GENEVA (Reuters) - An independent advisory body will decide in August at the earliest on whether to recommend widespread introduction of an Ebola vaccine, depending on results of clinical trials and the...
Leonard Nimoy, the man who created the enduring character of Mr Spock, has finally been beamed up for a final trip. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes an affectionate look back at the versatile actor and his amazing influence on contemporary culture.
By Kate and Kelland LONDON, Feb 27 - The world remains highly vulnerable to a possible severe flu pandemic and governments should increase surveillance, vigilance and preparedness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. It said the world was fortunate that the last flu pandemic, caused by H1N1 swine flu in 2009/2010, was relatively mild, but added: "Such good fortune is no precedent". In a seven-page report on flu, WHO said that on many levels, the world is better prepared now than ever before for a flu pandemic. The level of alert is high, it said, and there is better surveillance of flu viruses in both animals and humans.
Influenza virus graphic from Russell Kightley Media
Clinical evidence suggests that antibodies from reconvalescent donors (persons who have [completely] recovered from infection) may be effective in the treatment of Ebola virus infection. Administration of this treatment to Ebola virus-infected patients while preventing the transmission of other pathogenic viruses may be best accomplished by use of virus-inactivated reconvalescent plasma. The primary choice among options would be between use of whole blood or plasma only.
Ebola virus replication graphic from Russell Kightley Media
Understanding the patterns and mechanisms of genome evolution is one of the most important, yet least understood, aspects of RNA virus biology. The evolutionary challenge faced by RNA viruses is to maximize functional diversity within severe constraints on genome size. Here we show that rhabdoviruses, a family of RNA viruses that infect hosts as diverse as plants, insects and vertebrates, have an unusual capacity for genomic plasticity. By analysing the complete or near-complete genome sequences of 99 animal rhabdoviruses, we show that genome expansion and contraction has likely occurred frequently throughout the evolution of the family. Genomic plasticity has been associated with the evolution of alternative, overlapping and consecutive ORFs within the major structural protein genes, as well as the insertion and loss of additional ORFs in each gene junction in a clade-specific manner. This has resulted in remarkable diversity in genome organisation and gene expression strategies that is reflective of the broad ecological diversity of rhabdoviruses. We conclude that genomic plasticity in rhabdoviruses may be linked to their discontinuous transcription strategy from the negative-sense single-stranded RNA genome and propose a general model that accounts for both gains and losses in genome size and complexity.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Great stuff! Nicely done, with some very sophisticated analyses and some great conclusions.
Measles was one of the top killers of children in 2013.
Measles killed 82,100 children under age 5 in 2013, ranking the disease at No. 7 on the list of the top causes of child death, according to recent statistics from the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet. Lower respiratory infections like pneumonia were the number one killer, followed by malaria, diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies, congenital defects and meningitis. More small children died from measles in 2013 than died from drowning, road injuries or aids.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Young children are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill with pneumonia -- but unlike in years past, the cause is usually a respiratory virus, a large U.S. study finds.
The researchers found that 66 percent of pneumonia cases in the more than 2,000 children in the study were caused by viruses alone. Just 8 percent had solely bacterial causes, and 7 percent were known to be caused by both bacteria and viruses. And, those infections can end up being serious, the study authors said.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
And adult: I can think of a case of pneumonia linked to a flu virus very close to me recently!
Jimmy Kimmel delivered a takedown against anti-vaxxers on Thursday's show and topped it off with a PSA featuring real doctors who are so mad they made the spot into a bleep-fest. "I cannot f—king believe we have to make this PSA," said one doctor, while others complained they had to spend their day off making the video instead of binging Breaking Bad.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) caused by multiple enterovirus infections is a serious health threat to children in the Asia–Pacific region. This article reviews progresses in the development of vaccines for HFMD and discusses the need for polyvalent HFMD vaccines for conferring broad-spectrum protection.
How does marijuana cause the irresistible hunger pangs known as the munchies? Paradoxically, the answer seems to involve an unusual mode of activation of a brain circuit best known for suppressing appetite.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Hey, man: getting high is like neuroscience now, man...!
Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Melanie's Marvelous Measles at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
I have never seen a book so reviled, and so eloquently: basically, it extols the virtues of letting your kids catch measles "naturally"; thankfully, more than a thousand people out there think it is a dangerous piece of crap.
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