Tag Archives: influenza

Shape-shifting molecule tricks viruses into mutating themselves to death

A newly developed spectroscopy method is helping to clarify the poorly understood molecular process by which an anti-HIV drug induces lethal mutations in the virus’ genetic material. The findings from the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could bolster efforts to develop the next generation of anti-viral treatments. (more…)

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Volunteers Can Now Help Scripps Research Institute Scientists Seek Ebola Cure in Their (Computers’) Spare Time

IBM’s SoftLayer cloud-enabled World Community Grid to provide free virtual supercomputer power to The Scripps Research Institute to speed screening of promising chemical compounds

ARMONK, NY & LA JOLLA, CA – 03 Dec 2014: Although some medical therapies show promise as treatments for Ebola, scientists are still looking urgently for a definitive cure.

For the first time, anyone with access to a computer or Android-based mobile device can help scientists perform this critical research — no financial contribution, passport, or PhD necessary. In fact, volunteers can be asleep, traveling or on a coffee break when they help researchers search for an Ebola cure. (more…)

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The Gene That Can Transform Mild Influenza in to a Life Threatening Disease

A genetic finding could help to explain why influenza becomes a life-threatening disease for some people, and yet has only a mild effect on others. Collaborative research led by scientists at UCL and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that people who carry a particular variant of the IFITM3 gene are significantly more likely to be hospitalised when they fall ill with influenza than those who carry other variants.

The gene plays a critical role in protecting the body against infection with influenza and a rare version of it appears to make people more susceptible to severe forms of the disease. The results are published in the journal Nature. (more…)

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Human Networking Theory Gives Picture of Infectious Disease Spread

*High school students’ interactions provide new look at disease transmission*

Graphic showing the flu virus and its antibodies. Image credit: NIH

It’s colds and flu season, and as any parent knows, colds and flu spread like wildfire, especially through schools.

New research using human-networking theory may give a clearer picture of just how, exactly, infectious diseases such as the common cold, influenza, whooping cough and SARS can spread through a closed group of people, and even through populations at large.

With the help of 788 volunteers at a high school, Marcel Salathé, a biologist at Penn State University, developed a new technique to count the number of possible disease-spreading events that occur in a typical day.

This results are published in this week’s issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)

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