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Mimi- and related viruses - making us think again about virus classification?

Mimi- and related viruses - making us think again about virus classification? | Virology News | Scoop.it
This article - by one of the discoverers of Mimivirus - argues that the new giant DNA viruses are different from other viruses and that as a result, we neew to create a new brach of microbes. Other virologists are more cautious, suggesting that Mimivirus can fit within the current scheme of virus taxonomy. Either…
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I don't think that The Big Lads justify a new domain of life: while they may be the largest monophyletic group of viruses with the most ancient provenance, they are not the ONLY monophyletic group.  A good case could be made for caudoviruses (Order Caudovirales) too; the ss(+)RNA viruses are also probably ancient and have a variety of origins - so there is nothing special about Mimi and her cousins, other than they are (so far) the most complex viruses in terms of genome size and encoded content.

They are still most certainly viruses, by all of the best accepted definitions (including mine B-), in that they are still obligate intracellular parasites that do not have a translational apparatus, and which cause particles to be assembled to transport their genomes.

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like Led Zeppelin. And zombies B-)
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New flu shot gets power from billions of protein-carrying sacs [non-hype version: nanoparticles]

New flu shot gets power from billions of protein-carrying sacs [non-hype version: nanoparticles] | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new experimental nanoparticle-based vaccine that has proven effective for flu, is also being tested for COVID-19 and studied as an HIV vaccine.
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Russians infected with crossover flu virus suggests possibility of another pandemic

Russians infected with crossover flu virus suggests possibility of another pandemic | Virology News | Scoop.it
Two virus researchers in China are recommending security measures after seven Russian farm workers became infected with a crossover flu virus last year. In their Perspectives piece published in the journal Science, Weifeng Shi and George Gao, both of whom are affiliated with multiple institutions...
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A Pilot Study Investigating the Dynamics of Pigeon Circovirus Recombination in Domesticated Pigeons Housed in a Single Loft

A Pilot Study Investigating the Dynamics of Pigeon Circovirus Recombination in Domesticated Pigeons Housed in a Single Loft | Virology News | Scoop.it
Pigeon circovirus (PiCV) infects pigeon populations worldwide and has been associated with immunosuppression in younger pigeons. Recombination is a common mechanism of evolution that has previously been shown in various members of the Circoviridae family, including PiCV.
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SARS-CoV-2 'frameshifting' could be a critical weakness

SARS-CoV-2 'frameshifting' could be a critical weakness | Virology News | Scoop.it
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, relies on a process for replication called frameshifting. Now, researchers say they can inhibit the mechanism.
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Covid vaccine: Pakistan starts production of CanSino, China's single-dose jab

Covid vaccine: Pakistan starts production of CanSino, China's single-dose jab | Virology News | Scoop.it
The first batch of the vaccine will be available at the end of May.
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Brazil suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine in pregnant women nationally after death

Brazil suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine in pregnant women nationally after death | Virology News | Scoop.it
Brazil's federal government on Tuesday nationally suspended the vaccination of pregnant women with the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 shot, after an expectant mother in Rio de Janeiro died from a stroke possibly related to the inoculation.
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COVID-19 may alter gray matter in the brain

COVID-19 may alter gray matter in the brain | Virology News | Scoop.it
Research in patients who had COVID-19 shows those who received oxygen therapy or had fever show less gray matter in part of the brain.
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Porcine circovirus 3 – is it a virus to worry about? –

Porcine circovirus 3 – is it a virus to worry about? – | Virology News | Scoop.it
Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) is well-known in the swine industry, but is there reason to worry about its cousin PCV3?
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South African vaccine cheaters outed

South African vaccine cheaters outed | Virology News | Scoop.it
The country might not be in the grips of a third wave just yet but the COVID situation remains grim. All provinces have recorded a surge in infections with the Northern Cape and North West cited as provinces of particular concern.
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EXPLAINER: Why Japan has been slow to roll out vaccinations

EXPLAINER: Why Japan has been slow to roll out vaccinations | Virology News | Scoop.it
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's rollout of COVID-19 vaccines began belatedly in mid-February, months behind the United States and many other countries. Officials blamed a shortage of Pfizer Inc. vaccine from Europe as the main culprit in the delay.
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Influenza A virus defective viral genomes are inefficiently packaged into virions relative to wild-type genomic RNAs

bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution...
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How South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme compares to other countries

How South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme compares to other countries | Virology News | Scoop.it
Out of 168 countries that have begun administering the Covid-19 vaccine, South Africa places 79 on the list as of April 5 - after vaccinating just 0.5% of the population...
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India approves Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine | Reuters

India approves Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine | Reuters | Virology News | Scoop.it
India has approved the use of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Monday, confirming earlier reports of its imminent endorsement.
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Plant pandemics threaten future food supply

Plant pandemics threaten future food supply | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers are calling for comprehensive efforts to stop plant pandemics, which could devestate the global food supply.
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Covid-19: Elderly turned away from vaccine sites in Eastern Cape [South Africa] as stock runs out

Covid-19: Elderly turned away from vaccine sites in Eastern Cape [South Africa] as stock runs out | Virology News | Scoop.it
Thousands of elderly people who braved wet and wintery weather to queue for life saving vaccines were turned away at vaccination centres across the Eastern Cape as the province suddenly ran out of vaccine stock.
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Preventing the next human influenza pandemic: Celebrating 10 years of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

Preventing the next human influenza pandemic: Celebrating 10 years of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework | Virology News | Scoop.it
Influenza pandemics have killed, and will again kill, millions of people. It’s estimated that the Influenza pandemic of 1918 infected one-third of the Earth’s population,  and led to between 20 and 40 million deaths before it subsided in 1920. One million people around the world died in a 1957 influenza outbreak and another 1 to 3 million lives were lost to the same disease in 1968. In 2003, A(H5N1) or so-called Avian Influenza, highlighted how a novel virus could pass from animals to humans putting the world on high alert. The 2009  A(H1N1) pandemic spread to over 214 countries and territories or communities, resulting in tens of millions of cases and an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 deaths in just the first year[1].  COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the dangers of viral pandemics.   On 24 May 2021, it will be ten years since WHO Member States reached consensus on a pioneering approach to enhancing global preparedness for an equitable response to pandemic influenza: the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework.  As we approach this milestone, we look back on some of our greatest achievements.   For a decade WHO has systematically implemented the PIP Framework in partnership with industry and other partners. Thanks to our partners, we have collected more than US$225 million in partnership contributions, enabling us to  invest around the world in capacity strengthening for pandemic influenza preparedness. These capacities contributed to some of the earliest and continuing successes of the global COVID-19 response.   Today, thanks in part to efforts by the PIP Framework and partners:   More than 150 laboratories across 126 countries, areas and territories contribute to the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and can share viruses. 50 000 sentinel specimens are tested for COVID-19 each week through GISRS, with data reported through WHO platforms including FluNet. 233 laboratories (including 130 NICs) in 164 countries, areas and territories, participated in the WHO COVID-19 EQAP; 94% of them scored 100%. 40 countries provided PIP support that were then able to develop a COVID-19 response plan early on. More than 50 countries share their COVID-19 data using an established influenza platform. Many PIP-supported countries were able to authorize COVID-19 vaccines within 15 days of WHO issuing an emergency use listing. More than five million people have enrolled to the OpenWHO platform, including for the 28 COVID-19 courses that are available in 50 languages. 11 new National Influenza Centres (NICs) have been officially recognized by WHO. 10% of future, real-time pandemic influenza vaccine production has been secured by WHO in the event of a pandemic, through legally binding PIP SMTA2 advance supply contracts with 14 manufacturers. 10 million antiviral treatments, 250 000 diagnostics kits and 25 million syringes have also been secured through PIP SMTA2 agreements.   There is still a lot of work to be done. COVID-19 has highlighted several gaps and challenges (e.g., managing global supply chains at the time of an emergency, clinical surge capacity), and the lessons learned will also strengthen influenza preparedness and response. COVID-19 has demonstrated the capabilities and benefits of GISRS beyond influenza; now is an opportune time to use the lessons learned to make GISRS and other PIP activities even stronger for any future respiratory pathogen. The world must be vigilant for influenza viruses with pandemic potential: they can emerge at any moment. WHO, countries, and other stakeholders will continue to prepare for influenza epidemics and pandemics through the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework.   [1] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html
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Binding affinity landscapes constrain the evolution of broadly neutralizing anti-influenza antibodies

bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution...
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Moderna jab stops Covid transmission in people aged 12 to 18, trial finds

Moderna jab stops Covid transmission in people aged 12 to 18, trial finds | Virology News | Scoop.it
Moderna becomes second manufacturer to announce successful trial results in adolescents...
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5 Reasons To Wear A Face Mask Other Than Covid-19 | The Out Door Wear

5 Reasons To Wear A Face Mask Other Than Covid-19 | The Out Door Wear | Virology News | Scoop.it
Those face masks that everyone has been wearing might be doing more than just keeping us safe from possibly contracting the disease COVID-19...
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Explained: When corpses of influenza victims were dumped in Narmada river in 1918

Explained: When corpses of influenza victims were dumped in Narmada river in 1918 | Virology News | Scoop.it
Here is the official report from 1918, sourced from the National Archives, which sheds more light on what happened.
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Plant DNA polymerases α and δ mediate replication of geminiviruses

Plant DNA polymerases α and δ mediate replication of geminiviruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Geminiviruses cause substantial damage to crops worldwide. Here Wu et al. show that geminivirus replication relies upon the host DNA polymerases α and δ, which produce double-stranded DNA intermediates and new copies of the viral genome, respectively, and is modulated by the viral C3 protein.
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Hm. And if the virus doesn't HAVE a C3 protein? Because mastreviruses don't for example?
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L.A. Times owner pledges $213 million for COVID-19 vaccine work in South Africa

L.A. Times owner pledges $213 million for COVID-19 vaccine work in South Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
Patrick Soon-Shiong will give $213 million to South Africa, the country of his birth, to help with the transfer of new COVID-19 vaccine technology.
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Can cannabis ease chronic itch?

Can cannabis ease chronic itch? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Cannabis may offer rapid relief from chronic itch, an unrelenting and at times debilitating condtion.
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Neutralizing antibodies derived from the B cells of 1918 influenza pandemic survivors

Neutralizing antibodies derived from the B cells of 1918 influenza pandemic survivors | Virology News | Scoop.it
Investigation of the human antibody response to influenza virus infection has been largely limited to serology, with relatively little analysis at the molecular level. The 1918 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic was the most severe of the modern era.
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Flu may play part in plaque-rupturing heart attacks

Flu may play part in plaque-rupturing heart attacks | Virology News | Scoop.it
Getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of a common type of heart attack in people 60 and older, according to new research that suggests the virus plays a role in rupturing plaque.
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