Virology News
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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like Led Zeppelin. And zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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PLoS Pathogens: A Co-Opted DEAD-Box RNA Helicase Enhances Tombusvirus Plus-Strand Synthesis

PLoS Pathogens: A Co-Opted DEAD-Box RNA Helicase Enhances Tombusvirus Plus-Strand Synthesis | Virology News | Scoop.it

...we find that Ded1p and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), which is another host factor for TBSV, play non-overlapping functions to enhance (+)-strand synthesis. ... two small RNA viruses, which do not code for their own helicases, seems to recruit a host RNA helicase to aid their replication in infected cells.

 

Both ss(-)RNA and ss(+)RNA viruses need to bias their replication machinery towards over-production of the genomic strand - and this paper goes a long way to explaining how that happens for two unrelated ss(+)RNA viruses infecting very different hosts.

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Propitious Prions | The Scientist

Propitious Prions | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it

Propitious Prions |...The poor cousins of viruses come out of the shadows - and turn out to be actually useful!  For yeasts, anyway.  Epigenetics and Lamarckian evolution becoming respectable at last?

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ViralZone: Ranavirus

ViralZone: Ranavirus | Virology News | Scoop.it

A knowledge resource to understand virus diversity...Ranavirus, in this case.  

 

A good general resource:

ViralZone Current statistics
January, 2012

426 Virus description pages:

83 Families

334 Genera

9 individual Species

 

Linking to:

364 reference strains

16,010 manually reviewed proteins1,

290,680 unreviewed viral proteins

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Recombination hotspots and host susceptibility modulate the adaptive value of recombination during maize streak virus evolution

Recombination hotspots and host susceptibility modulate the adaptive value of recombination during maize streak virus evolution | Virology News | Scoop.it
Maize streak virus -strain A (MSV-A; Genus Mastrevirus, Family Geminiviridae), the maize-adapted strain of MSV that causes maize streak disease throughout sub-Saharan Africa, probably arose between 100 and 200 years ago via homologous recombination...

 

Sometimes you have to be proud of your academic children...B-)

 

Picture courtesy Russell Kightley Media

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HPV Might Put Women’s Hearts at Risk | HPV Treatment Association

HPV Might Put Women’s Hearts at Risk | HPV Treatment Association | Virology News | Scoop.it

A virus responsible for [the majority of] cervical cancer[s] might also raise a woman's risk of heart attack and stroke, according to researchers who suggest HPV might underlie some cardiovascular diseasein people who do not have such traditional risk factors as obesity, diabetes or smoking.

 

Interesting!  Even more reason to vaccinate young people

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Vietnam may begin producing H5N1 vaccines for humans next year | The Jakarta Post

Vietnam may begin producing H5N1 vaccines for humans next year | The Jakarta Post | Virology News | Scoop.it
Nguyen Tran Hien: www.ianphi.orgVietnam may begin producing bird flu vaccines for humans next year, according to the National Institute of Hygiene ...

 

Developing countries: doing it for themselves.  Because no-one else will.

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MicrobiologyBytes » Blog Archive » First RNA virus-encoded miRNAs

MicrobiologyBytes » Blog Archive » First RNA virus-encoded miRNAs | Virology News | Scoop.it
Well, not really an RNA virus, given that it has a DNA stage to the lifecycle - but possibly the smallest virus genome known to make miRNAs?

Thanks AJC!
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Human Testing Of New HIV-Vaccine

Human Testing Of New HIV-Vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists from the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital and Antwerp University have tested a new 'therapeutic vaccine' against HIV on volunteers.

 

The next wave of HIV vaccines: we have so many HIV-infected people alive because of ARVs, that other interventions are starting to be seriously trialled.

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Weighing Baby Vaccine Risks: Potential Dangers of Vaccines | Inhabitots - StumbleUpon

A pretty reasonable overview of the pros and cons of vaccinating children - which manages to be mostly pro.

 

As it should be.

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Book Review: Virolution

Carl Zimmer reviews Frank Ryan's Virolution: The Most Important Evolutionary Book Since Dawkins' Selfish Gene.

 

"We are part virus. This bizarre yet inescapable fact has been revealed over the past 30 years, as scientists have spelunked their way through the human genome and encountered stretches of DNA with the telltale chemical signatures of viruses."

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Mammals Made By Viruses | The Loom | Discover Magazine

Mammals Made By Viruses | The Loom | Discover Magazine | Virology News | Scoop.it
A Planet of Viruses | If not for a virus, none of us would ever be born.In 2000, a team of Boston scientists discovered a peculiar gene in the human genome.

 

Thanks Kerry!

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India, US aim to develop single-shot vaccine for Foot & Mouth Disease by 2030 - The Times of India

India, US aim to develop single-shot vaccine for Foot & Mouth Disease by 2030 - The Times of India | Virology News | Scoop.it
In its effort to eradicate the deadly Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) in animals by 2030, India has joined hands with the US to jointly develop a new-age single-shot vaccine.

 

...the new recombinant clone adenovirus virus base vaccine will be sturdier, require less cold storage and be more effective than the present vaccine.

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Decision time for researchers of deadly bird flu | Reuters

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) - When 22 bird flu experts meet at the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week, they will be tasked with deciding just how far scientists should go in creating lethal mutant viruses (Decision time for researchers of deadly...
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PLoS Pathogens: Five Questions about Viral Trafficking in Neurons

PLoS Pathogens: Five Questions about Viral Trafficking in Neurons | Virology News | Scoop.it

The nervous system has evolved rather complicated barriers that facilitate access to nutrients and contact with the outside world, but block entry of pathogens and toxins [1]. However, when these barriers are reduced for any number of reasons, nervous system infections are possible. When they occur, they can be devastating and, even with good antiviral drugs, difficult to manage.

 

EXCELLENT review of a very interesting topic.  Edited by Vincent Racaniello, who obviously has more than one job  B-)

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Opinion: What Is Life? | The Scientist

Opinion: What Is Life? | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it

"Opinion: What Is Life?|...What should the definition contain, to be suitable for all varieties of observable life? Humans, animals, plants, microorganisms. Do viruses also belong to life?"

 

I used to boggle students' minds with this one.  Or thought I did - maybe they didn't care??

 

However, one Honours student (who must have been smart; he dropped out and is now a rabbi) gave me this beautiful definition:

 

"Life is a series of eddies in the entropic flow - and viruses are smaller eddies within those swirls".

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Maryland's Turtles, Tadpoles, Salamanders Face Deadly Virus

Maryland's Turtles, Tadpoles, Salamanders Face Deadly Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- What can you do to help stop a ravaging virus from spreading farther in Maryland's turtle population?

 

Told you we'd do "other things".  I quite like turtles.

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Who DID show that influenza was a virus?

Who DID show that influenza was a virus? | Virology News | Scoop.it

The history books will tell you that it was only in 1933 that Influenza A virus was shown to BE a virus - yet there appears to me to be very clear evidence that French scientists working in 1918 actually made the first call.  From "Quelques notions experimentales sur le virus de la grippe", by MM Charles Nicolle and Charles Lebailly in Annales de l'Institut Pasteur of 1918:

 

Conclusions

1⁰ The bronchial expectoration of people suffering from influenza, collected during the acute period, is virulent.
2⁰ The monkey (M. cynomolgus) is sensitive to the virus by sub-conjunctival and nasal inoculation.
3⁰ The influenza agent is a filterable organism. The inoculation of the filtrate has indeed reproduced the illness in two of the people injected subcutaneously; on the other hand when given intravenously it appears to be ineffective (two failures out of two tries).
4⁰ It is possible that the flu virus does not occur in the patient’s blood. The blood of a monkey with flu, inoculated subcutaneously, did not infect man; the negative blood result of subject 2 at D, is however, not convincing, the blood route seeming to be ineffective for the flu virus transmission.

(Translated by Mrs Francoise Williamson)

 

It convinced me.  But, as my medical colleagues will be quick to tell you, I'm an amateur in this area.  Albeit an enthusiastic one...B-)

 

Picture courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

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Amazon.com: The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History: John M. Barry: Books

Amazon.com: The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History: John M. Barry

 

Greatest outbreak, maybe, but smallpox killed 300 million laste century alone?  Ah, well - still a good story!

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Video: Intranasal Norovirus VLP vaccine demonstrating clinical efficacy in Phase I/II Trial - Vaccine Nation - Strategy and innovation in vaccines

Video: Intranasal Norovirus VLP vaccine demonstrating clinical efficacy in Phase I/II Trial - Vaccine Nation - Strategy and innovation in vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
The presentation covered:
Phase I/II randomized, double blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled safety and efficacy study designed to evaluate the norovirus monovalent GI.1 VLP vaccine versus placebo

Results from the Norovirus vaccine proof-of-concept, multi-center challenge study

Ongoing clinical study of an intramuscular bivalent formulation of norovirus vaccine candidate

 

Of course, they don't mention you can make it in plants too....

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Bird flu news / bird flu in poultry - Latest news and information on bird flu, avian influenza

Catch up with the latest bird flu news from across the globe with our daily bird flu updates...

 

Great site to follow avian flu

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PLoS ONE: Modelling the Wind-Borne Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus between Farms

PLoS ONE: Modelling the Wind-Borne Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus between Farms | Virology News | Scoop.it

A quantitative understanding of the spread of contaminated farm dust between locations is a prerequisite for obtaining much-needed insight into one of the possible mechanisms of disease spread between farms. Here, we develop a model to calculate the quantity of contaminated farm-dust particles deposited at various locations downwind of a source farm and apply the model to assess the possible contribution of the wind-borne route to the transmission of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAI) during the 2003 epidemic in the Netherlands.

 

Atmospherics and physics meets viruses....

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More must be done to prevent hepatitis C transmission amongst HIV positive gay men - - - Press Releases - News & Media - National AIDS Trust - NAT

NAT has launched a report, ‘HIV and Hepatitis C Co-infection’, which looks at hepatitis C co-infection among HIV positive men gay men and the UK’s response to this growing health challenge...

 

Treat one, and another pops up.  Roll on the HCV vaccine!

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More Doctors 'Fire' Vaccine Refusers

More Doctors 'Fire' Vaccine Refusers | Virology News | Scoop.it
Pediatricians fed up with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of concern it can cause autism or other problems increasingly are firing such families from their practices, raising questions about a doctor's responsibility to these...

 

Unethical, possibly, but stupid people are their own worst enemies.  Trouble is, they extend it to their children.

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Nature News Special : Mutant flu

Nature News Special : Mutant flu | Virology News | Scoop.it

Scientists have created a form of the H5N1 avian flu virus that is transmissible between mammals, raising fears that it could trigger a human pandemic if it escapes from the lab - either through accidental release or as part of a bioterror attack. As debate rages over how much of the research should be published, and whether there is sufficient oversight of such work, you can follow all Nature's coverage of the issue here.

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PLoS ONE: Adverse Events following 12 and 18 Month Vaccinations: a Population-Based, Self-Controlled Case Series Analysis

PLoS ONE: Adverse Events following 12 and 18 Month Vaccinations: a Population-Based, Self-Controlled Case Series Analysis | Virology News | Scoop.it

Using the self-controlled case series design we examined 271,495 12 month vaccinations and 184,312 18 month vaccinations to examine the relative incidence of the composite endpoint of emergency room visits or hospital admissions in consecutive one day intervals following vaccination....

 

There are significantly elevated risks of primarily emergency room visits approximately one to two weeks following 12 and 18 month vaccination.

 

HOWEVER [Ed]:

Given the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine in eliminating both measles and rubella, and the highly infectious nature of these diseases, high vaccination coverage is essential. The diseases that the vaccines are preventing are not benign and vaccination can eliminate many of the serious sequelae of these infections [20]. Complications from measles include otitis media (7–9% of cases), pneumonia (1–6% of cases), encephalitis (1 per 1,000–2,000 cases), subacute sclerosing panecephalitis (1 per 100,000 cases), and death (1 per 3000 cases) [3], [21]. Further studies attempting to predict which children develop post-vaccination reactions, as well as determining the effectiveness of prophylactic treatment with antipyrectics prior to the high risk period for symptom development are warranted.

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