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Current Viruses News and Events, Viruses News Articles.
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Immune cells discovered in the lungs improve virus defense
A research team at the University of Basel has discovered immune cells resident in the lungs that persist long after a bout of flu. Experiments with mice have shown that these helper cells improve the immune response to reinfection by a different strain of the flu virus. The discovery could yield approaches to developing longer-lasting vaccinations against quickly-mutating viruses. (2021-01-08)

New findings help explain how COVID-19 overpowers the immune system
Seeking to understand why COVID-19 is able to suppress the body's immune response, new research from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology suggests that mitochondria are one of the first lines of defense against COVID-19 and identifies key differences in how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, interacts with mitochondrial genes when compared to other viruses. (2021-01-08)

New defense against dengue and emerging mosquito-borne viruses
New treatments to cut the global death rate from dengue, Zika and West Nile viruses could result from research led by The University of Queensland. Associate Professor Daniel Watterson from UQ's School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences said the team identified an antibody that improved survival rates in laboratory trials and reduced the presence of virus in the blood. (2021-01-07)

Natural products with potential efficacy against lethal viruses
Researchers describe the biology of three families of RNA viruses including Coronavirus, Ebola, and Zika and the natural products that have been shown to have capabilities to inhibit them. The review provides a guide that could accelerate drug discovery in response to future epidemics. (2021-01-05)

Fungal RNA viruses: Unexpected complexity affecting more than your breakfast omelet
Traditional approaches for studying fungal RNA viruses have relied upon sequence similarity, resulting in an underestimation of RNA viral genome diversity. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba used an advanced technological approach called Fragmented and Primer Ligated Double Stranded RNA sequencing, or FLDS, to identify viral sequences that were previously overlooked. They identified novel viruses and viral genome structures and show that FLDS is a powerful tool for understanding RNA viral genome diversity. (2020-12-21)

Scientists get the most realistic view yet of a coronavirus spike's protein structure
Coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are studded with protein ''spikes'' that bind with receptors on the cells of their victims ¬- the first step in infection. Now scientists have made the first detailed images of those spikes in their natural state, while still attached to the virus and without using chemical fixatives that might distort their shape. Their method should produce quicker and more realistic snapshots of the infection apparatus, a critical step in designing therapeutic drugs and vaccines. (2020-12-18)

Researchers propose process to detect and contain emerging diseases
University of Arkansas biologist Kristian Forbes is part of a global team of researchers developing a strategy to detect and intercept diseases emerging from wildlife in Africa that could eventually infect humans. (2020-12-18)

Research strongly suggests COVID-19 virus enters the brain
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, like many viruses before it, is bad news for the brain. In a study published Dec. 16, 2020 in Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that the spike protein, often depicted as the red arms of the virus, can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice. The spike proteins alone can cause brain fog. Since the spike protein enters the brain, the virus also is likely to cross into the brain. (2020-12-17)

The human helpers of SARS-CoV-2
Proteins are the functional units of the cell and enable the virus to enter the host cell or help the virus to replicate. Scientists from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin and from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), along with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, have examined the corresponding genes of the helper proteins in a large study. (2020-12-16)

Giving cells an appetite for viruses
A team led by UT Southwestern researchers has identified a key gene necessary for cells to consume and destroy viruses. The findings, reported online today in Nature, could lead to ways to manipulate this process to improve the immune system's ability to combat viral infections, such as those fueling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-12-16)

SUTD and MIT scientists first to simulate a large-scale virus, M13
Scientists from the Singapore University of Technology and Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a procedure that combines various resolution levels in a computer simulation of a biological virus. Their procedure maps a large-scale model that includes features, such as a virus structure, nanoparticles, etc, to its corresponding coarse-grained molecular model. This approach opens the prospects to a whole-length virus simulation at the molecular level. (2020-12-16)

LED lights found to kill coronavirus: Global first in fight against COVID-19
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have proven that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). They believe that the UV-LED technology will soon be available for private and commercial use. (2020-12-14)

Newly discovered toxin-antitoxin system abundant in one-cell organisms
Bacteria are always hungry, according to Thomas Wood, Biotechnology Endowed Chair and professor of chemical engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering. If you gave a single bacterium all the food it wanted, it would obtain the mass of the Earth in about two days. (2020-12-11)

Immediate detection of airborne viruses with a disposable kit!
The KIST-GIST collaborative research team developed an integrated sampling/monitoring platform that uses a disposable kit to easily collect and detect airborne viruses on-site. The disposable virus sampling/monitoring kit developed by the team is similar to the pregnancy test kit, and enables completion of both sampling and diagnosing on airborne viruses within 50 minutes on-site (10 to 30 minutes of sampling and 20 minutes of diagnosis) without requiring a separate cleaning or separation process. (2020-12-10)

Tasmanian devils may survive their own pandemic
Researchers have found strong evidence that a transmissible cancer that has decimated Tasmanian devil populations likely won't spell their doom. For the first time, a research team employed genomic tools of phylodynamics, typically used to track viruses, such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 , to trace the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. The approach they pioneered has opened the door for application to other genetically complex pathogens. (2020-12-10)

Deadly, emergent cancer becoming endemic in Tasmanian devils, reducing extinction threat
An emergent transmissible cancer that once threatened Tasmanian devils with extinction appears to be transitioning to a state of endemism, researchers report. (2020-12-10)

Genomic analysis of early SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Boston shows role of superspreading events
SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to the Boston area of Massachusetts many times in early 2020, according to a new analysis of virus genomes, but only a small number of importations - including one related to an international business conference - led to most cases there. (2020-12-10)

Researchers identify critical molecules that coronaviruses hijack to infect human cells
Researchers at Gladstone Institutes and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, in collaboration with scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Synthego Corporation, have identified critical molecular processes in human cells that coronaviruses use to survive. They report, in a study published in the journal Cell, that targeting these processes with drugs may treat not only COVID-19 infections, but other existing and future coronaviruses. (2020-12-08)

Development of a new method for decoding viral genes
A research team led by Professor Yasushi Kawaguchi of the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, developed a new decoding method for viral genes that can easily and quickly obtain even non-canonical genetic information. Using this new decoding method, they identified nine novel proteins encoded by herpes simplex virus type 1(HSV-1) and found that one of them, piUL49, is a pathogenic factor that specifically controls the onset of herpes encephalitis . (2020-12-07)

Drug for rare disorder shows promise for treating herpes viruses
New research shows that the antiviral activity of the drug -- called phenylbutyrate, or PBA -- was even better when used along with acyclovir, a common HSV-1 treatment. When used in combination, less acyclovir is needed to effectively suppress the virus compared to acyclovir alone -- this is important because acyclovir is also known to have toxic side effects in the kidneys. (2020-12-07)

Researchers developed a sequence analysis pipeline for virus discovery
A novel bioinformatics pipeline identifies both previously known and novel viruses. (2020-12-03)

Oral drug blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission, Georgia State biomedical sciences researchers find
Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered. (2020-12-03)

Cell membranes in super resolution
For the first time ever, expansion microscopy allows the imaging of even the finest details of cell membranes. This offers new insights into bacterial and viral infection processes. (2020-12-02)

Scientists discover role of protein in detecting the common cold virus
The role of a protein in detecting the common cold virus and kickstarting an immune response to fight infection has been uncovered by a team of scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the National University of Singapore. (2020-12-01)

Alcohol-free hand sanitizer just as effective against COVID as alcohol-based versions
A new study from researchers at Brigham Young University finds that alcohol-free hand sanitizer is just as effective at disinfecting surfaces from the COVID-19 virus as alcohol-based products. In most of the test cases, the compounds found in alcohol-free sanitizers wiped out at least 99.9% of the virus within 15 seconds. (2020-12-01)

How 'smell training' could help overcome post-viral smell distortions
Smell loss is a prominent symptom of Covid-19 and the pandemic is leaving many people with long-term smell loss or smell distortions such as parosmia. Parosmia happens when people experience strange and often unpleasant smell distortions. Instead of smelling lemon you may smell petrol. New research shows that parosmia is associated with a recovery of smell performance among patients who undergo 'smell training' (sniffing at least four different odours twice a day every day for several months). (2020-11-30)

SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility
None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by UCL researchers, published in Nature Communications. (2020-11-25)

Grabbing viruses out of thin air
Materials that convert mechanical into electrical or magnetic energy could open the door to a future of wearable and structure-integrated virus sensors. (2020-11-25)

Engineered "stealth bomber" virus could be new weapon against metastatic cancer
Researchers at Emory and Case Western Reserve have re-engineered an oncolytic adenovirus. The resulting virus is not easily caught by parts of the innate immune system, making systemic delivery possible without arousing a massive inflammatory reaction. (2020-11-25)

New therapy for flu may help in fight against COVID-19
A new therapy for influenza virus infections that may also prove effective against many other pathogenic virus infections, including HIV and COVID-19, has been developed by Purdue University scientists. The Purdue team's approach uses a targeted therapy approach against the virus infections. (2020-11-24)

COVID's collateral damage: Germicidal lamps may damage corneas
In a paper published in the journal of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, physicians from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reported that several patients using germicidal lamps in an attempt to sanitize against the coronavirus, developed painful inflammation of the cornea, a condition called photokeratitis. These consumer-available ultraviolet (UV) emitting devices were being usedin an attempt toeliminate coronavirusfrom homes and offices. (2020-11-24)

T-cell abnormalities in severe COVID-19 cases
There appears to be some kind of T cell abnormality in critically ill COVID-19 patients but specific details are unclear. To shed some light on the problem, researchers performed a genetic analysis of T cells from lung tissue of COVID-19 patients. They found abnormalities that resulted in T cell overreaction that may cause severe pneumonia. The research is expected to lead to new methods for avoiding severe pneumonia caused by coronavirus infections. (2020-11-20)

A sulfur molecule to block the coronavirus
The cell membrane is impermeable to viruses: to get inside a cell, they have to exploit the biochemical properties of the membranes. The thiol-mediated uptake is one of the entry mechanisms. A research group from the University of Geneva has identified inhibitors of thhis cellular entry that block viruses expressing the SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The study paves the way for research into new antivirals. (2020-11-20)

Folding of SARS-CoV2 genome reveals drug targets -- and preparation for 'SARS-CoV3'
For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating COVID-19, but also for future occurrences of infection with new corona viruses that may develop in the future. (2020-11-20)

Coinfection: more than the sum of its parts
Infections with two pathogens pose a serious threat in the clinics. Researchers from Würzburg and Jena have developed a technique that provides new insights into this process and can be used as an early warning system. (2020-11-18)

Lurking in genomic shadows: How giant viruses fuel the evolution of algae
Together, Aylward and Moniruzzaman have recently discovered that endogenous viral elements that originate from giant viruses are much more common in chlorophyte green algae than previously thought. (2020-11-18)

Gut microbiome manipulation could result from virus discovery
Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells - a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

Researchers recognize a viral protein's M.O. by just 3% of its size
Skoltech researchers and their colleagues from Russia, the US, and Sweden have described an unusual RNA polymerase that helps a poorly studied crAss-like bacteriophage transcribe its genes. They ''caught'' this enzyme by a tiny -- less than 3% of its size -- portion of the amino acid sequence that was similar to other RNA polymerases. (2020-11-18)

Researchers develop virus live stream to study virus infection
Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute and Utrecht University developed an advanced technique that makes it possible to monitor a virus infection live. The researchers from the groups of Tanenbaum and Van Kuppeveld expect that the technique can be used to study a wide variety of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The technique named VIRIM is very valuable for gaining insights in virus infection in the human body, which can lead to more targeted treatments. (2020-11-13)

Risk of AAV mobilization in gene therapy
New data highlight safety concerns for the replication of recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors commonly used in gene therapy. These findings, which emphasize the need for mobilization resistant AAV vectors (2020-11-13)

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