Virology

Category archives for Virology

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…

Norovirus: Well, shit.

Well this is shitty! A cruise headed for the Falkland Islands was turned away from dock because of a norovirus infection on board: The Falkland Islands came under further criticism Tuesday for refusing to allow a cruise ship with an outbreak of stomach flu to dock, as passengers complained about their missed travel plans and…

A *very* common exchange I have with the general public regarding HIV-1: Person– Where did HIV-1 come from? Me– HIV-1 is related to a virus we can find in African primates, SIV. SIV crossed over from chimpanzees to the human population to make ‘HIV’ sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s. This event happened at…