Human monoclonal antibodies show promise as treatment and prevention for influenza B

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have made a significant breakthrough by isolating human monoclonal antibodies against influenza B. This virus is a notable public health threat, particularly affecting children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. While seasonal flu vaccines provide coverage against both influenza A and B, they do not always … Read more

How viruses could become the next cancer treatment

In the global quest for effective cancer treatments, researchers are uncovering promising strategies in the most unexpected of places: the very viruses we typically strive to avoid. Pathogens such as the common cold and influenza, once seen solely as threats to our health, are now being studied for their potential to target and destroy cancer … Read more

Study shows breakthrough infections enhance immune response to COVID-19

New research from scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) suggests people who received COVID-19 vaccines and then experienced “breakthrough” infections are especially well armed against future SARS-CoV-2 infections. By analyzing blood samples from study volunteers, the LJI researchers discovered that people who experienced symptomatic breakthrough infections develop T cells that are better at … Read more

Epidemiology: Study of Disease Patterns and Spread

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in populations and the application of this study to control health problems. It is a cornerstone of public health, providing insights into the patterns, causes, and impacts of diseases within populations. Epidemiologists investigate the occurrence of diseases, injuries, disabilities, and deaths, … Read more

Immunotherapy: Harnessing the Immune System for Disease Treatment

Immunotherapy represents a revolutionary approach to disease treatment that harnesses the power of the immune system to combat various ailments, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, and allergies. Unlike traditional treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery, which directly target the disease, immunotherapy works by stimulating or enhancing the body’s immune response to recognize and destroy … Read more

Virology: Study of Viruses and Viral Diseases

Virology is the scientific study of viruses, their structure, function, evolution, and interactions with host organisms. Viruses are microscopic infectious agents that can infect a wide range of living organisms, from bacteria and archaea to plants, animals, and humans. They are unique entities that straddle the boundary between living and non-living, as they require host … Read more

Microbiology: The World of Microscopic Organisms

Microbiology is the branch of biology that explores the world of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and algae. These tiny life forms, invisible to the naked eye, play essential roles in ecosystems, human health, agriculture, industry, and environmental processes. Microbiology encompasses diverse areas of study, from microbial diversity and evolution to microbial ecology, … Read more

Mac-1 inhibitor compound shows promise in blocking SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell cultures

Research appearing in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry shows for the first time SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can be inhibited from replicating in living cell cultures using a compound that targets “Mac-1,” a protein key to defending SARS-CoV-2 against the human immune response. University of Kansas researchers in the lab of Anthony Fehr, associate professor … Read more

First ancient genomes reveal surprising origin of common herpes virus

Ancient genomes from the herpes virus that commonly causes lip sores—and currently infects some 3.7 billion people globally—have been uncovered and sequenced for the first time by an international team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge. Latest research suggests that the HSV-1 virus strain behind facial herpes as we know it today arose … Read more

Researchers develop portable method for detecting expired COVID-19 vaccines

University at Albany researchers at the RNA Institute have developed a new method to test COVID-19 vaccine integrity that could allow anyone with basic skills in vaccine handling to detect expired vaccines quickly and effectively, without specialized lab equipment. By employing laser-derived signals to assess vaccine stability, the method can be performed on sealed vials … Read more

Scientists design drug to outsmart evolving coronavirus

Although COVID-19 has faded from the headlines, SARS-CoV-2—the coronavirus behind the pandemic—is still rampantly infecting people around the world. Public health officials fear as the virus continues to evolve, it will eventually hit upon a diabolical mutation that renders current treatments ineffective, triggering a new wave of severe infection and social disruption. In pursuit of … Read more

High indoor humidity may help combat airborne viruses

New Stanford research adds to evidence that the seasonality of respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19 or the flu, can be linked to indoor humidity levels. The study, which found that ventilation reduces the presence of naturally occurring disinfectant compounds in airborne microdroplets, could add another dimension to public health approaches to seasonal viruses. In reaction to … Read more

New COVID vaccine offers broader protection against omicron variants

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health and Care Research Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH have highlighted the importance of continued surveillance of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccine performance as the virus continues to evolve. Published today as a research letter in The Lancet, their study compared the newer monovalent … Read more

Research team unveils 3D structure of key cellular communication regulator

Cellular communication relies on receptor molecules on the cell surface. The periodic uptake and sorting of these receptors, critical for their degradation or recycling, are governed by an elaborate machinery prominently featuring the Commander complex. Research teams at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, led by Dr. Markku Varjosalo and Prof. Juha Huiskonen dissected … Read more

Study finds evidence of long-term COVID-19 antigens in blood and tissue

New discoveries emerging from UC San Francisco illuminate the persistent presence of the COVID-19 virus in patients’ blood and tissues long after the acute phase of the illness has passed, offering fresh insights into the enigmatic phenomenon of long COVID. In a groundbreaking investigation spearheaded by Dr. Michael Peluso of the UCSF School of Medicine, … Read more

COVID-19 linked to lasting cognitive deficits

COVID-19 may have an impact on people’s cognitive and memory abilities that lasts a year or more after infection, according to a new study by Imperial College London researchers. The study, published today (Feb. 29) in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals small deficits in the performance of cognitive and memory tasks in people … Read more

Researchers unveil ‘missing piece’ of the genetic code

Researchers at the University of Alberta have uncovered what they say has been the missing puzzle piece ever since the genetic code was first cracked. The code is the universal set of rules that allow living organisms to follow genetic instructions found in DNA and RNA to build proteins. In new research, published in BMC … Read more

Breakthrough resolution in electron microscopy achieved without expensive aberration correction

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown for the first time that expensive aberration-corrected microscopes are no longer required to achieve record-breaking microscopic resolution.. The field of microscopy is in the middle of a great revolution. Since the 1800s and the invention of the compound light microscope, there have only been a … Read more

Novel recombinant influenza vaccine showspromise in animal studies

Recombinant protein vaccines, exemplified by the Novavax vaccine deployed in combating COVID-19, present a plethora of advantages over traditional vaccines. Their precise manufacturability, coupled with enhanced safety and potential efficacy, as well as the prospect of reduced dosage requirements, underscores their pivotal role in modern immunization strategies. Given these attributes, there is burgeoning interest in … Read more

From ancient Rome to complexity science: A personal narrative of historical inquiry

American humorist and writer Mark Twain is believed to have once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” I’ve been working as a historian and complexity scientist for the better part of a decade, and I often think about this phrase as I follow different strands of the historical record and notice the … Read more