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Virus Discovered in 2001 Hospitalizes Kids at Same Rate as Flu - The Boston Globe

A respiratory virus that was unknown to doctors until 2001, and has no treatment, causes the same severity of illness in young children as the flu, according to the largest study to estimate the infection’s US prevalence.
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And the more we look, the more we'll find

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people. And other things.
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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"The Strain" - The Battle Of Good, Evil And Realistic Vampires. Feat. Viruses!

"The Strain" - The Battle Of Good, Evil And Realistic Vampires. Feat. Viruses! | Virology News | Scoop.it
Speaking with Guillermo del Toro about “The Strain” isn’t for those with a weak stomach. It’s probably not something for morning conversation, either. Del Toro has a rabid passion for vampires that...
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The Big Fat Debate: UCT's web page on diet

The Big Fat Debate: UCT's web page on diet | Virology News | Scoop.it

It must be noted that based on the existing body of evidence, the Faculty of Health Sciences advocates that weight-loss programmes should include an energy restricted balanced diet containing good quality carbohydrates, good quality proteins and reduced fat products. The weight loss diet should be combined with appropriate levels of physical activity and behaviour change strategies to ensure permanent lifestyle changes to maintain weight loss and good health over the long term. 

 

- See more at: http://www.health.uct.ac.za/fhs/news/high-fat-diet-debate#sthash.Q0qSRpuj.dpuf

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Ja, boet...while this is for viruses, it is also here to promote evidence-based research - and all the n=1 experiments being reported for the Banting/Noakes diet are of no scientific use whatsoever.

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Mucosal SIV Vaccines with Bacterial Adjuvants Prevent SIV Infection in Macaques

Mucosal SIV Vaccines with Bacterial Adjuvants   Prevent SIV Infection in Macaques | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new paradigm of mucosal vaccination against HIV infection has been investigated in the macaque model. A vaccine consisting of inactivated SIVmac239 particles together with a living bacterial adjuvant (either the Calmette & Guerin bacillus, lactobacillus plantarum or Lactobacillus rhamnosus) was administered to macaques via the vaginal or oral/intragastic route. In contrast to all established human and veterinary vaccines, these three vaccine regimens did not elicit SIV-specific antibodies nor cytotoxic T-lymphocytes but induced a previously unrecognized population of non-cytolytic MHCIb/E-restricted CD8+T regulatory cells that suppressed the activation of SIV positive CD4+ T-lymphocytes. SIV reverse transcription was thereby blocked in inactivated CD4+ T-cells; the initial burst of virus replication was prevented and the vaccinated macaques were protected from a challenge infection. Three to 14 months after intragastric immunization, 24 macaques were challenged intrarectally with a high dose of SIVmac239 or with the heterologous strain SIV B670 (both strains grown on macaques PBMC). Twenty-three of these animals were found to be protected for up to 48 months while all 24 control macaques became infected. This protective effect against SIV challenge together with the concomitant identification of a robust ex-vivo correlate of protection suggests a new approach for developing an HIV vaccine in humans. The induction of this new class of CD8+ T regulatory cells could also possibly be used therapeutically for suppressing HIV replication in infected patients and this novel tolerogenic vaccine paradigm may have potential applications for treating a wide range of immune disorders and is likely to may have profound implications across immunology generally.

 

Graphic of cells involved in HIV immunity from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

I have heard Jean-Marie Andrieu present this work - and I can understand why there is some skepticism surrounding it, because it is almost too good to be true.

Seriously: SUPPRESSING SIV-specific CD4 T-cell activation results in immunity to challenge infection??

However, and however - if this work is found to have been done well (and there is no evidence it was not), then this really could be a simple, reliable way of immunising people against HIV

Of course, monkeys aren't people, and SIV is not HIV, so there MAY be a problem somewhere along the line in translating these results into humans - but what if there is not?

Then we may have a vaccine, and kudos to Jean-Marie Andrieu and co-workers to persevering along a difficult road to get their idea tested.

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The woman who discovered HIV says a 'cure' is possible

The woman who discovered HIV says a 'cure' is possible | Virology News | Scoop.it
Humanosphere The woman who discovered HIV says a 'cure' is possible Humanosphere This week's podcast features the Nobel Prize-winning scientist and AIDS activist, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who was in Seattle this week for a meeting devoted to...
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West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next...
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EBOLA OUTBREAKS NECESSITATE GLOBAL EMERGENCY TRACKING WARNING AND RESPONSE SYSTEM

EBOLA OUTBREAKS NECESSITATE GLOBAL EMERGENCY TRACKING WARNING AND RESPONSE SYSTEM | Virology News | Scoop.it
The recent outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever that is now according to the Centers for Disease Control affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and threatening to spread to more African countries including some with major international airports, is causing the CDC World ...
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This is basically an appeal for partners for funding - but it sounds like a VERY good idea!

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99 Ebola Outbreak Strains Sequenced

99 Ebola Outbreak Strains Sequenced | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ninety-nine publicly available genomes could help researchers working to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies. 

Via Ken Yaw Agyeman-Badu
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99 Ebola genomes, out in cyberspace

99 Ebola genomes, out in cyberspace

And if one Ebola genome

Should accidentally mutate

There'd be...potentially one very frightening Ebola!

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Ebola crisis strikes healthcare workers at unprecedented levels

Ebola crisis strikes healthcare workers at unprecedented levels | Virology News | Scoop.it
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are an "unprecedented number of medical staff infected with Ebola.”
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US TO BEGIN SAFETY TESTING EBOLA VACCINE NEXT WEEK

US TO BEGIN SAFETY TESTING EBOLA VACCINE NEXT WEEK | Virology News | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal researchers next week will start testing humans with an experimental vaccine to prevent the deadly Ebola virus.

The National Institutes of Health announced Thursday that it is launching the safety trial on a vaccine developed by the agency's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline. Beginning Tuesday, it will test 20 healthy adult volunteers to see if the virus is safe and triggers an adequate response in their immune systems.

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Biopharming Regulations

Biopharmed drugs offer much promise; but how should they be regulated?

Using genetic engineering in plants to create biopharmed drugs holds all sorts of promise for treating diseases, as the recent case of a drug which appears to have cured two Ebola patients has shown, but regulators may be holding this field back, argues Henry Miller in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Biopharming involves genetically engineering crops such as corn, tomato, and tobacco to create high concentrations of antibodies and other pharmaceuticals that can then be harvested.

The drug used in the two US Ebola patients, called ZMapp, is one of these; a mixture of three antibodies taken from tobacco plants that were infected with engineered plant viruses. These kinds of drugs have such "great potential," Miller says, because the raw materials are cheap and they can be scaled up far more cheaply than bricks-and-mortar factories. That fluid scalability enables drug firms to hold off on investing in production facilities until later in the clinical testing cycle, or until the market it will target can be better estimated.

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Ebola outbreak: Congo becomes fifth country with confirmed cases

Ebola outbreak: Congo becomes fifth country with confirmed cases | Virology News | Scoop.it
Health minister says up to 15 people may have died but virus is not linked to epidemic that has spread through west Africa
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"One of the two cases that tested positive was for the Sudanese strain of the virus...while the other was a mixture of the Sudanese and the Zaire strain – the most dangerous. The virus in west Africa is the Zaire strain. "

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Fighting Ebola, and the Conspiracy Theories

Fighting Ebola, and the Conspiracy Theories | Virology News | Scoop.it
The developed world has the same problem with myths about vaccines. In Africa, working with trusted community leaders is a key.
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The Global Response to the Ebola Fever Epidemic: What Took So Long?

The Global Response to the Ebola Fever Epidemic: What Took So Long? | Virology News | Scoop.it

Mark J. Siedner of Harvard Medical School and John D. Kraemer of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, discuss the impact of the delayed global response to the Ebola epidemic.

On August 8, twenty weeks after the first suspected cases in what has become the worst hemorrhagic fever outbreak in history, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General declared the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The announcement, which signals that an epidemic constitutes a sufficient public health risk to member WHO States through the spread of disease, will ideally motivate financial and logistic support to the countries most affected. But after nearly 1,000 deaths, and for a disease where a relatively simple and coordinated public health response has extinguished prior epidemics, many are left wondering, “what took so long?”

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UCT Research August 2014

UCT Research August 2014 | Virology News | Scoop.it
Welcome to the second monthly issue of UCT Research. You can download the feature stories to read offline by clicking 'View PDF' below. Please share it with colleagues and friends by forwarding it to them and asking them to subscribe.
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So here's something I didn't even know our University produced - and I'm supposed to be wired in!!

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No silver lining for fanatics: Noakes, vaccines, autism - and the silver price

No silver lining for fanatics: Noakes, vaccines, autism - and the silver price | Virology News | Scoop.it
The silver bugs were proven wrong when the price of silver barely blinked in response to the end of the 117-year-old London silver fix, writes Bronwyn Nortje

I’VE never been much of a fan of conspiracy theorists, the main reason being that to argue with one is to know the height of frustration. Conspiracy theorists by their nature generally suffer from severe confirmation bias and when engaged in arguments are quick to proffer cherry-picked evidence to support their positions.

What frustrates me most, though, is how when faced with irrefutable logic or extensive evidence contrary to their position, conspiracy theorists are quick to point to the so-called "establishment", whose involvement in the conspiracy can never be proven but is always assumed.

That’s why I had to sit on my hands when fitness authority turned diet guru Prof Tim Noakes took to Twitter last week to suggest that a proven link between vaccines and autism had been covered up.

If you’ve followed the vaccination debate at all over the past several years you’d know that the findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield, suggesting a link between vaccines and autism, have long since been debunked and that the journal that originally published the paper was forced to retract the "utterly false" findings.

The trouble with raising any sort of criticism against this sort of increasingly bizarre statement made by Noakes is that so many of his followers seem to come from the conspiracy theorist mould. Rather than listen to and evaluate evidence counter to the claims put forward by Noakes, they tend to employ apparently irrefutable scientific reasoning that goes along these lines: I lost 15kg on the Noakes diet. Therefore Noakes is God and his words are gospel.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

I like this comment: "The only upside of this malarkey is that in a few years we will have a large enough sample of "antivaxers" to prove that autism is just as prevalent in children who have not been vaccinated as those who were." Viva!

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What We Can Learn From Ebola Survivors

What We Can Learn From Ebola Survivors | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Ebola outbreak spreading through West Africa has a 53 percent fatality rate, meaning 47 percent of people survive the gruesome infection. And experts say those people could hold clues to the virus's weakness.
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Ebola outbreak: Five co-authors of latest study killed by virus before their research was published

Ebola outbreak: Five co-authors of latest study killed by virus before their research was published | Virology News | Scoop.it
Five co-authors of the latest study on Ebola were killed by the virus before their research was published, highlighting the huge risks undertaken by those working to combat its spread.
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That is what you could call a sobering thought - and highlights how disproportionately the virus hits healthcare workers.

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Immunization with recombinant baculovirus expressing the VP6 protein induces immunity to grass carp reovirus in fish

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Because fish are insects, right? Actually, cool stuff: means cheap vaccines for fish.

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Fifteen Years After A Vaccine Scare, A Measles Epidemic

Fifteen Years After A Vaccine Scare, A Measles Epidemic | Virology News | Scoop.it
A measles epidemic in Wales that has infected more than 1,000 people is the fallout from a fraudulent paper linking the vaccine and autism published almost 15 years ago, health officials say. Many of the children and teenagers sick with measles were never vaccinated.
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Seriously, I think the parents should be prosecuted.  Morons.

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Reversion of advanced Ebola virus disease in nonhuman primates with ZMapp

Reversion of advanced Ebola virus disease in nonhuman primates with ZMapp | Virology News | Scoop.it
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Has a CDC Whistleblower Really Come forward [about vaccines and autism]?

Has a CDC Whistleblower Really Come forward [about vaccines and autism]? | Virology News | Scoop.it

Once again we find the world of social media ablaze with claims that ‘proof’ of a link between early MMR vaccination and autism has been uncovered. This time, through a none other than a CDC scientist called William W. Thompson.

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Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak

Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists say sequencing of Ebola genome also offers clues to outbreak’s origins.

The Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa has mutated repeatedly during the current outbreak, a fact that could hinder diagnosis and treatment of the devastating disease, according to scientists who have genetically sequenced the virus in scores of victims.

The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, also offer new insights into the origins of the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak in history, which has killed more than 1,500 people in four countries and shows few signs of slowing. It also provided another reminder of the deep toll the outbreak has taken on health workers and others in the affected areas, as five of the paper’s more than 50 co-authors died from Ebola before publication.

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Tobacco-derived 'plantibodies' enter the fight against Ebola

Tobacco-derived 'plantibodies' enter the fight against Ebola | Virology News | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drugmakers' use of the tobacco plant as a fast and cheap way to produce novel biotechnology treatments is gaining global attention because of its role in an experimental Ebola therapy.The
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Nice account of ZMapp and some of the science behind it.

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Liberian Ministers Who Defied Ebola Order Fired

Liberian Ministers Who Defied Ebola Order Fired | Virology News | Scoop.it
Liberia's president has fired all Cabinet ministers and other top officials who defied her order to return to the country as it struggles with an unprecedented Ebola outbreak. A statement from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's office late Monday did not say how many officials or which ones had been...
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Science, not God, saved him from Ebola

Science, not God, saved him from Ebola | Virology News | Scoop.it
Dr Kent Brantly thinks he survived the deadly Ebola virus thanks not to medicine and drugs but because of his Sky Daddy.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Seriously: the medic who asked for the ZMapp because he felt himself getting sicker, now says "G-D did it"??

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