Category Archives: Virology

INCLUDES Measles; Smallpox; Virus genotyping; Hepatitis – all; Waterborne virus (Norovirus, Rotavirus), population health, communicable diseases, gastrointestinal disease outbreaks.
EXCLUDES Lyssavirus, Hendra, Influenza or Vectorborne diseases

Mobile DNA sequencer shows potential for disease surveillance

(BioMed Central 25 March 2015) A pocket-sized device that can rapidly determine the sequence of an organism’s DNA has shown its potential in disease detection, according to a study published in the open access, open data journal GigaScience.

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Scientists link unexplained childhood paralysis to enterovirus D68

(University of California – San Francisco 30 March 2015) A research team led by UC San Francisco scientists has found the genetic signature of enterovirus D68 in half of the California and Colorado children diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis — sudden, unexplained muscle weakness and paralysis — between 2012 and 2014, with most cases occurring during a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illness from EV-D68 last fall.

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‘Atomic chicken-wire’ is key to faster DNA sequencing

(University of Melbourne 30 March 2015) An unusual and very exciting form of carbon — that can be created by drawing on paper — looks to hold the key to real-time, high throughput DNA sequencing, a technique that would revolutionize medical research and testing.

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Global health experts outline lessons to be learned from Ebola epidemic

(Massachusetts General Hospital 25 March 2015) While the international response to the Ebola epidemic included unprecedented measures that appeared to be gaining control of the outbreak by the end of 2014, the past year has also revealed critical weaknesses in the global public health system. Global health experts from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University make specific recommendations to improve future responses.

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MDC researchers greatly increase precision of new genome editing tool

(Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch 25 March 2015) CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful new tool for editing the genome. For researchers around the world, the CRISPR-Cas9 technique is an exciting innovation because it is faster and cheaper than previous methods. Now Dr. Van Trung Chu and Professor Klaus Rajewsky and Dr. Ralf Kühn, have found a solution to considerably increase the efficiency of precise genetic modifications by up to eightfold.

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Ebola diagnostic receives emergency use authorization

BioPrepWatch 26 March 2015

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Xpert Ebola test from Cepheid to be used through an emergency use authorization.  The test is specified for the Zaire strain of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and utilizes molecular diagnostics technology that keeps samples in the cartridge itself to limit risks of contamination and spread.

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Contaminated blood report published

BBC News Scotland 25 March 2015

Thousands of people were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through NHS blood products in the 1970s and 80s.  The contaminated blood scandal has been described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, many of whom had been haemophilia patients.

The Penrose report is a detailed factual account of events over near two decades and a forensic examination of medical evidence and the detail of therapy with blood products.

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At-a-glance: The Penrose report

View The Penrose Inquiry – Final Report