Current Plague News and Events

Current Plague News and Events, Plague News Articles.
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Disease epidemic possibly caused population collapse in Central Africa 1600-1400 years ago
Bantu-speaking communities in the Congo rainforest underwent a major population collapse 1600-1400 years ago, probably due to a prolonged disease epidemic, and that significant resettlement did not restart until around 1000 years ago. These findings revise the population history of than seven present-day African countries and challenges the belief that the settlement of Central Africa by Bantu-speaking communities was a continuous process from about 4000 years ago until the start of the transatlantic slave trade. (2021-02-12)

New technique rapidly quantifies immune response following vaccination
A global team of researchers has developed a new strategy for fast and reliable antibody tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by vaccination and reveal the timeline and stage of pathogen infection. The team's one-step quantitative antibody tests are conducted using (blood) serum and are on a par with the gold-standard, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. (2021-02-04)

A deadly fungus is killing frogs, but the bacteria on their skin could protect them
Researchers in Costa Rica have found that some bacteria on the skin of amphibians prevent growth of the fungus responsible for what has been dubbed 'the amphibian apocalypse'. (2021-02-03)

Ancient DNA analysis reveals Asian migration and plague
Ancient DNA reveals a history of migrations, continuity, and diseases in northeastern Asia. (2021-01-07)

Researchers track and analyze smallpox epidemics over three centuries
Researchers from McMaster University have studied and analyzed thousands of weekly records documenting the deaths of smallpox victims in London, England over the span of nearly 300 years. The analysis provides new and rare insights into the ecology of infectious disease, establishing that the time between epidemics, the size of the outbreaks, and even the season when the epidemics occurred, changed over the centuries. (2020-12-21)

Oxford University podcast returns with season on the History of Pandemics
The University of Oxford's CASE Gold Award winning podcast, Futuremakers, will return for its third season at the end of October. (2020-11-27)

You drive like a girl: Study shows gender bias in perceptions of ride-sharing performance
While digital brokerages provide a more efficient method for the exchange of goods and services and an improved way for consumers to voice their opinions about the quality of work they receive, bias and discrimination can emerge as part of the review process, according to Notre Dame research. (2020-11-09)

Secondary variant of Photorhabdus luminescens interacts with plant roots
One of the basic approaches in organic farming is to use organisms beneficial to the system to combat pests. The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is one such beneficial organism. Yet, it seems this is not the only ability of Photorhabdus that can be exploited for organic plant cultivation. A German research team has discovered additional properties that could significantly extend its range of uses. (2020-09-24)

Grape pips reveal collapse of ancient economy in the grip of plague and climate change
A team of archaeologists from Bar-Ilan University and the University of Haifa has discovered new and compelling evidence for a significant economic downturn on the fringe of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of a major pandemic in the mid-6th century CE. The research reconstructs the rise and fall of commercial viticulture in the middle of Israel's arid Negev desert using evidence about life during that period found in an unexpected place: the trash. (2020-07-27)

New in the Hastings Center Report: Health, race, and society during Covid-19
The latest issue is devoted to essays that examine how the pandemic has highlighted connections between health and social structures--concerning not just access to health care but also conditions of living that affect health, from inequality to political and environmental conditions. (2020-07-09)

Ancient disease may increase resilience to bubonic plague
Researchers have discovered that Mediterranean populations may be more susceptible to an autoinflammatory disease called familial Mediterranean fever because of evolutionary pressure to survive the bubonic plague epidemics. (2020-06-29)

Tropical disease in medieval Europe revises the history of a pathogen related to syphilis
Plague was commonplace in medieval times, so finding its victims in a 15th century Lithuanian graveyard was no surprise. However, discovering one woman with a second disease, yaws -- a close relative of modern syphilis found today only in tropical settings -- was something researchers did not expect. The current study's findings are changing perspectives on the evolutionary history of a disease family thought to be out of reach for the study of ancient DNA. (2020-06-11)

Oldest connection with Native Americans identified near Lake Baikal in Siberia
Using human population genetics, ancient pathogen genomics and isotope analysis, a team of researchers assessed the population history of the Lake Baikal region, finding the deepest con-nection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas. The current study, published in the journal Cell, also demonstrates human mobility, and hence connectivity, across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age. (2020-05-20)

Fish feces reveals which species eat crown-of-thorns
Crown-of-thorns starfish are on the menu for many more fish species than previously suspected, an investigation using fish poo and gut goo reveals. (2020-05-18)

Infectious disease modeling study casts doubt on impact of Justinianic plague
Many historians have claimed the Justinianic Plague (c. 541-750 CE) killed half of the population of Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. New historical research and mathematical modeling challenge the death rate and severity of this first plague pandemic, named for Emperor Justinian I. (2020-05-01)

A 'corset' for the enzyme structure
The structure of enzymes determines how they control vital processes such as digestion or immune response. This is because the protein compounds are not rigid, but can change their shape through movable 'hinges.' The shape of enzymes can depend on whether their structure is measured in the test tube or in the living cell. This is what physicochemists at the University of Bonn discovered about YopO, an enzyme of the plague pathogen. (2020-04-24)

Diversifying traditional forest management to protect forest arthropods
The structure of vegetation and steam distance are important factors to consider in order to protect the biodiversity of forest arthropods, as stated in an article now published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management. The conclusions of the study note the farther we are from a river course, the better conditions for the communities of arthropods in the forests, since they need a cool and wet microclimate. (2020-02-20)

Protein injections in medicine
One day, medical compounds could be introduced into cells with the help of bacterial toxins. (2019-12-17)

Justinianic plague not a landmark pandemic?
A study of diverse datasets, including pollen, coinage, and funeral practices, reveals that the effects of the late antique plague pandemic commonly known as the Justinianic Plague may have been overestimated. (2019-12-02)

New danger for corals in warming oceans: Metal pollution
Metal copper from agricultural runoff and marine paint leaching from boat hulls poses an emerging threat to soft coral sea fans in the waters around Puerto Rico. (2019-11-19)

Vietnam-era women veterans continue to experience wartime stress
Vietnam-era women veterans suffer with stress-related mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, more than four decades after their service. (2019-11-18)

Evading Heisenberg isn't easy
EPFL researchers, with colleagues at the University of Cambridge and IBM Research-Zurich, unravel novel dynamics in the interaction between light and mechanical motion with significant implications for quantum measurements designed to evade the influence of the detector in the notorious 'back action limit' problem. (2019-10-31)

Yersinia -- a novel genomic tool for identifying strains
The Yersinia genus covers a vast range of bacteria that are distinguished by criteria such as whether or not they are able to cause disease (their pathogenicity). For instance, Yersinia pestis causes plague, while the bacteria Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are responsible for bowel diseases. Researchers at the Institut Pasteur have developed a new genomic analysis method for classifying and identifying all Yersinia strains and estimating their pathogenicity. (2019-10-28)

Ancient genomes provide insight into the genetic history of the second plague pandemic
An international team of researchers has analyzed remains from ten archaeological sites in England, France, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland to gain insight into the different stages of the second plague pandemic and the genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis during and after the Black Death. The researchers reconstructed 34 Y. pestis genomes, tracing the genetic history of the bacterium, which revealed key insights into the initiation and progression of the second plague pandemic in Europe. (2019-10-02)

Livestock disease risk tied to herd management style
A new look at the prevalence of the widespread and often fatal sheep and goat plague virus in Tanzania reveals that livestock managed in a system where they are the sole source of an owners' livelihood are more likely to become infected than livestock managed in a system where the owners' livelihood is supplemented by agriculture. (2019-09-04)

Dry feed for superfood producers
Grasshoppers and crickets could provide a growing world population with a substantial portion of the protein it needs. For the first time ever, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, have explored what kind of feedstuffs might be suitable for environmentally friendly factory farming of insects. (2019-08-05)

How plague pathogens trick the immune system
Yersinia have spread fear and terror, especially in the past, but today they have still not been completely eradicated. The bacteria inject various enzymes, including YopO, into the macrophages of the immune system. There it is activated and prevents the defense cells from enclosing and digesting the plague bacteria. Using the latest methods, scientists from the University of Bonn have now deciphered how YopO changes its shape and thus contributes to confusing the immune system. (2019-07-11)

New study shows how environmental disruptions affected ancient societies
A new study shows that over the past 10,000 years, humanity has experienced a number of foundational transitions, or 'bottlenecks.' During these periods of transition, the advance or decline of societies was related to energy availability in the form of a benign climate and other factors. (2019-06-18)

Details of first historically recorded plague pandemic revealed by ancient genomes
An international team of researchers has analyzed human remains from 21 archaeological sites to learn more about the impact and evolution of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis during the first plague pandemic (541-750 AD). The researchers reconstructed 8 plague genomes from Britain, Germany, France and Spain and uncovered a previously unknown level of diversity in Y. pestis strains. Additionally, they found the first direct genetic evidence of the Justinianic Plague in the British Isles. (2019-06-05)

2017 pneumonic plague outbreak in Madagascar characterized by scientists
Plague is an endemic disease in Madagascar. Each year there is a seasonal upsurge between September and April, especially in the Central Highlands, which stand at an elevation of more than 800m. In 2017, an unprecedented pneumonic plague outbreak hit the main island, primarily affecting the capital Antananarivo and the main port city of Toamasina. (2019-04-16)

Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation shows promise for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Bioelectronic medicine scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research collaborated with counterparts from Academic Medical Center at University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands to carry out a series of pilot clinical studies to assess the effect of a novel bioelectronic stimulation. (2019-04-16)

Deciphering the walnut genome
New research could provide a major boost to the state's growing $1.6 billion walnut industry by making it easier to breed walnut trees better equipped to combat the soil-borne pathogens that now plague many of California's 4,800 growers. (2019-03-26)

2015-2016 El Niño triggered disease outbreaks across globe
The 2015-2016 El Niño event brought weather conditions that triggered regional disease outbreaks throughout the world, according to a new NASA study. (2019-02-28)

'Ibiza is different', genetically
'Ibiza is different.' That is what the hundreds of standard-bearers of the 'hippie' movement who visited the Pitiusan Island during the 60s thought, fascinated by its climate and its unexplored nature. What they did not imagine was that the utmost unique feature of the island was in its inhabitants. (2019-02-26)

Doctors are prescribing opioids for shorter duration, lower doses in children
As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the United States, physician-researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia analyzed prescription patterns in children. They found that both duration of treatment and dose amounts declined between 2013 and 2017, while the rate of prescribing remained the same. (2019-01-29)

Whopping big viruses prey on human gut bacteria
Sequencing gut microbiomes typically turns up new microbes and other denizens of the intestinal tract, including viruses or phages that prey on these microbes. A new UC Berkeley study has discovered the largest phages every found in humans, with genomes 10 times the average and larger than the genomes of the smallest bacteria. They target bacteria found primarily in people eating non-Western diets. Their large size blurs the line between life and non-life. (2019-01-28)

An ancient strain of plague may have led to the decline of Neolithic Europeans
A team of researchers from France, Sweden, and Denmark have identified a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, in DNA extracted from 5,000-year-old human remains. Their analyses, publishing Dec. 6 in the journal Cell, suggest that this strain is the closest ever identified to the genetic origin of plague. Their work also suggests that plague may have been spread among Neolithic European settlements by traders, contributing to their decline. (2018-12-06)

Gatekeeper for poison capsule
Researchers decode the toxin complex of the plague bacterium and other germs. (2018-11-08)

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state
Each state takes a different approach on how it tries to stem the impact of opioid abuse, resulting in significant variation between opioid prescription rates and the number of children placed into foster care. (2018-11-06)

CU researchers provide resource for patient care in chemical and biological attacks
The neurologic effects and treatment options for exposure to biologic and chemical agents are outlined in a newly published article by neurologists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine who collaborated on the article with military physicians. (2018-10-26)

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