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Development of a plant host system with designer glycosylation for biopharming

Development of a plant host system with designer glycosylation for biopharming | Virology News | Scoop.it

(PresseBox) (Munich, 17.12.2013) Icon Genetics GmbH, Munich, Germany (ICON) and Bayer CropScience have successfully created a novel plant host system for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Bayer has delivered a Nicotiana plant that is deficient in plant-specific sugar residues resulting in different plant glycosylation patterns. The plant host is already being used by ICON as a new component in its protein production platform and as a basis for the development of a further improved production host with more complex “humanized” glycan structures that also include sialylation pathway. The availability of these plant host systems providing different glycosylation patterns of recombinant proteins are necessary for manufacturing of novel and more potent biopharmaceuticals in green plants. 

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Going green for biologics: the sensible thing to do.

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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Zika Virus: New Clinical Syndromes and Its Emergence in the Western Hemisphere

Zika Virus: New Clinical Syndromes and Its Emergence in the Western Hemisphere | Virology News | Scoop.it

Zika virus (ZIKV) had remained a relatively obscure flavivirus until a recent series of outbreaks accompanied by unexpectedly severe clinical complications brought this virus into the spotlight as causing an infection of global public health concern. In this review, we discuss the history and epidemiology of ZIKV infection, recent outbreaks in Oceania and the emergence of ZIKV in the Western Hemisphere, newly ascribed complications of ZIKV infection, including Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly, potential interactions between ZIKV and dengue virus, and the prospects for the development of antiviral agents and vaccines.


Zika virus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

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Good current review
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Expanding the benefits of HPV vaccination to boys and men

Expanding the benefits of HPV vaccination to boys and men | Virology News | Scoop.it

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It affects 80% of the population, with the initial infection usually occurring between 15 and 24 years of age. Persistent infection with high-risk oncogenic HPV genotypes, primarily types 16 and 18, is the cause of almost all cervical cancers.1 HPV is also thought to cause about 95% of anal cancers, 75% of oropharyngeal cancers, 75% of vaginal cancers, 70% of vulvar cancers, and 60% of penile cancers.2 Low-risk or non-oncogenic genotypes (eg, types 6 and 11) cause anogenital warts, low-grade cervical disease, and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. In the USA, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer in men now exceeds that of cervical cancer in women, and by 2020 the annual number of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers will exceed that of cervical cancers.3 As a result, it is important to consider ways to expand our HPV prevention efforts to boys and men.


HPV graphic from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:
High time!
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‘Firefly’ map pinpoints where HIV enters women

‘Firefly’ map pinpoints where HIV enters women | Virology News | Scoop.it
Finding the vulnerable point where HIV enters the female reproductive tract has been difficult. A glowing map has helped scientists solve the mystery.
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Polio cases could be wiped out within 12 months, says World Health Organisation

Polio cases could be wiped out within 12 months, says World Health Organisation | Virology News | Scoop.it
With just nine cases of the virus so far this year – in Pakistan and Afghanistan – the WHO is confident the battle against polio is nearly won
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Ranking the Most Plausible Outbreak Films

Ranking the Most Plausible Outbreak Films | Virology News | Scoop.it

Deadly outbreaks are a popular topic in fiction. How often do films get it wrong?

The outbreak of a deadly virus or disease has long been a favorite delivery method of apocalyptic ruin by storytellers. Many films and television shows have explored the idea of the end of the world via outbreak, and some have even done it pretty well. Organizations like the World Heath Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are semi-mysterious entities that house the world’s most devastating pathogens and, as such, are prime candidates for modern apocalyptic fiction. While not every apocalyptic pathogen film involves the CDC or WHO, they all have some key commonalities: a virus, an outbreak, and a need for a cure. It’s important to understand that none of these films present realistic scenarios. They’re all flawed in their own way, supplemented by movie magic to make for a better story. That said, there are some interesting concepts at play, so let’s take a look at a few relatively recent films that range from “pretty damn ridiculous” to “plausible…sorta.” To be clear, this is by no means an exhaustive list. A preliminary count revealed well over 70 films dabbling in pathogens. These are simply a starting point.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Ah, viruses and zombies: what's not to like?? B-)
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4,000 sickened in Spain by norovirus in bottled water

4,000 sickened in Spain by norovirus in bottled water | Virology News | Scoop.it
Thousands of people in Spain were recently sickened with a virus spreading from an unlikely source: bottled water.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
That'll learn them: tap water, people!!
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When a fish virus can lead to government policy changes

When a fish virus can lead to government policy changes | Virology News | Scoop.it
Salmon farming company AquaChile reported the detection of a possible ISA virus outbreak in a cage of one of its salmon farming centres located in the Aysen region, in southern Chile.

The salmon farming company indicated that during the regular and routine sampling processes, "there was a finding by a positive reaction to the PCR probe for ISA virus in one of the 20 cages of the Transit Centre 2, of the district 21 B of the Aysen Region", which currently has fish that are about 2 kilograms.

"In compliance with the regulations, the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) was informed, and the cage re-sampling procedure was implemented to confirm or refute this finding, the results are not yet available," said AquaChile in a statement.

ISA virus causes significant mortalities in Atlantic salmon, especially in the phase in which these fish live in the sea.

This announcement comes at a time when SalmonChile, like other companies, has suffered economic losses because of harmful algal blooms, which are estimated to result in the loss of about 110,000 tonnes of salmon, equivalent to 10-12 per cent of the annual salmon production from Chile.

After the news of the infectious salmon anemia virus detection, AquaChile shares in the Santiago Stock Exchange ended with a loss of 1.66 per cent last Friday after an earlier fall of more than 4 per cent.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
It's not just people viruses, people...
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Dengue Virus Antibodies Enhance Zika Virus Infection

Dengue Virus Antibodies Enhance Zika Virus Infection | Virology News | Scoop.it

We tested the neutralizing and enhancing potential of well-characterized broadly neutralizing human anti-DENV monoclonal antibodies (HMAbs) and human DENV immune sera against ZIKV using neutralization and ADE assays. We show that anti-DENV HMAbs, cross-react, do not neutralize, and greatly enhance ZIKV infection in vitro. DENV immune sera had varying degrees of neutralization against ZIKV and similarly enhanced ZIKV infection. 

Conclusions / Significance 

Our results suggest that pre-existing DENV immunity will enhance ZIKV infection in vivo and may increase disease severity. A clear understanding of the interplay between ZIKV and DENV will be critical in informing public health responses in regions where these viruses co-circulate and will be particularly valuable for ZIKV and DENV vaccine design and implementation strategies.


Zika virus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:
This is a big deal: a really big deal.  While people have been speculating around the issue for months now - yes, you, Neil Bodie! - this prepub appears to provide proof that prior immunity to the related dengue virus(es) may enhance Zika virus infection, without neutralising infectivity.  This is termed "antibody-dependent enhancement" (ADE), and is also a major factor in dengue haemorrhagic fever which results from ADE due to reinfection with a different dengue type.
It is also interesting because this is one of the first high-profile uses of the online preprint archive bioRxiv (STUPID name!) for a virology paper - which may open the floodgates, as people see what a good idea it potentially is.
The possibility that ADE exacerbates Zika infection means that the manifestations of Zika may be very different depending upon the seroprevalence of dengue and possibly yellow fever virus antibodies in the target population: where this is very low - as in the USA or Europe - there may be no real problem.  Where the seroprevalences are high - as is the case in Brazil and much of Central America - Zika infections may be much more severe.
We will wait and see.
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Crazy Alert: "Prince Killed by Medications and Flu Shot - Illuminati Sacrifice?"

https://www.youtube.com/c/TrulyFree
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There are no words....
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Resistance to anti-HIV drugs in steep decline in Switzerland

Resistance to anti-HIV drugs in steep decline in Switzerland | Virology News | Scoop.it
The latest worldwide HIV/AIDS news and updates, including treatment, prevention, and hepatitis and TB co-infections.
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Researchers identify potent antibodies against HIV

Researchers identify potent antibodies against HIV | Virology News | Scoop.it
It's been known for some time that the immune system can produce antibodies capable of "neutralizing" HIV, and stopping the AIDS-causing virus dead in its tracks.
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Researchers have discovered two ways a compound blocks dengue virus

Researchers have discovered two ways a compound blocks dengue virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Harvard Medical School scientists have found a compound that in laboratory dishes blocks the dengue virus in two ways, raising hopes for a future drug whose dual activity could suppress the otherwise likely emergence of dru
Ed Rybicki's insight:
The OTHER more serious flavivirus: none of this faddish Zika nonsense.
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Highly novel research proposals ‘being systematically rejected’

Highly novel research proposals ‘being systematically rejected’ | Virology News | Scoop.it

Those judging creative scientific ideas fail to fully understand them, potentially hampering breakthroughs, research indicates

Highly novel research proposals are being systematically turned down because they fall outside evaluators’ paradigms of understanding, a new study suggests. It indicates that humans are not good at approving truly creative new ideas, a finding that has implications for the economy and culture, as well as academia. A team from Harvard and Northeastern universities made the discovery by sending 150 ideas for research projects in endocrinology to 142 academic evaluators, who rated 15 of them each. The proposals were ideas for new research, rather than detailed project plans, so as not to be judged on criteria such as budgeting. Highly novel ideas received worse ratings than those with only moderate novelty, the study found, although those with little novelty also scored poorly. Christoph Riedl, a co-author and assistant professor for information systems at Northeastern University, explained to Times Higher Education that “humans just have cognitive limits in what they are able to understand”. “Evaluators systematically misconstrued ideas that were outside their established paradigms,” he said. This “bounded rationality” was the most convincing reason for why assessors failed to appreciate highly novel plans, according to the paper, “Looking across and looking beyond the knowledge frontier: intellectual distance, novelty, and resource allocation in science”, published in Management Science.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Theeeeeeeere's ma problem....
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Map reveals global Zika risk

Map reveals global Zika risk | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Note: US is NOT at highest risk. But it's attracting / generating all the attention....
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Newly Developed Hand-Held Device Can Quickly Detect Ebola Virus

Newly Developed Hand-Held Device Can Quickly Detect Ebola Virus - The Science Explorer The Science Explorer Newly Developed Hand-Held Device Can Quickly Detect Ebola Virus The Science Explorer
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Bacterial superglue enables easy development of efficient virus-like particle based vaccines

Background
Virus-like particles (VLPs) represent a significant advance in the development of subunit vaccines, combining high safety and efficacy. Their particulate nature and dense repetitive subunit organization makes them ideal scaffolds for display of vaccine antigens. Traditional approaches for VLP-based antigen display require labor-intensive trial-and-error optimization, and often fail to generate dense antigen display. Here we utilize the split-intein (SpyTag/SpyCatcher) conjugation system to generate stable isopeptide bound antigen-VLP complexes by simply mixing of the antigen and VLP components.

Results
Genetic fusion of SpyTag or SpyCatcher to the N-terminus and/or C-terminus of the Acinetobacter phage AP205 capsid protein resulted in formation of stable, nonaggregated VLPs expressing one SpyCatcher, one SpyTag or two SpyTags per capsid protein. Mixing of spy-VLPs with eleven different vaccine antigens fused to SpyCatcher or SpyTag resulted in formation of antigen-VLP complexes with coupling efficiencies (% occupancy of total VLP binding sites) ranging from 22–88 %. In mice, spy-VLP vaccines presenting the malaria proteins Pfs25 or VAR2CSA markedly increased antibody titer, affinity, longevity and functional efficacy compared to corresponding vaccines employing monomeric proteins. The spy-VLP vaccines also effectively broke B cell self-tolerance and induced potent and durable antibody responses upon vaccination with cancer or allergy-associated self-antigens (PD-L1, CTLA-4 and IL-5).

Conclusions
The spy-VLP system constitutes a versatile and rapid method to develop highly immunogenic VLP-based vaccines. Our data provide proof-of-concept for the technology’s ability to present complex vaccine antigens to the immune system and elicit robust functional antibody responses as well as to efficiently break B cell self-tolerance. The spy-VLP-system may serve as a generic tool for the cost-effective development of effective VLP-vaccines against both infectious- and non-communicable diseases and could facilitate rapid and unbiased screening of vaccine candidate antigens.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
"Bacterial superglue": one way to describe velcro-like peptides, I suppose??  And of course it will lead to better vaccines and will revolutionise the industry, of course...B-)  But it IS very cool, and a nicepaper.
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Be prepared: asteroids, robots and deadly viruses could kill millions

Be prepared: asteroids, robots and deadly viruses could kill millions | Virology News | Scoop.it

Governments are failing to properly prepare for a wave of catastrophic threats to humanity such as the rise of robots and ‘off-the-shelf’ deadly viruses, scientists argue.

Super volcanoes, asteroid strikes and nuclear war are also threats that could wipe out swathes of humanity and are more likely to occur than many realise, according to researchers at Oxford University.

Their report, Global Catastrophic Risks, ranks dangers that could kill off 10 percent or more of the human population.

It warns that while most generations never experience a catastrophe, the possibility of such an event is far from fanciful, as shown by the 1918 Spanish flu, which wiped out millions.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Viruses, I can get ready for.  The others? Not so much...
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Ross River virus and dengue fever increasing in Australia as global temperatures rise

Ross River virus and dengue fever increasing in Australia as global temperatures rise | Virology News | Scoop.it
A record number of people were infected with Ross River virus last year in what doctors believe may be a consequence of global warming.
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H5N6 flu in humans in China: a reminder there are OTHER nasty viruses

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the [Hong Kong] Department of Health (DH) was notified of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Hunan by the National Health and Family Planning Commission today [26 Apr 2016], and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food, and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The case involves an 11-year-old girl who lives in Zhuzhou, Hunan. With history of poultry contact before onset, the patient developed fever on [11 Apr 2016] and was admitted to a local hospital the next day. She is now in stable condition.

From 2014 to date, a total of 12 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by the mainland health authorities.

"All novel influenza A infections, including H5N6, are statutory notifiable infectious diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CHP said. "We will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments," the spokesman said.

The DH's Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow up.

The display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on the latest information.

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.
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Why the Zika virus was ignored for so long

Why the Zika virus was ignored for so long | Virology News | Scoop.it
ON FEBRUARY 1st, the World Health Organisation declared the spread of the Zika virus a global public health emergency. The virus, a suspected cause of birt
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Hint: because it was a lot less serious than things like dengue or yellow fever??
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Rwanda spearheads switch from tOPV to bOPV in Africa

Rwanda spearheads switch from tOPV to bOPV in Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
On 04 April 2016, the Government of Rwanda with support from WHO and immunization partners made history as the first country in the African Region to introduce bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) in place of the trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV)...
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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: The Role of Wild Birds

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: The Role of Wild Birds - Dr. Thomas J. DeLiberto, NWRC Assistant Director, Wildlife Services, APHIS, USDA, from the 201
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HPV and Cervical Cancer Patient Stories

Hear inspiring stories from women who have fought cervical cancer or who have used their HPV test results to proactively manage their health.
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People With HIV May Age Faster Due To Premature Aging Of Cells

HIV treatment may cause cells to age faster, a new study has found. This means people with HIV must also take action to curb the effects of premature aging.
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