagic fever virus in Africa

Sep 28, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers have identified a new virus that can cause hemorrhagic fever in humans, based on their investigation of an unusual outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009 that sickened three people, killing two.

The analysis of a virus from the surviving patient—a nurse who cared for the two children who died—revealed some unusual features. Named Bas-Congo virus after the remote tropical rain forest area of the DRC where the outbreak occurred, it is a rhabdovirus closely related to the rabies virus, which until now haven't been known to cause hemorrhagic fever that can quickly kill infected humans.

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Translational Bioinformatics: Transforming 300 Billion Points of Data

Translational Bioinformatics: Transforming 300 Billion Points of Data into Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and New Insights into Disease Air date: Wednesday, June...

 

LECTURE FROM STANFORD


Via Sandrine Palcy
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Genetic sleuthing uncovers deadly new virus in Africa

Genetic sleuthing uncovers deadly new virus in Africa | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
An isolated outbreak of a deadly disease known as acute hemorrhagic fever, which killed two people and left one gravely ill in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the summer of 2009, was probably caused by a novel virus scientists have never seen...
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Thermal Control of Microbial Development and Virulence: Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Temperature Sensing

Temperature is a critical and ubiquitous environmental signal that governs the development and virulence of diverse microbial species, including viruses, archaea, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

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Killers on the loose: the deadly viruses that threaten human survival

Killers on the loose: the deadly viruses that threaten human survival | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Could the next big animal-human disease wipe us out?
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Within reach of Australia: Rabies is now present only 350 kilometres from northern Australia

Within reach of Australia: Rabies is now present only 350 kilometres from northern Australia | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Rabies is now present only 350 kilometres from northern Australia, closer than the distance from Sydney to Dubbo.
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MESSA: Meta-Server for protein Sequence Analysis

Computational sequence analysis, that is, prediction of local sequence properties, homologs, spatial structure and function from the sequence of a protein, offers an efficient way to obtain needed information about proteins under study.
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Current Opinion in Microbiology - Viruses: foe, freeloader or friend?

The study of virus–host interactions has historically focused on what occurs between the virus particle and the host cell at a molecular level. Because of their simple genomes and small repertoire of virally encoded proteins, studying the effects of virus infection on the host cell is ideal for uncovering cellular activities and functions that would otherwise be difficult to distinguish due to overlapping pathways. When viewed at the cellular level, virus interactions with the host lean more towards aggression, where the virus is an enemy or at best, an unwelcome guest. Like party crashers, they quietly enter through doors and windows normally meant for other uses, eat their way through kitchen, and make a mess of the living room. By the time anyone notices, they have invited all of their friends and are destroying the place like rockstars trash hotel rooms. The first half of the issue then, covers virus–host interactions at the cellular level and highlights new research on some of the ways by which these unwanted guests get in, take over and get out.

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A New [Viral] Threat Looming over the Mediterranean Basin

"...in 2012, a new threat for vector-borne diseases has emerged on the horizon for southern Europe. The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is currently the most invasive mosquito species in the world. Over the past 30 years, this aggressive day-biting mosquito has rapidly spread from its native tropical forests of Southeast Asia across the world and is found currently in at least 28 countries in all continents, except Australia and Antarctica [4], [5]. Its populations exhibit extreme variation in adaptive traits such as egg diapause, cold hardiness, and autogeny (the ability to mature a batch of eggs without blood feedings) [6]. This high ecological plasticity permits this species to spread and successfully establish in both tropical and temperate regions. The colonization of Europe by Ae. albopictus began in Albania in the late 1970s [7], then in Italy in the 1990s [8], and gradually spread into the other Mediterranean countries, including France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Greece [5]. Tiger mosquitoes have also established permanently in southern Switzerland, and hence there is considerable concern about possible outbreaks further north [9]. The current distribution map of Ae. albopictus in Europe can be seen on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) website [10]. Predictive models indicate its likely expansion throughout Europe due to climate change [11]–[13]."

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Genomic Variation in Seven Khoe-San Groups Reveals Adaptation and Complex African History

"The history of click-speaking Khoe-San, and African populations in general, remains poorly understood. We genotyped ∼2.3 million SNPs in 220 southern Africans and found that the Khoe-San diverged from other populations ≥100,000 years ago, but structure within the Khoe-San dated back to about 35,000 years ago. Genetic variation in various sub-Saharan populations did not localize the origin of modern humans to a single geographic region within Africa; instead, it indicated a history of admixture and stratification. We found evidence of adaptation targeting muscle function and immune response, potential adaptive introgression of UV-light protection, and selection predating modern human diversification involving skeletal and neurological development. These new findings illustrate the importance of African genomic diversity in understanding human evolutionary history."

 

Ex Africa, semper aliquid novi...or old, in this case!

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HIV 'made' new deadly Salmonella

HIV 'made' new deadly Salmonella | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

An epidemic of a deadly strain of Salmonella has swept across the whole of Africa by "taking advantage" of the spread of HIV.

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The Gemini Virus

The Gemini Virus | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

"With a nod to the movie Contagion, The Gemini Virus is a vivid (the audience will become mysophobia agoraphobic), exhilarating lethal virus thriller. Part of the fun is the reactions of people as some welcome the biblical End of Days while others blame the government. Fast-paced from the first cough and sneeze, the storyline never takes a respite as the Gemini Virus goes viral."

 

A pity that geminiviruses (the real ones) only infect plants, isn't it?

 

Geminivirus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

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Eurosurveillance - View Article

Eurosurveillance - View Article | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Two cases of rapidly progressive acute respiratory infection in adults associated with a novel coronavirus have generated an international public health response. The two infections were acquired three months apart, probably in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. An interim case definition has been elaborated and was published on the World Health Organization website on 25 September 2012.

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#rabies “Rabid” by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy

#rabies  “Rabid” by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Rabies is a disease without a public relations firm. In developed countries, human disease is incredibly rare–we see typically one or two deaths from rabies each year. In contrast, lightning is responsible for about 60 deaths each year.
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ProMED Update on New Coronavirus

ProMED Update on New Coronavirus | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

[1] WHO update
Date: 26 Sep 2012
Source: WHO GAR [edited]
<http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_25/en/index.html>;

Novel coronavirus infection - update
- -----------------
As of [25 Sep 2012], no additional cases of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure due to infection with a novel coronavirus have been reported to WHO. WHO is continuing investigations into 2 recently confirmed infections identified as a novel coronavirus. Today WHO issued an interim case definition to help countries strengthen health protection measures against the new virus. The case definition, based on the cases so far, includes criteria for identifying a 'patient under investigation', a 'probable case' and a 'confirmed case'. 


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