Virology News
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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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Unprecedented genomic diversity of RNA viruses in arthropods reveals the ancestry of negative-sense RNA viruses

Unprecedented genomic diversity of RNA viruses in arthropods reveals the ancestry of negative-sense RNA viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Although arthropods are important viral vectors, the biodiversity of arthropod viruses, as well as the role that arthropods have played in viral origins and evolution, is unclear. Through RNA sequencing of 70 arthropod species we discovered 112 novel viruses that appear to be ancestral to much of the documented genetic diversity of negative-sense RNA viruses, a number of which are also present as endogenous genomic copies. With this greatly enriched diversity we revealed that arthropods contain viruses that fall basal to major virus groups, including the vertebrate-specific arenaviruses, filoviruses, hantaviruses, influenza viruses, lyssaviruses, and paramyxoviruses. We similarly documented a remarkable diversity of genome structures in arthropod viruses, including a putative circular form, that sheds new light on the evolution of genome organization. Hence, arthropods are a major reservoir of viral genetic diversity and have likely been central to viral evolution.

 

Graphic from Ed Rybicki: http://www.mcb.uct.ac.za/tutorial/virorig.html

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Ed Rybicki's insight:

I do so love it when I'm proven right....

 

"other ssRNA viruses – such as the negative sense mononegaviruses, Order Mononegavirales, which group includes Ebola, measles and mumps and rabies viruses – may be evolutionarily much younger.  In this latter case, the viruses all have the same basic genome with genes in the same order and helical nucleocapsids within differently-shaped enveloped particles.  Their host ranges also indicate that they originated in insects: the ones with more than one phylum of host either infect vertebrates and insects or plants and insects, while some infect insects only, or only vertebrates – indicating a possible evolutionary origin in insects, and a subsequent evolutionary divergence in them and in their feeding targets."

 

Thanks to Alan Cann for pointing this out!

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Rabenstein, Frank's curator insight, March 27, 2015 9:48 AM

Interestingly, a virus was discovered in the the horsefly pool that showed sequence homology to tenuiviruses (like rice grass stunt virus) despite the fact that this virus lacked the ambisense coding strategy of teniuviruses. It was discussed that  it  possibly represents an intermediary form between plant infecting and arthropod-specific viruses.

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Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Giant Mimivirus Particle with an X-Ray Free-Electron Laser

Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Giant Mimivirus Particle with an X-Ray Free-Electron Laser | Virology News | Scoop.it

We present a proof-of-concept three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle from experimentally measured diffraction patterns from an x-ray free-electron laser. Three-dimensional imaging requires the assembly of many two-dimensional patterns into an internally consistent Fourier volume. Since each particle is randomly oriented when exposed to the x-ray pulse, relative orientations have to be retrieved from the diffraction data alone. We achieve this with a modified version of the expand, maximize and compress algorithm and validate our result using new methods.


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People in white coats: Movie science vs real life. With viruses!

People in white coats: Movie science vs real life. With viruses! | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Excellent. Just excellent.

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Strange medicine: The Economist does phages?!

Strange medicine: The Economist does phages?! | Virology News | Scoop.it
Set phages to “kill” SET a thief to catch a thief is an old proverb. In the 1920s, shortly after the discovery of viruses, it was put to good use by doctors....
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In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS

In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS | Virology News | Scoop.it
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.

 
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Viruses Increasingly Behind Child Pneumonia Cases

Viruses Increasingly Behind Child Pneumonia Cases | Virology News | Scoop.it
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!

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Doctors curse up a storm to get parents to vaccinate

Doctors curse up a storm to get parents to vaccinate | Virology News | Scoop.it
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.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Fuckin' right!

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Fears in Sierra Leone as police seize samples of Ebola blood at the airport

Fears in Sierra Leone as police seize samples of Ebola blood at the airport | Virology News | Scoop.it
Sierra Leone officials are contending with a major scandal emanating from the interception of blood samples obtained from Ebola victims.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Pity they won't elaborate on what they think was going on!

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Towards broadly protective polyvalent vaccines against hand, foot and mouth disease

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.

  
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Plants: we should be using plants...

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Titan Has Life Sustaining Atmosphere - Aliens Sought

Titan Has Life Sustaining Atmosphere - Aliens Sought | Virology News | Scoop.it
The prospect of finding life in the Galaxy is becoming more real - besides Earth that is. On one of Saturns Moons-Titan, an atmospheric condition has been observed
Ed Rybicki's insight:

And of course, if such cells exist, they will have viruses.

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Facing Down Emerging Viruses | The Scientist Magazine®

Facing Down Emerging Viruses | The Scientist Magazine® | Virology News | Scoop.it
A better knowledge of the pathogenesis of emerging zoonotic diseases is crucial if we want to prepare for “the next Ebola.”
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Neuroscience: A cellular basis for the munchies

Neuroscience: A cellular basis for the munchies | Virology News | Scoop.it
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...!

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A Third Rotary Motor Has Now Been Found in Bacteria

A Third Rotary Motor Has Now Been Found in Bacteria | Virology News | Scoop.it
Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution.

Via Kenzibit
Ed Rybicki's insight:

They go on a bit about "irreducible complexity", but if yoiu ignore that, it's really interesting: like finding your car has a crankshaft you didn't know about!

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People in white coats: Vaccines and common sense

People in white coats: Vaccines and common sense | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Yup...sadly.  Oh, and it's got zombies!

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Battling Infectious Diseases in the 20th Century: The Impact of Vaccines

Battling Infectious Diseases in the 20th Century: The Impact of Vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
The number of infected people, measured over 70-some years and across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, generally declined after vaccines were introduced.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

STUNNINGLY good graphics - good for hitting anti-vaxxers over the head with!  Thanks, Bill!!

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Decision on Ebola mass vaccination in August at earliest: WHO

Decision on Ebola mass vaccination in August at earliest: WHO | Virology News | Scoop.it
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...
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In Memoriam: Spock, the Vulcan, lives forever

In Memoriam: Spock, the Vulcan, lives forever | Virology News | Scoop.it
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.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

He lived long. He prospered. Fly well, Leonard.

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Watch out for nasty global flu surprises, WHO warns

Watch out for nasty global flu surprises, WHO warns | Virology News | Scoop.it

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

Ed Rybicki's insight:

It's never a case of if - just when.

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31 Years Of HIV And AIDS Awareness Posters

31 Years Of HIV And AIDS Awareness Posters | Virology News | Scoop.it
Since 1981, organizations from around the world have committed to making people aware of the dangers of HIV/AIDS and how prevent the spread of infection.
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ProMED-Ebola update

ProMED-Ebola update | Virology News | Scoop.it

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.


And more!


Ebola virus replication graphic from Russell Kightley Media

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Cells on Film: making movies in biology

Cells on Film: making movies in biology | Virology News | Scoop.it
I am a scientist in the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics. I am also a cinematographer. Making movies of cells and tissues under a microscope is
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Hey, I seem to be into history these days, so....

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Virus to strike down thousands after outbreak confirmed in Queensland

Virus to strike down thousands after outbreak confirmed in Queensland | Virology News | Scoop.it

Ross River fever is expected to afflict thousands of Queenslanders in coming weeks after an outbreak was confirmed in the state's south.  

Figures indicate 1000 people have already been infected since the start of the year, the ABC reported.

Heavy rain high tides are being blamed for an upsurge in the mosquito population, leading to a corresponding increase in bites.

 

Ross River virus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

It's not only Africa and central America...so-called civilised countries have nasty virus outbreaks too!

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TSLive: The Enemy Within | The Scientist Magazine®

TSLive: The Enemy Within | The Scientist Magazine® | Virology News | Scoop.it
How viruses wield tiny molecules of RNA to help them persist in our bodies for years, decades, and sometimes an entire life span
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