Virology

Category archives for Virology

NICE! Gene therapy of pancreatic cancer targeting the K-Ras oncogene Cancer sucks, but some kinds of cancers suck worse than others.  One that really sucks is pancreatic cancer.  From the intro of this paper: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among men and women, comprising 6% of all cancer-related death.…

Six degrees of Virophages

Its like ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’, except with virophages!  And in my case, it seems to be closer to two or three degrees. Its happened again. Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses Edited by James L. Van Etten, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE Dr. Van Etten is one of my…

GMO HSV-1 vs Brain Cancer

Orac wrote yesterday about the abominable union between anti-vaxers and anti-GMOers: “Genetically modified” vaccines and GMOs: Sapping and impurifying all our precious bodily fluids? My ‘message’ to these kinds of people?  Get over it.  Fast.  Because you look ridiculous. Skinner: Im telling you people, the earth revolves around the sun! Abe: Burn him! [lights the…

Readers in the US/Europe probably havent heard a whole heck of a lot about alphaviruses. Mayaro, Chikungunya, Ross River virus– Though these and other alphaviruses infect humans and our livestock (horses) they dont get much media time around here, because theyre more ‘tropical’.  Africa, Australia, South America.  Thats where alphaviruses prefer to hang out. Yeah. …

Its like, instead of ‘Put a bird on it!’, scientists are like ‘Put a virus on it!’ Got cancer? Put a virus on it!  In constant pain? Put a virus on it! Addicted to cigarettes?  Put a virus on it!  Genetic disease?  Put a virus on it! Got acne? Put a virus on it! Propionibacterium…

GMO Herpes vs severe cancer pain

What happens when the pain gets to be too much?  What happens when the drugs stop working?  The physicians are giving you as much as you can take without dying, and youre still living with 7, 8, 9 levels of pain, every waking moment?  Some of the talk behind physician assisted suicide is to let…

‘New’ tick-born virus in Missouri

A new* virus was recently discovered in my parents backyard, so to speak.  Pop-sci articles: Heartland Virus: New Phlebovirus Found in Missouri Mysterious New ‘Heartland Virus’ Discovered In Missouri Actual journal article: A New Phlebovirus Associated with Severe Febrile Illness in Missouri … and its NOT MY FAULT.  Proof?  It is apparently a new phlebovirus,…

Evolution: Crime Fighting Machine

I know I give physicians crap sometimes on my blag, but I really do appreciate what they–along with nurses, physical and respiratory therapists, and other health professionals– do. They interact with people when they are at their ‘worst’– a normally cheerful, charming person is sick, scared, in pain, frustrated, worried, hurt, angry, drugged up when…

Domesticating wild organisms– Whether its domesticating teosinte or aurochs, bending wild organisms to our will is always a game-changing event in human history. The domestication of viruses is no exception. We now live in a world where small-pox, a virus that once wiped out entire continents, is now functionally extinct.  Generations of people see iron…

Look, scientists are nuts.  Virologists, on the other hand, are certifiably insane.  As Hedwig would say, virologists make the strangest things seem suddenly routine.  Yesterdays absurd future technology (GENE THERAPY!) is now something as miraculous as curing genetic diseases, and as mundane as an anti-smoking therapy. Todays insane idea? Using mouse and rat parvoviruses to…