Virology

Category archives for Virology

February 2009– Republican senators, led by a Susan Collins (R-ME) stripped Obamas stimulous package for funding to the CDC and pandemic flu preparedness: “Everybody in the room is concerned about a pandemic flu, but does it belong in this bill? Should we have 870 million dollars in this bill? No, we should not.” Stimulus bill…

Know what sounds like fun? Testing almost 5,000 bats and over 4,000 rodents, from all over the world, for a cadre of viral infections Im not kidding! Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses Think about this: Where did, say, measles, come from? How were humans originally infected? Where were they infected? Just because we have a…

Endogenous viruses in viruses

Viruses are everywhere. Theyre even in other viruses. A couple of scientists at Portland States ‘Center for Life in Extreme Environments’ just found a virus in the sediment of Boiling Springs Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park (‘boiling’? ‘volcanic’? sounds cozy!). It is a single-strand, circular DNA virus. Well, okee dokie! Every new virus we…

There has been a ‘fun’ story going around the scientific and pop-culture media circles for the past couple of months. Apparently, a couple of labs worked together to make a ‘bird flu’ a ‘mammal/people flu’, and somehow terrorists are going to use this information to kill everyone on planet earth, and this research must be…

SNP CC in IFITM3 is a boon for H1N1, FWIW

The technology we have available to us today in the lab is both a boon and a bafflement. Example: The screens we have for RNA expression in cells is so sensitive we can see tiny changes in RNA expression levels in healthy/diseased/drug treated/etc cells. YAY! More information! More observations! More new ideas for research!… Except,…

This is an… odd… educational opportunity… Anne Bass’ boyfriend mesmerized jury with frightening account of Connecticut mansion invasion: He said, “I love you, Anne” — then prepared to die. Wealthy philanthropist Anne Bass’ boyfriend yesterday mesmerized a jury with a frightening account of how three armed men “dressed like ninjas” invaded her Connecticut mansion with…

SWEEEEET! Scientists found a brand new branch of organisms in the boiling acid pools or Yellowstone National Park! Identification of novel positive-strand RNA viruses by metagenomic analysis of archaea-dominated Yellowstone Hot Springs HA! Before we had only found DNA viruses in these pools, DNA viruses infecting archaea. Youngs troupe of scientists thought there might be…

‘Thinking positively’: Thinking any and all observed phenotypes are observable phenotypes because of some evolutionary reason. Phenotype X must have an evolutionary advantage! Even if Phenotype X appears detrimental/neutral, if Phenotype X wasnt advantageous, it wouldnt exist, right? Survival of the fittest! Evolution! YAY!!! No, not always. Evolution is a dirty, messy process. Sometimes shit…

XMRV Update: The science

Even though XMRV has joined the choir invisible (rather than the list of human pathogens), scientists all over the world have still been publishing on it. Some of these studies were started before XMRVs demise, some were initiated to figure out how/why XMRV died, and some were done just to be on the safe side.…

New Hepatitis C treatment, yet again, maybe!

Novel treatment and treatment stratagies for Hepatitis C infection is something I have written about on ERV a couple of times before: New Hepatitis C treatment, maybe! New Hepatitis C treatment, again, maybe! To briefly summarize, Hepatitis C sucks. It has infected lots of people. It kills lots of people. And we have extremely limited…