University of Virginia School of Medicine scientists have unraveled the mystery of a strange virus in the hopes of creating more effective tools in the war against human disease. The secret weapon this virus may offer? "Armor" for disease-fighting DNA courtesy of the SIRV2 virus, who calls acid at almost boiling temperatures home.
In a new trial that could pave the way for future cancer treatments, patients with aggressive skin cancer were successfully treated with "virotherapy." This type of therapy uses a modified herpes virus to attack melanoma cells and even has shown the potential to overcome the cancer even when the disease has spread throughout the body.
If you're going to study something as vast as the world's oceans, it helps if you have a large cadre of scientists to sift through the data. And that's just what an international research team, led by University of Arizona scientists, have done. They are rolling out the results of a three-year expedition in which they cataloged over 150,000 tiny ocean creatures, most of which are brand new discoveries.
Health officials have begun warning survivors of the Ebola virus against having unprotected sex after the virus was found in a male survivor's semen 175 days after he first developed symptoms of the virus, which it noted was 74 days longer than it has been found in other survivors.
Could the cure from brain cancer rest in the hands of polio? Scientists from Duke University believe it could be. They have re-engineered the polio virus and actually adapted it to cure brain cancer, with hopes that it could further be modified to even cure other types of cancers, as well.
Forget Ebola, Americans may have an even more viral threat, mutating close to home. Months ago we reported on the death of a Kansas man who had been bitten by ticks and died from complications with what appeared to be a virus—what researchers called the “Bourbon Virus”. Now, health officials say that the virus is not anything like which they have ever seen, and as a member of an entirely novel genus of viruses, it may pose significant health risks throughout the United States.
While these little arachnids are not much to look at, ticks are the carriers of a myriad of diseases, which makes them of great importance to researchers. History has shown that they can cause sepsis, this past summer researchers discovered that the Lone Star tick can create a severe allergy to red meats, and now health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a new tick-borne virus can even cause multiple organ failure.
While many factors play into the development of a viral or bacterial outbreak, including herd immunity and preexisting healthcare practices, current outbreaks of the Ebola virus and the measles have many wondering exactly what’s causing the reemergence of such lethal diseases. Well, the obvious answers of vaccinations and poor sanitation conditions are readily available, but many may not consider an even more significant culprit—climate change.