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Posts Tagged "viruses"

The Artful Amoeba

Suspicious Virus Makes Rare Cross-Kingdom Leap From Plants to Honeybees

tobacco_ringspot_virus_Li_et_al_mBio_200

When HIV jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early 1900s, it crossed a gulf spanning several million years of evolution. But tobacco ringspot virus, scientists announced last week, has made a jump that defies credulity. It has crossed a yawning chasm ~1.6 billion years wide. And this is likely bad news for its [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Extinction by Design: Rinderpest

Wiki_Rinderpest_200

Blogger’s note: I am going to be out of blog contact for the next several weeks as I get hitched (yay!), honeymoon (double yay!), and move (goodbye Colorado! Very sad to leave). In the meantime, I will be bringing you some classic Artful Amoeba. This post originally appeared on January 13, 2010. Since I wrote [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Misery-inducing Norovirus Can Survive for Months — Perhaps Years — in Drinking Water

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Purple packages of pain: false colored (no, they’re not purple in real life) transmission electron micrograph of human norovirus. CDC/Charles D. Humphrey. CDC Public Health Image Library ID 10708, click for link. If there is a central circle of hell, I now know what’s there: endless glasses of water spiked with norovirus that you must [...]

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Brainwaves

Why Life Does Not Really Exist

native bee

I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. Growing up in northern California, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors among plants and animals. Some of my friends and I would sneak up on bees as they pollinated flowers and trap them in Ziploc bags so we could get a close look at [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Typhoid Monkey: Can Social Networks Predict the Apes Most Likely to Transmit Disease?

orangutan

A few months ago I had a conversation with someone who had just canceled a long-planned trip to see mountain gorillas in Uganda. It wasn’t an easy decision, but she had just gotten over a bad case of the flu. She knew that many human diseases have made their way into gorilla populations and didn’t [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Chimps Infected with Human Diseases Pose Possible Risk to Reintroduction Efforts

When a wild animal is rescued from poachers or wildlife smugglers, conservationists usually make an effort to rehabilitate it and return it to life in its native habitat. But what if the animal contracted a disease from humans during captivity that could then be transmitted back to the rest of its species? Should that animal [...]

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Extinction Countdown

How Did Zebras Give 2 Polar Bears Herpes?

polar bear lars

When a polar bear suddenly takes ill and dies, the natural inclination is not to suspect zebras as the cause. But according to research published August 16 in Current Biology, that’s what happened at Wuppertal Zoo in Germany in 2010. The strange saga started on June 8, 2010, when Jerka, a 20-year-old female polar bear, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Ecotourism Does Not Overly Stress Orangutans, Study Finds

orangutan

What can poop tell us about orangutans? Well, for one thing, a study of wild orangutan feces has revealed that these great apes, unlike some other species, are not chronically stressed by ecotourism. Scat shows no scare in a study, published March 15 in PLoS One, that analyzed fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGM) levels of Bornean [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Mystery virus threatens an already critically endangered Australian parrot species

The orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster), one of the world’s most critically endangered birds, could lose its bid at survival as a virus threatens its vitally important captive breeding program. The unidentified stomach virus that has struck the program causes the birds to lose their feathers and weakens their immune systems, Shane Radial, a veterinary professor [...]

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Food Matters

Viruses and virulence with a side of GMOs: Podcasts I’ve been on recently

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Lab work can often be a bit tedious. I often make the joke (not entirely innacurate) that my entire job is moving very small amounts of liquid between different tubes in a controlled manner. In order to combat this tedium, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts of various sorts, from short shows [...]

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Guest Blog

Pimp My Virus: Ocean Edition

Image: The starfish-shaped EZ-open structure of mimivirus, above, and the gray DNA-containing nucleocapsid inside, below. The nucleocapsid has plenty of room to breathe and a concave depression, not unlike the dimple on the Death Star, that always faces the "starfish". From PLoS Biology. In 1992, scientists sampled the water from a cooling tower in Bradford, [...]

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Observations

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Sharks and Seals

Bacteria, viruses and parasites from land animals such as cats, cows and humans are sickening and killing sea mammals. Scientists have been finding a daunting number of land-based pathogens in seals, dolphins, sharks and other ocean dwellers that wash ashore dead or dying, according to an article by Christopher Solomon in the May 2013 issue [...]

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Observations

“Flame” Malware Greatly Expands the Scope of Cyber Warfare

The discovery of a new species of highly sophisticated malware earlier this week adds another puzzle piece to the contemporary cyberwar battleground. Flame, as it’s called, is a whopper of a program—20 megabytes, the size of a video file, and 40 times bigger than the Stuxnet virus that took down Iranium centrifuges back in 2010.  But [...]

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PsiVid

David Quammen on SciAm/Read Science! Chat

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David Quammen, according to his website is  ”an author and journalist whose twelve books include The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, and most recently Spillover, a work on the science, history, and human impacts of emerging diseases (especially viral diseases).”  I would hope you have read some of his works in any of the many [...]

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