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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'Molecular microscope' finds hidden AIDS virus in the body

'Molecular microscope' finds hidden AIDS virus in the body | Virology News | Scoop.it
A powerful new technique promises to help cure efforts
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Answering human papillomavirus vaccine concerns

Answering human papillomavirus vaccine concerns | Virology News | Scoop.it
Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine, questions have been asked about its efficacy in preventing cancer linked with HPV. Concerns about the HPV vaccine safety profile have also been raised. This paper highlights the rapidly growing body of evidence (including clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance) illustrating both the safety of the HPV vaccine, through a detailed investigation of reported adverse events, and its efficacy in reducing both HPV infections rates and the resulting drop in cervical lesions, which have been demonstrated to be good predictors of cervical cancer risk

 

HPV and cervical cancer graphic by Russell Kightley Media.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

VERY useful paper - can't think how I missed it!

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Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses

Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
lentiviruses closely related to modern SIVs were present in Africa and infecting the ancestors of Cercopithecine primates as far back as 16 million years ago
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Hopefully this puts a nail in the still-slightly-popular-among-crackpots idea that HIV was cobbled together from two other retroviruses in a lab sometime in the 1970s!

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Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab | Newswire

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab | Newswire | Virology News | Scoop.it
Worldwide, 185 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Since the late 1980s, when scientists discovered the virus that causes the infection, they have struggled to find ways to grow it in human cells in the lab — an essential part of learning how the virus works and developing new effective treatments.

In a study published in Nature on August 12, scientists led by The Rockefeller University’s Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, report that when they overexpressed a particular gene in human liver cancer cell lines, the virus could easily replicate. This discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the lab.


A red flag: Researchers engineered cultured cells to contain a red marker that moves into the nucleus upon HCV infection. Nothing happened when normal cells were exposed to HCV (top), but when the researchers expressed the protein SEC14L2, some nuclei changed color from blue to purple (bottom).
“Being able to easily culture HCV in the lab has many important implications for basic science research,” says Rice. “There is still much we don’t understand about how the virus operates, and how it interacts with liver cells and the immune system.”

 

Hepatitis C virus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

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Last Ebola virus transmission chain announced in Sierra Leone

Last Ebola virus transmission chain announced in Sierra Leone | Virology News | Scoop.it
Health professionals recently announced that an entire epidemiological week has passed without any new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, which is the first time this has happened since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak.
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The World If… malaria drugs stop working

Malaria is one of the world’s biggest killers. And our best weapon against it is at risk. We’re in a race against evolution – but what happens if we lose? Fi...
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Virus origins: from what did viruses evolve or how did they initially arise?

Virus origins: from what did viruses evolve or how did they initially arise? | Virology News | Scoop.it
This was originally written as an Answer to a Question posted to Scientific American Online; however, as what they published was considerably shorter and simpler than what I wrote, I shall post the...
Ed Rybicki's insight:

RE-updated - to take account of Ebolavirus genomes in rodents, big DNA virus evolution, and more. Also better pictures.

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Hong Kong study uncovers immune system key to high MERS death rate

Hong Kong study uncovers immune system key to high MERS death rate | Virology News | Scoop.it
Virus, which is four times more deadly than Sars, destroys crucial cells in hours

"We have found a major difference between Mers and Sars in the study," said Jasper Chan Fuk-woo, clinical assistant professor in microbiology at HKU, who is part of Yuen's team.

"After learning of the mechanism, we hope we can find ways to prevent the Mers virus from infecting immune cells in the future."

Yuen said his research on what are known as human blood lymphocytes had found that Mers was able to infect and kill the most important cell in the immune system in just six hours.

He said such an ability was rarely seen in other types of coronaviruses, including Sars.

The virus triggered a process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in which the cells can no longer function normally and die very rapidly.

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'Star-tar' could explain why Pluto is red

'Star-tar' could explain why Pluto is red | Virology News | Scoop.it
When the first images came down from the New Horizons spacecraft after the Pluto flyby, scientists were thrilled. It was clear Pluto was not dead.
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Hiding HIV virus 'flushed out' by skin cancer drug

Hiding HIV virus 'flushed out' by skin cancer drug | Virology News | Scoop.it
Health24
Hiding HIV virus 'flushed out' by skin cancer drug
NHS Choices
"HIV flushed out by cancer drug", BBC News reports. This headline was prompted by laboratory research showing the promising results of a cancer drug being used to treat HIV.
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CSL completes purchase of Novartis' flu vaccine business

CSL completes purchase of Novartis' flu vaccine business | Virology News | Scoop.it
With the closing announced on Sunday of its $275 million purchase of Novartis' flu vaccine business, Australia's CSL is slated to become the world's second-largest flu vaccine supplier.
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That New Ebola Vaccine Is Related To The Rabies Virus. So Why Is It Safe?

That New Ebola Vaccine Is Related To The Rabies Virus. So Why Is It Safe? | Virology News | Scoop.it
All you need to know about rVSV-ZEBOV, the experimental vaccine against Ebola virus disease
Ed Rybicki's insight:

I love it that financial magazines so often do intelligent articles on viruses B-)

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Stephen Korsman's comment, August 21, 2015 2:44 AM
Zombies?
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Epstein-Barr virus vaccine successful in animal testing

Epstein-Barr virus vaccine successful in animal testing | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently created a vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that has proven successful in mice as well as nonhuman primates.
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Assessing the Evidence Supporting Fruit Bats as the Primary Reservoirs for Ebola Viruses

Assessing the Evidence Supporting Fruit Bats as the Primary Reservoirs for Ebola Viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ecohealth. 2015 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Since their discovery 40 years ago, Ebola viruses (in the following: EBOV; family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus) continue to emerge unpredictably and cause Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans and susceptible animals in tropical Africa (Leroy et al. 2004; Feldmann and Geisbert 2011). The scale of the current epidemic in West Africa demonstrates the impact that a single spillover event can have (Baize et al. 2014; Gire et al. 2014). Meanwhile, the reservoir(s) and ecology of EBOV remain largely unknown (Groseth et al. 2007; Feldmann and Geisbert 2011), hampering prediction of future outbreaks. To date, the only laboratory-confirmed sources of human EVD outbreaks were infected great apes and duikers (Leroy et al. 2004). However, these species are unlikely reservoirs as high mortality rates rule out an indefinite infection chain (Leroy et al. 2004; Bermejo et al. 2006; Wittmann et al. 2007). Scientists are therefore searching for other hosts where EBOV circulate without major negative effects; fruit bats have received the most research attention and are frequently referred to as the reservoir for African EBOV (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014b; O’Shea et al. 2014; World Health Organization 2014). We review current evidence and highlight that fruit bats may not represent the main, or the sole, reservoir. We discuss evidence implicating insectivorous bats and reiterate that bats themselves might not be the ultimate reservoir for EBOV. Knowing which species are involved will facilitate an understanding of factors allowing spillover to susceptible human and wildlife populations (Viana et al. 2014; Plowright et al. 2015).

 

New Ebolavirus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

It was always going to be more complicated than just bats - ever since Bob Swanepoel went to Kikwit, gazed at the forest, and "I could see Ebola looking back at me"....

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Magnetic fields could guide experimental cancer-killing viruses to tumours

Magnetic fields could guide experimental cancer-killing viruses to tumours | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new technique using an MRI scanner to move cancer-fighting viruses towards tumours could improve an experimental cancer treatment.
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DNA Synthetic Vaccine May Protect Against MERS Virus

DNA Synthetic Vaccine May Protect Against MERS Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Just as new cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome are cropping up in Saudi Arabia, researchers say a new vaccine may help prevent the spread of MERS around the world.
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Can a cinematic killer virus survive real-life scientific scrutiny?

Can a cinematic killer virus survive real-life scientific scrutiny? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Most of us have sat through a science fiction movie, relished the plot and the suspense – and then got home wondering what was fact or fiction.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Spoiler: no.  Getting one monkey to respond to a vaccine, then rushing it to manufacture...never happen.  But it would have been nice if they had acknowledged the software they used to show the recombination between their viruses: written by Darren Martin, here in Cape Town. Appropriated by the movie makers (or possibly their scientific advisers) without so much as a thank you.

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Could 'supercharged genes' be used by terrorists? [Answer: unlikely]

Could 'supercharged genes' be used by terrorists? [Answer: unlikely] | Virology News | Scoop.it
A geneticist from Tel Aviv University has warned that a new technique to spread ‘supercharged’ genes in insects could be used for evil as well as good, to eliminate mosquito-borne illnesses such as Malaria.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Not even REMOTELY clear how it would do that...!

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Study finds promising experimental MERS vaccine

An experimental vaccine for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) showed promising results in animal testing, sparking an immune system response that could lead to a vaccine for people, researchers said Tuesday. 

Currently there are no licensed vaccines for MERS, which first appeared in 2012 and has caused numerous scares including a recent deadly outbreak in South Korea. Vaccinated mice produced antibodies that neutralized MERS strains, according to a study from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The vaccines that caused the largest immune responses in mice were then administered to monkeys. The monkeys were protected from a serious lung infection characteristic of MERS when given the experimental vaccines and then exposed to a version of the virus, the study said. The study with the promising findings was published in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers are now working on versions of the vaccine that could be tested in clinical trials for humans.  The MERS outbreak in South Korea in May infected some 180 people, killing 36. The World Health Organization has identified 1,368 cases since 2012 including 490 deaths, most of them in Saudi Arabia. — Agence France-Presse

 

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The End of HIV? The Truvada Revolution (Part 1/3)

WATCH PART 2 NOW: http://bit.ly/1FtHIsg WATCH PART 3 NOW: http://bit.ly/1QtmosZ A drug called Truvada is the first the FDA approved means of preventing ...
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Outbreak of Crimean-Congo virus in Pakistan?

Outbreak of Crimean-Congo virus in Pakistan? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Stresses upon precautionary measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
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How is the slave trade linked to the spread of HIV in Africa?

How is the slave trade linked to the spread of HIV in Africa? | Virology News | Scoop.it
The "demographic shock" of the slave trade still shapes sexual behaviour in some African countries, write Graziella Bertocchi and Arcangelo Dimico.
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1982 - 1992 News Clips On HIV/AIDS (The First Ten Years) - YouTube

RARE CANCER TYPE TRACED TO HOMOSEXUALS 6/17/1982 GAY DISEASE (AIDS) 6/16/1982 DOCTORS SEARCH FOR ANSWERS TO AIDS MYSTERY 6/20/1983 NYC GAY PARADE 6/26/1983 G...
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Fascinating historical resource!

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Measles vaccine: Images of sick kids may convince skeptics

Measles vaccine: Images of sick kids may convince skeptics | Virology News | Scoop.it
The best ways to convince people of the benefits of vaccinations may be to show them pictures of a child with measles or to have them read a description of the disease written by a mom whose child was infected, according to a new study.
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