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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JN | Abstract | Sendai Virus-based Liposomes Enable Targeted Cytosolic Delivery of Nanoparticles in Brain Tumor-Derived Cells

These findings are the first to utilize the Sendai virus to achieve cytosolic, targeted intracellular binding of Qdots within Human brain tumor cells. The results are significant to the continued applicability of nanoparticles used for the molecular labeling of cancer cells to determine tumor heterogeneity, grade, and chemotherapeutic resistivity.

 

It is to like: using liposomes fused to inactivated Sendai to deliver Qdots.  Vironanotech rules!

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Monkey vaccine hints at how to stop HIV : Nature News & Comment

Monkey vaccine hints at how to stop HIV : Nature News & Comment | Virology News | Scoop.it

A vaccine made of an adenovirus prime and a modified-pox-virus boost was best at stopping infection. Three-quarters of the monkeys that received no vaccine developed SIV after one exposure, whereas only 12% of the animals that got the best vaccine did so.

 

Prime-boost studies and a good infection model...nice virology and vaccinology.  And a possible route to a human HIV vaccine

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The Tower : Contagious Virus Affects GW Students

"The norovirus has affected about 85 students this week, according to the GW University Student Health Service. Although experts are still unsure of where the virus originated, most of the cases have been found at the Foggy Bottom campus."

 

To be renamed the Soggy Bottom campus??  Sorry, couldn't resist...B-)

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H5N1 Pandemic Information News: A/H5N1 virus mutates against vaccines

I'm assuming this is in Vietnam, seeing as details are a little sketchy, but this could be getting serious.

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HIV downgrade set to change face of disease  - News |nation.co.ke

A major milestone in the history of HIV is underway and may forever change the face of the disease.

 

Interesting...suddenly AIDS becomes just another African chronic disease.  Because of course, everyone has access to ARVs.  Yeah, right.

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Transgenic Research, Volume 15, Number 4 - SpringerLink

Transgenic Research, Volume 15, Number 4 - SpringerLink | Virology News | Scoop.it

Here, we report the expression of the fusion (F) gene of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in transgenic maize plants. The expression of the transgene, driven by the maize ubiquitin promoter, caused accumulation of the F protein in maize kernels. The presence of the transgene was verified by Southern and western blots. Feeding chickens with kernels containing the F protein induced the production of antibodies, which conferred protection against a viral challenge. This protection was comparable to that conferred by a commercial vaccine. Possible uses of this plant-based F protein as a potential mucosal vaccine are discussed.

 

Going green: some day, all vaccines that matter will be made this way...B-)

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A single protein helps the body keep watch over the Epstein-Barr virus | e! Science News

Some 90 percent of people are exposed to the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) at some point in their life. Even though it is quickly cleared from the body, the virus can linger silently for years in small numbers of infected B cells.
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UPDATE 2-Deadly bird flu studies to stay secret for now - WHO

(Adds source close to U.S.biosecurity board, WHO quotes)By Stephanie Nebehay and Kate KellandGENEVA/LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Two studies showinghow scientists mutated the H5N1 bird flu virus into...

 

My take on this: "Asked about the potential bioterrorism risks of his and the U.S. team's work, Fouchier said "it was the view of the entire group" at the meeting that the risks that this particular virus or flu viruses in general could be used as bioterrorism agents "would be very, very slim".

"The risks are not nil, but they are very, very small," he said."

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CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea Is on the Way

CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea Is on the Way | Virology News | Scoop.it

'Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, is increasingly showing resistance to one of the last known effective antibiotic treatments, leading researchers from the Centers for Disease Control to 'sound the alarm" about potentially untreatable forms of the disease.'

 

OK, so it's not a virus, but everyone should be scared of this: coming soon to a sexually promiscuous person near you....

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Experts delay H5N1 study decision

Experts delay H5N1 study decision | Virology News | Scoop.it
Experts have delayed a decision about whether controversial research into the H5N1 bird flu virus should be published.

 

And do it grinds on...meanwhile, so does the virus

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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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Complete sequence of a cryptic virus from hemp (Cannabis sativa)

Complete sequence of a cryptic virus from hemp (Cannabis sativa) | Virology News | Scoop.it

ARCHIVES OF VIROLOGY
Volume 157, Number 2, 383-385

 

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) was found to be a useful propagation host for hop latent virus, a carlavirus. However, when virus preparations were analysed by electron microscopy, along with the expected filamentous particles, spherical particles with a diameter of around 34 nm were found. RNA from virus preparations was purified, and cDNA was prepared and cloned. Sequence information was used to search databases, and the greatest similarity was found with Primula malacoides virus 1, a putative new member of the genus Partitivirus. The full sequences of RNA 1 and RNA 2 of this new hemp cryptic virus were obtained.

 

Hey, man...this weed's like, cryptic, man...B-)

Can we now expect Cannabis mosaic, Cannabis leaf curl, Cannabis mild mottle and Cannabis reality distortion viruses?

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With Final Review of Phase IIb Viral Load Data Completed, Researchers Confirm Statistically Significant Reduction of … | StemCell Therapy MD

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire -02/15/12)- Bionor Pharma (Oslo: BIONOR.OL - News) News Summary Final review of phase IIb data confirms statistically significant 64% reduction of viral load set point (average of the last two viral load measurements...

 

And here come more therapeutic vaccine interventions for AIDS patients: the gates are opening....

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Stuxnet Virus Infected 16000 Computers, Iran Says

Stuxnet Virus Infected 16000 Computers, Iran Says | Virology News | Scoop.it
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian intelligence official says an estimated 16000 computers were infected by the Stuxnet virus. The powerful virus targeted Iran's nuclear facilities and other industrial sites in 2010, and ...

 

ViroBlogy readers will know I think computer viruses are quite legitimate life forms - and should we be more worried about this, which is a genuinely engineered infectious agent, than H5N1?

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Egypt - Report of H9 influenza in poultry in 9 provinces - more than 50% mortality rate - FluTrackers

Egypt - Report of H9 influenza in poultry in 9 provinces - more than 50% mortality rate Egypt...

 

Interesting - as much for the machine translation as for anything else, which renders the content pretty much inscrutable.  But bottom line: H9N2 in Egypt and causing a problem in poultry.  Like the Twitter revolution, this may spread and spread....

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CIDRAP >> NSABB: Studies show how H5N1 can jump natural barrier

Interesting account of the papers that are ATTEMPTING to describe how researchers made H5N1 viruses that were aerosol transmitted in ferrets

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WHO calls for publication of the full details of the new avian flu virus

WHO calls for publication of the full details of the new avian flu virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Science and Nature have papers that describe a version of the avian flu that spreads among mammals. The World Health Organization has now weighed in with its thoughts on whether they should be published.

 

One comment:

"The publication of the full details of the paper would allow anyone with a reasonable level of molecular biology skill to order up the requisite DNA and produce a copy of the newly evolved virus. That raises the risk that the virus could be spread by a lab that doesn't have the requisite containment expertise, or by someone who intentionally uses it as a weapon."

 

Utter bullshit!  The lab would have to ALSO have the skills in reverse genetics to be able to engineer ss(-)RNA segment expession in a context that would allow reassortment with a live flu virus, in order to make something at all!!

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Schmallenberg – Farmers Weekly

Schmallenberg – Farmers Weekly | Virology News | Scoop.it
News, video, background information and discussion on the spread of the Schmallenberg virus in the UK...

 

Sometimes you need to get news about viruses that is relevant to people whose living is affected...farmers, in this case

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What happened to bird flu? Deaths continue, new strain outsmarts poultry vaccine in Vietnam

What happened to bird flu? Deaths continue, new strain outsmarts poultry vaccine in Vietnam | Virology News | Scoop.it
HANOI, Vietnam — Thought bird flu was gone? Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the H5N1 virus is still alive and dangerous, and Vietnam is grappling with a new strain that has outsmarted vaccines used to protect poultry flocks.

 

And they sit in Geneva and argue....

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Slideshow: Common Cold, Flu, or Swine Flu Virus? See symptoms and treatments.

WebMD shows you cold symptoms and signs of flu virus. Learn what fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat may mean, and treatment and prevention options.

 

I have a morbid fascination with this just now, having had sinusitis, rhinitis, headache AND fever.  Damn viruses....

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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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