Virology News -- ScienceDaily Virology News. Read current research on the virus structure, specific viruses (H5N1 flu, West Nile virus, HIV and more) and responses.

  • Forty years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection
    on December 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks. Researchers located the 14 Ebola survivors of the 1976 outbreak who, in January 2016, were still living in the same small, remote villages in the forests of the Équateur Province of northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. […]

  • Scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
    on December 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Antibodies are proteins produced by the human immune system to ward off foreign invaders. Our bodies mount this defense rapidly, especially if they have seen the invader before, producing the needed antibody within days of infection. But to make them in the lab, antibodies specific for just one invader can take months, and be an expensive proposition. New research looks at mimicking nature's approach while dramatically reducing the antimicrobial discovery and production time. […]

  • Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves
    on December 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Scientists have created computationally designed protein assemblies, that display some functions normally associated with living things, in the search for ways to transport therapeutic cargo into specific types of cells without using viruses as vehicles. These encapsulate their own RNA genomes and evolve new traits in complex environments. They are synthetic versions of the protein shells that viruses use to protect and deliver materials. The synthetic proteins evolved better RNA packaging, resistance against degrading enzymes in blood and longer circulation time. […]

  • Monkeys infected by mosquito bites further Zika virus research
    on December 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Monkeys who catch Zika virus through bites from infected mosquitoes develop infections that look like human Zika cases, and may help researchers understand the many ways Zika can be transmitted. […]

  • Immune cells turn back time to achieve memory
    on December 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    What distinguishes memory CD8 T cells from untrained naive cells is that they can respond rapidly, within minutes or hours. The new research illuminates how they do it -- their genes are poised to respond, even years after initial activation. […]

  • Lactic acid bacteria can protect against influenza a virus
    on December 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts of virus replication in the lungs, according to a new study. […]

  • Chimpanzee deaths in Uganda pinned on human cold virus
    on December 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    In the wild, chimpanzees face any number of dire threats, ranging from poachers to predators to deforestation. That’s why scientists, investigating an outbreak of respiratory disease in a community of wild chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, were surprised and dismayed to discover that a human “common cold” virus known as rhinovirus C was killing healthy chimps. […]

  • Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer
    on December 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new study. […]

  • New model for Zika developed to aid in testing vaccines and treatments
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    An alternative animal model that mimics key features of the Zika virus infection, including its lingering presence in bodily fluids, has been developed. […]

  • How Zika virus induces congenital microcephaly
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Epidemiological studies show that in utero fetal infection with the Zika virus (ZIKV) may lead to microcephaly, an irreversible congenital malformation of the brain characterized by an incomplete development of the cerebral cortex. However, the mechanism of Zika virus-associated microcephaly remains unclear. Scientists have now identified a specific mechanism leading to this microcephaly. […]

  • Hyperlens crystal capable of viewing living cells in unprecedented detail
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    A fundamental advance in the quality of an optical material used to make hyperlenses makes it possible to see features on the surface of living cells in greater detail than ever before. […]

  • CRISPR-Cas9 technique targeting epigenetics reverses disease in mice
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Scientists report a modified CRISPR-Cas9 technique that alters the activity, rather than the underlying sequence, of disease-associated genes. The researchers demonstrate that this technique can be used in mice to treat several different diseases. […]

  • Common fungus helps dengue virus thrive in mosquitoes
    on December 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    A species of fungus that lives in the gut of some Aedes aegypti mosquitoes increases the ability of dengue virus to survive in the insects, according to a study. […]

  • Viruses share genes with organisms across the tree of life, study finds
    on December 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    A new study finds that viruses share some genes exclusively with cells that are not their hosts. The study adds to the evidence that viruses swap genes with a variety of cellular organisms and are agents of diversity, researchers say. […]

  • Bottle gourd genome provides insight on evolutionary history, relationships of cucurbits
    on December 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Researchers have produced the first high-quality genome sequence for the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) and a reconstructed genome of the most recent Cucurbitaceae ancestor. […]

  • Anti-aging protein could be targeted to rejuvenate immune cells
    on November 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    An anti-aging protein called SIRT1, commonly known for being activated by red wine, has been shown to protect against age-related diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular disease. A study now reveals that it could also be targeted to rejuvenate cells in the immune system. […]

  • Bat cave study sheds new light on origin of SARS virus
    on November 30, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Genetic recombination between viral strains in bats may have produced the direct evolutionary ancestor of the strain that caused a deadly outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans, according to new research. […]

  • Protecting pigs from PRRS during reproduction
    on November 29, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    New research is helping to eradicate a devastating swine disease. […]

  • 'Dark matter' discoveries could shine light on new treatments for diseases
    on November 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    A microbial 'seed bank' discovered in the Atacama desert offers new hope in the search for antibiotics. […]

  • Common cold viruses reveal one of their strengths
    on November 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Why don't we ever develop immunity against the common cold? The incredible variability of coronaviruses is better understood with this study about the ways in which coronaviruses adapt and evolve, becoming ever more effective at infecting hosts without being defeated by the immune system. The receptor binding domain (RBD) of coronavirus S-protein displays three highly variable extended loops that modulate the affinity to both the receptor on a target cell and the neutralizing antibodies. […]

  • Rainfall can indicate that mosquito-borne epidemics will occur weeks later
    on November 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses Zika and Chikungunya generally occur about three weeks after heavy rainfall, research shows. Researchers also found that Chikungunya will predominate over Zika when both circulate at the same time. […]

  • New malaria parasites identified in wild bonobos
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Although the researchers saw evidence of a new malaria species in bonobos, it was limited to one small area of their range. This work helps the hunt for biological loopholes to potentially exploit the life history of ape pathogens to better understand how they cross over to humans. […]

  • Unlocking the secrets of Ebola
    on November 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease. The results come from one of the most in-depth studies ever of blood samples from patients with Ebola. Researchers found 11 biomarkers that distinguish fatal infections from non-fatal ones and two that, when screened for early upon symptom onset, accurately predict which patients are likely to die. […]

  • How to destroy any protein in any cell
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Scientists present a novel method to directly and rapidly destroy any protein in any kind of cell, explains a new report. […]

  • New light on pathogen cooperation
    on November 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    New approaches are needed to control the spread of epidemic diseases, according to the developers of a new model of the way pathogens can 'cooperate'. Their study examined the ways two pathogens work together, finding that cooperativity between contagion processes is likely to make the spread of contagious infections more severe. […]

  • How cells filter status updates
    on November 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Social media have become an indispensable part of our everyday life. We use them constantly to screen the latest news and share pre-selected information. The cells in our body do a similar thing. Information is pre-selected and transmitted to the immune system in order to fight against unwelcome invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites or cancer. This pre-selection occurs by means of a highly complex molecular machine. Biochemists have now unveiled the inner workings of this complex molecular machine. […]

  • Scientists create yellow, three-eyed, wingless mosquitoes by using gene editing tool
    on November 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Researchers have developed transgenic mosquitoes that stably express the Cas9 enzyme in their germline. The addition of Cas9 will enable the use of the CRISPR gene editing tool to make efficient, targeted changes to the mosquitoes' DNA. As proof of concept, the researchers used the system to disrupt cuticle, wing, and eye development, producing completely yellow, three-eyed and wingless mosquitoes. Their long-term goal is to develop new pest control strategies. […]

  • In the fight against viral infection, spelling counts
    on November 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Scientists have discovered a peculiarity in the genetic code of HIV that might explain how this and other viruses evolved ways to dodge our immune system. The findings could make it possible to develop safer vaccines. […]

  • Dengue immunity can protect against Zika virus
    on November 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Scientists have addressed the interplay between dengue and ZIKV infections. A new reports reveals that mice rendered immune to dengue show 'cross-protection' from subsequent Zika infection and then identifies specific types of immune T-cells capable of defending against both viruses. These revelations have profound implications for efforts to build a potent anti-Zika vaccine. […]

  • Rift Valley fever virus: An infection mechanism identified
    on November 9, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Rift Valley fever virus is responsible for outbreaks in livestock in Africa and can also be fatal in humans. Scientists have characterized the mechanism used by the virus to insert one of its envelope proteins into the host cell membrane, thereby enabling it to infect the cell. Understanding these interactions should pave the way for the identification of new therapeutic strategies. […]