New Research Sheds Light on Zika

Scientists working to understand the implications of Zika's new prevalence in the Americas have found strong evidence that infection with the virus can cause fetal abnormalities and even miscarriage in pregnant women. On The Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski examines a series of studies conducted on Zika, including one which found the virus infected "most of the cortical neuron progenitors, which form the brain’s cortex" more quickly than other types of stem cell. This may be how the virus causes microcephaly, a birth defect resulting from abnormal brain development in the womb. On Discovering Biology in a Digital World, Sandra Porter leads a hunt for potential drugs against Zika by looking at the molecular level, comparing known drugs to the protein structures of the virus. And on Respectful Insolence, Orac questions whether DDT could play a role in fighting the outbreak.

More like this

As I noted when I first wrote about Zika virus in January, researchers haven't definititively established the link between the virus and microcephaly  -- abornormally small brains now seen in thousands of infants whose mothers had (confirmed or suspected) Zika infections during pregnancy. Over the…
On The Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski reports on a "public health nightmare" in Brazil that threatens to become more common around the world. The culprit is a virus called Zika, known to cause mild infections since 1947 but now "linked to nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly – infants born with…
A public-health nightmare is unfolding in Brazil, where the mosquito-borne virus Zika has been linked to nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly – infants born with abnormally small brains and heads. Around 20% of adults with Zika don’t develop symptoms, which include fever, rash, and joint pain, so…
As you've probably seen, unless you've been living in a cave, Zika virus is the infectious disease topic du jour. From an obscure virus to the newest scare, interest in the virus has skyrocketed just in the past few weeks:   I have a few pieces already on Zika, so I won't repeat myself here. The…