Keyword: virus

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Autophagy

Pathway Ebola virus uses to enter cells pinpointed

The new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus declared just last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have claimed more than 30 victims so far, highlighting the continued urgency to find a way to stop the pathogen from killing the people it infects. A new study is shedding light on the role of specific proteins that trigger a mechanism allowing Ebola virus to enter cells to…

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Resistance-building

‘Why not take a risk?’ belief boosts antibiotic overuse

Antibiotics are mostly prescribed for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), yet most of these infections are viral. A new study shows that inappropriate antibiotics prescriptions are widespread, contributing dangerously helping antibiotic-resistant organisms to grow. Overuse could be due to attitudes among patients and clinicians, current George Washington University research suggests.

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Infections

Zika suppresses virus fighting cells

More than two years after reports of skyrocketing Zika rates surfaced worldwide, questions still loom about this complicated virus. Professor of Biological Science Hengli Tang and his postdoctoral researcher Jianshe Lang from the Florida State University take a deep dive into the differences between Zika and the Dengue virus.

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When the phosphate decides...

Defense against viruses or autoimmune disorder?

The first defense line of the body against virus infections is composed of so-called restriction factors. SAMHD1, one of such restriction factors, does not only play a role in the defense against viruses but also in the development of autoimmune disorders and cancer. The question of which effect SAMHD1 exertsin the cell is decided by addition or removal of phosphate groups.

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Cross-species concerns

Could a new pig virus be a potential threat to humans?

A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health. Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the…

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Wolbachia

Little-known bacteria might grind Zika and dengue infections to a halt

A Vanderbilt team took the next leap forward in using a little-known bacteria to stop the spread of deadly mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue. Wolbachia are bacteria that occur widely in insects and, once they do, inhibit certain pathogenic viruses the insects carry. The problem with using Wolbachia broadly to protect humans is that the bacteria do not normally occur in mosquitoes…

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Medication development

Support from the other end of the world

Partners who could hardly be further apart – yet have a lot in common – have united to fight resistant pathogens. The International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research (iCAIR) was founded last January. Hanover Medical School (MHH) and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) are participants in Germany. The third partner, the Institute for Glycomics (IfG) at…

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Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

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Small molecule, huge effect

Progress toward a new flu treatment, thanks to a small tweak

This year’s unexpectedly aggressive flu season reminds everyone that although the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who contract the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. Researchers report that a tweak to a small-molecule drug shows promise for future production of new antiviral therapies that could help patients, regardless of the strain with which they are infected. The…

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Nanoscale visualization

Laser light shows X-ray holographic images of viruses

Holography, like photography, is a way to record the world around us. Both use light to make recordings, but instead of two-dimensional photos, holograms reproduce three-dimensional shapes. The shape is inferred from the patterns that form after light ricochets off an object and interferes with another light wave that serves as a reference. When created with X-ray light, holography can be an…

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DIY testing

Self-sampling identifies twice as many women at risk of cervical cancer

Using self-sampling followed by HPV testing, more than twice as many women at risk of developing cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment. This is shown by researchers at Uppsala University in the first randomised study in the world comparing two ways of identifying cervical cancer, published in the British Journal of Cancer. Cervical cancer screening has previously…

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Gene editing

CRISPR-based technology DETECTR can detect viral DNA

A powerful genome editing tool can be deployed as an ace DNA detective, able to sniff out DNA snippets that signal viral infections, cancer, or even defective genes. This genetic detective, developed in the laboratory of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley, uses the genome-slicing system known as CRISPR. By combining the…

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Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer. It's estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have had a hepatitis B virus infection in their lifetime, with about 250 million -- including 2 million Americans -- living with chronic infection. Although a vaccine exists, there…

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HPV infections

Cervical cancer awareness

No woman should die from cervical cancer. Indeed, cervical cancer is the deadliest, yet most preventable gynecologic malignancy. According to the American Cancer Society, there are 13,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer leading to 4,100 cancer-related deaths each year in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these deaths could have been prevented with either regular screening with Pap…

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Risk for pregnancy

How Zika infection drives fetal demise

A powerful antiviral protein may act as a checkpoint for keeping or ending a pregnancy. When exposed to Zika virus before birth, mouse fetuses with the protein commit cell suicide, while fetuses without it continued to develop. The result, published in Science Immunology, suggests that the protein, a receptor involved in immune cell signaling, plays a role in spontaneous abortions and other human…

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Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Viral infections kill millions of people worldwide every year, but currently available antiviral drugs are limited in that they mostly act against one or a small handful of related viruses. A few broad-spectrum drugs that prevent viral entry into healthy cells exist, but they usually need to be taken continuously to prevent infection, and resistance through viral mutation is a serious risk. Now,…

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Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

For many of us, a flu shot is a fall routine. Roll up a sleeve, take a needle to the upper arm and hope this year’s vaccine matches whichever viruses circulate through the winter. The most common method to make that vaccine is now more than 70 years old. It requires growing viruses in special, pathogen-free chicken eggs. It’s not a quick and easy manufacturing process. And, at best, it…

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Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses…

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Infectious disease

One in two people living with HIV in Europe is diagnosed late

The WHO European Region is the only region worldwide where the number of new HIV infections is rising. With more than 160 000 people newly diagnosed with HIV across the Region, including more than 29 000 new cases from the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), this trend continued in 2016. One reason for this worrying trend: over half (51%) of the reported HIV diagnoses happen in a…

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