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A virus is a microscopic infectious agent that can reproduce only inside a host cell. Viruses infect all types of organisms: from animals and plants, to bacteria and archaea. Since the initial discovery of tobacco mosaic virus by Martinus Beijerinck in 1898, more than 5,000 types of virus have been described in detail, although most types of virus remain undiscovered. Viruses are ubiquitous, as they are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth, and are the most abundant type of biological entity on the planet. The study of viruses is known as virology, and is a branch of microbiology.
New Ebola variant identified in Guinea

New Ebola variant identified in Guinea

Performed in less than a month, sequencing of the complete genome and subsequent phylogenetic analysis show that the virus present in Guinea forms a clade (variant) that is distinct from strains previously identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon. Epidemiological investigations also linked the laboratory confirmed cases with the initial deaths recorded during the December 2013 outbreak. [More]
Georgia State researcher receives grant to develop novel therapeutics against RSV infection

Georgia State researcher receives grant to develop novel therapeutics against RSV infection

Dr. Richard Plemper, a professor in the new Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, has received a five-year, $2.83 million federal grant to develop novel therapeutics against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection. [More]
FSA project to map occurrence of norovirus in food premises

FSA project to map occurrence of norovirus in food premises

The University of Liverpool is leading a -2 million Food Standards Agency (FSA) project to map the occurrence of norovirus in food premises and industry workers. [More]
TSRI scientists discover new HIV target

TSRI scientists discover new HIV target

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has discovered a new vulnerable site on the HIV virus. The newly identified site can be attacked by human antibodies in a way that neutralizes the infectivity of a wide variety of HIV strains. [More]
Professor receives $2.83M grant to develop novel therapeutics against Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection

Professor receives $2.83M grant to develop novel therapeutics against Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection

Dr. Richard Plemper, a professor in the new Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, has received a five-year, $2.83 million federal grant to develop novel therapeutics against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection. [More]

Aetna raises earnings outlook

In other market news, coverage continues of the cost and effectiveness of Sovaldi, a new drug to treat hepatitis C, and the related earnings gained by Gilead Sciences, its manufacturer. [More]
Roche's cobas HPV Test gets FDA approval for first-line primary screening for cervical cancer

Roche's cobas HPV Test gets FDA approval for first-line primary screening for cervical cancer

Roche announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the cobas HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Test for use as a first-line primary screening test for cervical cancer in women 25 and older. The approval follows the March 12 unanimous recommendation from the Microbiology Devices Panel of the FDA's Medical Devices Advisory Committee, making the cobas HPV Test the first and only HPV test in the United States approved for first-line primary screening. [More]

Viewpoints: The case against Jenny Mccarthy's vaccine stand; apathy on HIV; defeating Alzheimer's

What do you call someone who sows misinformation, stokes fear, abets behavior that endangers people's health, extracts enormous visibility from doing so and then says the equivalent of "Who? Me?" I'm not aware of any common noun for a bad actor of this sort. But there's a proper noun: Jenny McCarthy (Frank Bruni, 4/21). [More]
Scientists develop DNA nanodevices that survive body's immune defenses

Scientists develop DNA nanodevices that survive body's immune defenses

It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. [More]
Study reveals how human genome is protected from inadvertent import of viral RNA into cell

Study reveals how human genome is protected from inadvertent import of viral RNA into cell

Scientists of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with colleagues of the ETH Zurich, have now shown how double stranded RNA, such as viral genetic information, is prevented from entering the nucleus of a cell. [More]
Pfizer reports positive results from two tofacitinib Phase 3 trials for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis

Pfizer reports positive results from two tofacitinib Phase 3 trials for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis

Pfizer Inc. announced today top-line results from two pivotal Phase 3 trials from the Oral treatment Psoriasis Trials (OPT) Program, OPT Pivotal #1 (A3921078) and OPT Pivotal #2 (A3921079), evaluating the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, the first in a new class of medicines being investigated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. [More]
Pediatric viral respiratory tract infection often complicated by bacterial sinusitis

Pediatric viral respiratory tract infection often complicated by bacterial sinusitis

Nearly 1 in 10 cases of viral upper respiratory tract infections in infants and young children is complicated by acute bacterial sinusitis, often in conjunction with acute otitis media, a longitudinal cohort study has found. [More]

Automated diagnostic technologies redefine infectious diseases

The diagnostics market for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus and human papilloma virus is expanding, giving rise to commercial opportunities especially in the developing economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. [More]
Pediatrician reviews co-pathogenesis of influenza viruses with bacteria in lung

Pediatrician reviews co-pathogenesis of influenza viruses with bacteria in lung

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Pediatrician-in-Chief Jon McCullers, MD, was recently invited to submit a review in the April issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology, one of the world's foremost scientific publications. [More]
Study finds ginseng can help prevent, treat influenza and RSV infection

Study finds ginseng can help prevent, treat influenza and RSV infection

Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings by a scientist in Georgia State University's new Institute for Biomedical Sciences. [More]
Study points to new therapeutic strategy for treating depression

Study points to new therapeutic strategy for treating depression

A new study points to a conceptually novel therapeutic strategy for treating depression. Instead of dampening neuron firing found with stress-induced depression, researchers demonstrated for the first time that further activating these neurons opens a new avenue to mimic and promote natural resilience. [More]
New hypothesis about emergence of Parkinson's disease

New hypothesis about emergence of Parkinson's disease

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body's cells. [More]
Genmab/GSK receive FDA sBLA approval for Arzerra in combination with chlorambucil for treatment of CLL

Genmab/GSK receive FDA sBLA approval for Arzerra in combination with chlorambucil for treatment of CLL

GlaxoSmithKline plc and Genmab A/S announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a Supplemental Biologic License Application (sBLA) for the use of Arzerra® (ofatumumab), a CD20-directed cytolytic monoclonal antibody, in combination with chlorambucil for the treatment of previously untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) for whom fludarabine-based therapy is considered inappropriate. [More]
EcoHealth Alliance examines the origins of Ebola virus outbreaks

EcoHealth Alliance examines the origins of Ebola virus outbreaks

EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conservation and global public health issues, published a comprehensive review today examining the current state of knowledge of the deadly Ebola and Marburg virus. [More]

New device uses space-tested concept of capillary flow to diagnose infectious diseases

A new medical-testing device is being prepped to enter the battle against infectious disease. This instrument could improve diagnosis of certain diseases in remote areas, thanks in part to knowledge gained from a series of investigations aboard the International Space Station on the behavior of liquids. The device uses the space-tested concept of capillary flow to diagnose infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. [More]