Author Archives: churchc

Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today

(Drexel University 23 August 2016) A group of man-made chemicals used in some pesticides and insulating materials banned in the 1970s continues to linger in the United States, and new research by a Drexel University professor and colleagues found that high levels of exposure to some of them during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of a child being diagnosed with autism by roughly 80 percent.

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Common cold viruses originated in camels — just like MERS

(German Center for Infection Research 18 August 2016) There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to humans. DZIF Professor Christian Drosten, Institute of Virology at the University Hospital of Bonn, and his research team have now found the source of ‘HCoV-229E,’ one of the four common cold coronaviruses — it also originates from camels, just like the dreaded MERS virus.

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New types of African Salmonella associated with lethal infection

(Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 22 August 2016) The first global-scale genetic study of Salmonella Enteritidis bacteria, which is a major cause of blood poisoning and death in Africa and food poisoning in the Western World, has discovered that there are in fact three separate types. Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and University of Liverpool found two novel African types, which looked the same, but were genetically different from the Western type.

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New clues found to how ‘cruise-ship’ virus gets inside cells

(Washington University School of Medicine 18 August 2016) Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the protein that norovirus uses to invade cells. Norovirus is the most common viral cause of diarrhea worldwide, but scientists still know little about how it infects people and causes disease because the virus grows poorly in the lab. The discovery, in mice, provides new ways to study a virus notoriously hard to work with and may lead to treatments or a vaccine.

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New study explains why MRSA ‘superbug’ kills influenza patients

(Rockefeller University Press 15 August 2016) Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium (or ‘superbug’) often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, causing them to damage the patients’ lungs instead of destroying the bacterium. The study, which will be published online Aug. 15 ahead of issue in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that inhibiting this response may help treat patients infected with both the flu virus and MRSA.

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Zika Virus [Compilation]

Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified

(University of Southern California 18 August 2016) USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere — taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small heads. The Zika virus contains 10 proteins, but only NS4A and NS4B matter when it comes to microcephaly. These miscreant proteins, researchers discovered, have two shared life goals: to handicap fetal brain formation and to mobilize their malevolent forces.

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Yale study identifies how Zika virus infects the placenta

(Yale University 18 August 2016) In a new study, Yale researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas. The research provides insight into how Zika virus may be transmitted from expectant mother to fetus, resulting in infection of the fetal brain.

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Zika infection may affect adult brain cells

(Rockefeller University 18 August 2016) A new study shows for the first time that the Zika virus can infect the mouse adult brain in regions that are vital to learning and memory. The researchers observed that infection correlated with evidence of cell death and reduced generation of new neurons. The findings suggest that the virus could have more subtle effects than have been recognized, perhaps contributing to such conditions as long-term memory loss or depression.

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 Clues in Zika’s genome

(University of Utah 12 August 2016) University of Utah chemists have found that the Zika virus contains genetic structures similar to other viruses in the Flaviviridae family, and that these structures may serve as potential antiviral drug targets.

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Officials investigate toxic foam

Townsville Bulletin Rachel Riley 23 August 2016

THE Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has confirmed it is aware of ­reports that a pond near Townsville Airport may have been contaminated with toxic chemicals.

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