Dangerous viruses: New weapons against new foes

Dangerous viruses: New weapons against new foes
What would better protection against new viruses look like? Old-style outbreak investigations can take years. Mammals may carry 320,000 viruses. Some can start an epidemic if they “jump” to people. Can ecological knowledge support new prevention strategies to block the “jumpers”? More »

West Nile virus running wild

West Nile virus running wild

Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile? More »

The Viral Storm

The Viral Storm

The Viral Storm Nathan Wolfe • Times Books, 2012, 305 pp. If you appreciate efficiency, you have to love viruses. A few genes, a few thousand “letters” of DNA or RNA, and they can conquer large, important organism like us.… More »

Genetics of the body snatchers!

Genetics of the body snatchers!

athogens can change the behavior of their hosts — and now we see that a single viral gene forces a caterpillar to climb a tree before it dies. From that high vantage, the virus can infect more caterpillars. It’s nifty and thrifty, unless you’re a gypsy moth! More »

Flying virus!

Flying virus!

Flu virus can fly on aerosols after a sneeze, cough, even a breath. They can stay aloft for hours, long enough to find another victim. More »

Fearing flu, finding vaccine

Fearing flu, finding vaccine

How is flu vaccine is made in eggs and animal cells? What is being done to protect us against a fast-changing, deadly virus? Is a universal flu vaccine even possible? More »

Swine flu

Swine flu

Virologists have been working late since swine flu appeared in April. With flu running amok in South America, what can we expect when the epidemic returns north this fall? More »

HIV infection caught on videotape

HIV infection caught on videotape

New video captures AIDS moving inside immune cells: HIV enters pods that form on the surface, then jumps across into a healthy immune cell that is now doomed to spread HIV — and die. More »

Targeting tumors: A new approach proven?

Up to 20 percent of cancers are caused by a viral infection. A new study turns cancer-causing viral proteins into a homing beacon to attract radioactive isotopes that kill tumor cells. More »

Study finds key to colony-collapse disorder

Fast genomic analysis could open the door to breakthroughs in health, ecology and genetics. How do these machines work, and what have they taught about obesity, microbial diversity, and drug treatment? More »

Bird Flu Spreads

What is bird flu, and why don’t we have a vaccine yet? How can we contain this influenza? Would a poorly matched vaccine be worth making? More »

Revenge of the Cats?

Revenge of the Cats?
The progenitor of canine parvovirus, shown here in glorious molecular detail, once afflicted only cats and their relatives. But in the 1970s, the cat virus reconfigured just two or three surface amino acids and unleashed a plague upon dogs everywhere.… More »

Cranberry Juice: Anti-Viral Drink?

Cranberry juice helps prevent bacterial infections. Could it do the same for viral infections? New research says yes. Grab a glass — bottoms up! — and turn the page. More »

Virus Caught on Candid Camera

Virus Caught on Candid Camera
Atomic cameras at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have captured a new model of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The picture may be more of this cancer causing bug than you ever wanted to see, but it gives scientists a valuable… More »