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Posts Tagged "virus"

Expeditions

You wanted to know: What’s the virus infecting the phytoplankton? (Part Two)

Yesterday we learned about how normal viruses work. Today, we’re finally getting to how this particular Ehux virus does it’s thing. What method of predation does the virus use on Emiliania huxleyi? Jim Wallstrum Spokane from Washington So we’re back to Ehux. Just like other viruses and hosts, Ehux and Ehux-86 are locked in an [...]

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Expeditions

You wanted to know: what is this virus that infects the phytoplankton? (Part One)

So far I’ve told you about the phytoplankton we’re studying — the coccolithophores, how we figure out where they’re going to be, and how we collect them. But there’s a key element that’s missing in this description: the virus that infects them. And a lot of you wanted to know about it. What kind of [...]

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Expeditions

You wanted to know: what are these phytoplankton?

First, thanks to everyone for asking such fabulous questions. I’m going to try to get to them all, but you’re an inquisitive bunch so I might have to miss a few. I’ve also found that they group into a couple of different general topics – so I’ll try to do them in clusters…like this post! [...]

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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

CDC Launches Ebola Response Team

cdc ebola response

In the two days since the second U.S. Ebola patient was diagnosed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled a new team to battle the threat of Ebola. This team has no steady lineup, but it will be deployed anywhere in the country that sees a new case of Ebola, CDC [...]

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Observations

Could a Cow Virus Cause Colon Cancer?

photo of a hamburger

The remote possibility that I might develop mad cow disease as a result has never stopped me from diving into a nice juicy hamburger (preferably with a generous helping of ketchup and relish). But that was before I heard Harald zur Hausen hypothesize that a cow virus might be responsible for most cases of colon [...]

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Observations

Ebola-Like Disease Has Snakes Tied Up in Knots

python ebola virus

In 2009, some of the snakes at the California Academy of Sciences’ Steinhart Aquarium were acting sort of s-s-s-s-strange. Scientists suspected a sickness whose cause was mysterious. Now researchers think they’ve found an unlikely origin, as they watch the disease play out in strange and terrible fashion. “Some of the symptoms are pretty bizarre,” said [...]

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Observations

Could Human and Computer Viruses Merge, Leaving Both Realms Vulnerable?

Influenza virus

Mark Gasson had caught a bad bug. Though he was not in pain, he was keenly aware of the infection raging in his left hand, knowing he could put others at risk by simply coming too close. But his virus wasn’t a risk for humans. Gasson, a cybernetics scientist at the University of Reading, was [...]

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Observations

How Life Arose on Earth, and How a Singularity Might Bring It Down

It didn’t take long for the recent Foundational Questions Institute conference on the nature of time to delve into the purpose of life. “The purpose of life,” meeting co-organizer and Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll said in his opening remarks, “is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide.” Well, there you have it. Carroll is one of the most [...]

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Observations

The Flu Sheds Light on Holes in Immune System Knowledge

Rat OX-8 (CD8) expressed in many T-cells in the paracortex of the lymph node

MALTA—Coming down with the flu—and slowly recovering from it—might seem straight forward enough. But a lot of what happens in your body on a molecular level during the time between initial infection and full recovery is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists. An improved capacity to track the course of an influenza infection could [...]

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Observations

Altered Virus Calls Out Hidden Cancer Cells–and Might Help Fight Them, Too

virus makes cancer cells make biomarker for detection

Most forms of cancer still must be spotted visually to be diagnosed. But if a newly devised virus can do the job, it could track down cancer cells too small or well hidden to be seen in scans. It might also help shrink tumors, too. The virus in question is a herpes virus, modified genetically [...]

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Observations

New Salmonella strain delivers gene-based therapy to fight virus in mice

salmonella can be used to transport gene-therapy antivirals

Most people do their best to avoid contact with Salmonella. This bacteria genus, which often lives on poultry and can find its way into other food products, causes hundreds of thousands of illnesses—and hundreds of deaths—in the U.S. each year. But new research demonstrates that this common food pathogen could be disarmed and reconfigured as [...]

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Observations

Hepatitis infection induced and cleared in mice with human liver cells

To understand how bacteria and viruses work and test potential treatments, scientists study them in animals. But what about diseases that only affect humans? A group out of La Jolla’s Salk Institute has worked around that problem with a compromise—a mouse with a human liver. "We needed a human liver in a mouse as a [...]

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Observations

Frozen Antarctic lakes yield new viruses

viruses antarctica

In the chilly depths of one of Antarctica’s freshwater lakes, a surprising number of novel viruses thrive. Researchers braved frigid temperatures to collect water samples from Lake Limnopolar, located on Livingston Island near the Antarctic Peninsula, and sequenced the genomes of the collected species. The new genetic study reveals some 10,000 species of viruses from [...]

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Symbiartic

Graphic Guides to Ebola from the Epicenter and Abroad

14-026FEATURE

The Ebola outbreak in Western Africa continues to make the news as more cases are reported and casualties rise. A common thread in reporting is the difficulty in communicating accurate information to combat the spread of the virus when communities are gripped with fear and misinformation spreads as quickly as the virus itself. While our [...]

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Symbiartic

You’ve never really seen a virus until you see this

13-011FEATURE

Artist Luke Jerram is a UK-based sculptor whose glass sculptures of microscopic life make the invisible visible. I was instantly transfixed by his sculptures’ delicacy and intense beauty. For me, something is captured in these sculptures that is lost in the false-color scanning electron microscope images we typically see of viruses and other extremely small [...]

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Symbiartic

The SciArt Buzz: SciArt Happenings in March/April 2013

Pulse

Oh, my. The more I look, the more I find. Get your sciart on, peeps! _____________ EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION Pulse: Art and Medicine February 16 to April 13, 2013 The Mansion at Strathmore 10701 Rockville Pike North Bethesda, MD Imagine the place where art, science and the human body intersect: that’s the idea behind Pulse: [...]

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