A compound that blocks the Ebola virus's ability to replicate has been found to provide full protection to monkeys when treated three days after the deadly infection, researchers have reported. The findings suggest that the compound, known as GS-5734, should be further developed as a potential
For a quarter of a century, countless attempts have been made to produce an effective vaccine against Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric adenocarcinoma.1 An effective vaccine against H pylori is needed most for prevention of gastric adenocarcinoma, the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide.2 However, efforts to produce such a vaccine have so far failed, and H pylori vaccine research has slowed in the past few years. The main reason for this might have been disillusionment, arising from the inability to produce a vaccine that completely protects against the infection.
Infectious diarrhea leads to significant mortality in children, with 40 % of these deaths occurring in Africa. Classic human astroviruses are a well-established etiology of diarrhea. In recent years, seven novel astroviruses have been discovered (MLB1, MLB2, MLB3, VA1/HMO-C, VA2/HMO-B, VA3/HMO-A, VA4); however, there have been few studies on their prevalence or potential association with diarrhea.
A survey of 22,000 academic researchers by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Palgrave Macmillan has found that a decreasing number of authors are concerned about perceptions of the quality of open access publications.
In 2014, 40% of scientists who had not published open access in the last three years said "I am concerned about perceptions of the quality of OA publications." But this year, only 27% said they were concerned. In the humanities, business and social sciences (HSS), the drop was more marked; from 54% in 2014 to 41% in 2015. Nonetheless, concerns about perceptions of the quality of OA publications is still the leading factor in authors choosing not to publish OA.
NPG and Palgrave Macmillan are making the anonymised data from their annual survey available for the second year running under a CC BY license, in order to achieve greater understanding between authors, funders and publishers.
A virus is nature's efficient little killer. It can invade a cell, take over its inner machinery, trick it into making more virus DNA and escape with a new posse of virus children (often killing the host in the process). They're really good at what they do, and we've been able to harness their skills to learn about – and potentially improve – human health in several ways.
Hundreds of white-tailed deer were left dead after a widespread Bluetongue outbreak that swept Washington and Idaho in August 2015. Experts predict 80 to 90 percent of infected white-tailed deer will die from the drought-fueled virus.
Last week, WHO expedited release of their Guideline on when to start antiretroviral therapy and on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, ahead of the updated comprehensive guidelines scheduled for publication later this year. The early-release guideline recommends immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all individuals living with HIV, irrespective of age and CD4 cell count. Previously, ART has been recommended only for individuals with CD4 cell counts less than 500 cells per μL (in addition to pregnant women, discordant partners, and those with other conditions such as active tuberculosis).
In her Correspondence, Judith R Glynn,1 as others before,2 reports lower incidence of Ebola among children than among adults. This finding might result from age-related biases in Ebola surveillance. Ebola cases are reported through clinical care, contact tracing, or burial records. Paediatric cases (especially in children aged younger than 5 years) are more likely to be missed by this system than are adult cases. First, children aged younger than 5 years die from Ebola more frequently and faster than adults.
“The instant I saw the photograph my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race.” This was James Watson's comment on first glimpsing Photograph 51, the famous x-ray photograph of the hydrated B form of DNA that exhibits a clear X shape. As Watson immediately recognised, this supports the idea that DNA is a double helix. But this photograph was not taken by Watson, nor by Maurice Wilkins who showed it to him. It was the work of Ray Gosling, a PhD student supervised by Rosalind Franklin. And Franklin had certainly not wished Watson to see this photograph.
The first human efficacy trial of an Ebola vaccine was reported out in late July, giving some cause for celebration, but giving others cause for concern (Lancet 386, 857–866, 2015). The trial employed an innovative ring-vaccination protocol, including only individuals who had been in recent contact with a verified Ebola case. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine either immediately or 21 days later. Scoring the number of Ebola cases in each arm of the trial, the results could not have been more striking: there were 16 cases in the delayed group whereas there were none in the immunized group. “Ebola vaccine 100% efficient” was splashed across headlines in the days following the report. What gives some people pause, however, is that the trial was stopped before the data reached statistical significance, and there was size bias in the clusters that could have skewed the results. “This study probably can't be better than it already is. It's just that even when conducted so flawlessly, this type of study still leaves room for doubt,” says Timothy Lahey, of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Over the last two decades, scientists have argued back and forth on whether or not ultra-small bacteria exist. The argument has been fueled, in part, by the1996 find of ultra-tiny fossil microorganisms on a meteorite from the planet Mars. But earlier this year, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have captured detailed cryogenic electron microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria. These cells are now believed to be as small as a cell can get and still possess sufficient internal material needed to sustain life.
The first author of the study, Birgit Luef, is now a researcher at NTNU’s Department of Biotechnology. The publication was the result of her postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. The researchers found several kinds of bacteria from three microbial phyla that are poorly understood. The bacteria were in groundwater and are thought to be quite common. But what surprised Luef and her colleagues was that the bacteria were close to and in some cases smaller than what many scientists have long considered the lower size limit of life. They reported the findings in the spring in the journal Nature Communications.
The cells had an average volume 0.009 ± 0.002 cubic microns, meaning 150 of the bacteria would fit inside a single cell of Escherichia coli.
We've all heard of friendly bacteria, but a friendly virus? Called the pegivirus, catching it doesn’t make you sick. Instead, it can help the immune system to keep HIV infections in check. Discovered in 1995, scientists do not understand how it works, but that could soon change. Researchers at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Centre recently discovered baboons have their own pegivirus strain, offering a new way to study the oddball virus. Their investigation, published in Science Translational Medicine in September, may inspire new ways to tackle HIV.
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