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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 15, 2019 at 13:27.

Around-the-World Expedition Finds 200,000 Species of Viruses in the Oceans

Around-the-World Expedition Finds 200,000 Species of Viruses in the Oceans

After traveling around the world, sampling the ocean from pole to pole, scientists have uncovered nearly 200,000 populations of marine viruses.

In the marine ecosystem, tiny living things called microbes make up most of the ocean’s biodiversity and over half of its biomass. But much less is known about the viruses—packets of genetic information that replicate inside other living things—that...

Catie Keck Catie Keck Jul 15, 2019 at 12:35.

CDC Report Offers New Insights Into Last Winter's Historically Deadly Flu

CDC Report Offers New Insights Into Last Winter's Historically Deadly Flu

Last year’s flu season was one of the worst ones we’ve seen in decades, with nearly 80,000 flu-related deaths and the highest hospitalization rate for the virus in modern history. But new estimations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are giving us an even clearer idea of just how bad last year’s flu season really was.

A report from the CDC published this week estimated...

Jennings Brown Jennings Brown Jul 14, 2019.

Someone Spent $1.3 Million on Laptop Infected With Six of The Most Destructive Computer Viruses

Someone Spent $1.3 Million on Laptop Infected With Six of The Most Destructive Computer Viruses

A used Samsung NC10 costs less than $200. But a used Samsung NC10 with six of the most dangerous types of malware is apparently worth $1.345 million—so long as it’s art.

Internet artist Guo O Dong created the “The Persistence of Chaos” at the behest of cybersecurity company Deep Instinct. With the help of engineers, the artist installed six types of malware into the 2008 laptop. According to...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jul 13, 2019.

Rat Version of Hepatitis E Detected in a Human for the First Time

Rat Version of Hepatitis E Detected in a Human for the First Time

A 56-year-old man from Hong Kong has contracted the rat-specific version of hepatitis E, something never observed before in a human patient. Health officials are now scrambling to understand how this could have happened—and the possible implications.

A medical team from the University of Hong Kong assessed the unnamed patient, who had recently undergone a liver transplant, the South China...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jul 12, 2019.

You Don't Even Want to Know the Results of This Airport Germ Study

You Don't Even Want to Know the Results of This Airport Germ Study

New research identifies the various ways in which we’re most likely to come into contact with communicable diseases at airports. Turns out that toilets are surprisingly clean, but the same cannot be said for those plastic bins used at airport security, which are absolutely covered in viruses.

Airports are stressful even in the best of circumstances. In addition to making sure we board our...

Catie Keck Catie Keck Jul 12, 2019.

Measles Cases in 2019 Have Hit a 25-Year High Amid Ongoing Outbreaks, CDC Says

Measles Cases in 2019 Have Hit a 25-Year High Amid Ongoing Outbreaks, CDC Says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said that measles cases hit a higher number this year than has been reported since 1994. If the outbreaks continue as they are, the health agency says it could cost the U.S. its elimination status.

As of Thursday, the agency said, there have been 971 measles cases reported since the start of the year. CDC Director Robert Redfield said...

Ed Cara Ed Cara Jul 11, 2019.

CDC Convenes Task Force to Investigate Rare Illness Paralyzing Kids Across the Country

CDC Convenes Task Force to Investigate Rare Illness Paralyzing Kids Across the Country

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking things up a notch to investigate a mysterious polio-like disease that’s paralyzing young children. Earlier this week, the agency announced it would form a task force to better treat and confirm the cause of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), seemingly in response to a substantial uptick in cases this year.

AFM affects the nervous system,...

Esther Inglis-Arkell Esther Inglis-Arkell Jul 07, 2019.

You Can Get A Pox From Seals

You Can Get A Pox From Seals

This cute little guy is just waiting to infect you. In the late 1960s, scientists realized that seals had a virus that they could share back and forth with other pinnipeds. Over 30 years later, scientists have confirmed that it can be given to humans.

Sealpox isn't as bad as it sounds. Although it shares a suffix with one of the most horrific diseases ever known, it's not in the same genus...

David Nield David Nield Jun 26, 2019. 8 comments

How Many of Your Smart Gadgets Can Actually Get a Virus?

How Many of Your Smart Gadgets Can Actually Get a Virus?

You might have noticed the brouhaha over the since-deleted Samsung tweet advising users to run antivirus scans on their smart TVs—but is such a malware attack possible? Just how many of your smart home gadgets are vulnerable to viruses in the same way that your laptop might be? We called in the experts to find out.

Those experts are Vladislav Iliushin, IoT threat researcher at Avast, and...

8 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Apr 17, 2019. 21 comments

Antivax Parents Sue Over Mandatory Vaccination Order in New York (Which Has a Major Measles Outbreak)

Antivax Parents Sue Over Mandatory Vaccination Order in New York (Which Has a Major Measles Outbreak)

A group of five unnamed mothers are suing the city of New York, trying to get it to block a mandatory measles-mumps-rubella vaccination order city officials ordered earlier this month in specific ZIP codes in Brooklyn amid a major measles outbreak.

The city health department said that it would enforce the order by checking vaccination records and tracking down individuals who have been in...

21 Comments

Robbie Gonzalez Robbie Gonzalez Apr 10, 2019.

The Most Common Misconceptions About Getting Sick, Debunked

The Most Common Misconceptions About Getting Sick, Debunked

In the latest installment of Mental Floss' debunk-tastic series Misconceptions, Elliott Morgan serves up factual counterpoints to ten of the most common misconceptions about getting sick. It's all in here – from food poisoning myths to false notions about the common cold.

For my money, the most interesting myth on this list is the one on whether exposure to cold temperatures...

Andrew Liptak Andrew Liptak Dec 03, 2018.

Ebola Vaccine Shows 100% Effectiveness In Latest Trial

Ebola Vaccine Shows 100% Effectiveness In Latest Trial

There’s a new tool in the fight against Ebola in West Africa: rVSV-ZEBOV, a vaccine that has recently concluded a study phase, with researchers finding that it was incredibly effective against the deadly disease. While it’s still in trial stages, the drug appears to be a promising tool moving forward.

In a study published in The Lancet on July 31st, 2015, a team of researchers followed the...

Ed Cara Ed Cara Sep 19, 2018. 12 comments

Scientists Are Turning Zika Virus Into a Weapon Against Brain Cancer

Scientists Are Turning Zika Virus Into a Weapon Against Brain Cancer

A devastating viral disease could actually help treat and prevent brain cancer in the future, suggests yet more research, published Tuesday in MBio. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch and elsewhere successfully used a modified version of the Zika virus to selectively kill off certain stem cells that allow brain tumors to stay alive, at least in mice.

Primarily spread by...

12 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Jun 30, 2018. 16 comments

Herpes Viruses Linked to Alzheimer's Disease in New Brain Research

Herpes Viruses Linked to Alzheimer's Disease in New Brain Research

A fringe theory about the origins of Alzheimer’s disease—that latent viral infections can sometimes trigger its emergence—has gotten perhaps its most significant bit of support yet. A complex new study published Thursday in Neuron has found evidence that certain viruses are not only more common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, but that they play a direct role in the chain of events...

16 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara May 04, 2018. 14 comments

Scientists Find Another Possible Explanation for Why Hair Goes Gray

Scientists Find Another Possible Explanation for Why Hair Goes Gray

Scientists think they’ve stumbled upon a newly discovered mechanism that could explain why some people’s hair turns gray and others become afflicted with patches of unpigmented skin, a rare, stigmatized condition called vitiligo. Their research, published Thursday in PLOS Biology, suggests a gene that regulates the natural pigment melanin also keeps our immune system from turning on...

14 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky May 03, 2018. 9 comments

Artificial Genome Scientists Want to Build Human Cells That Are Impervious to Viruses

Artificial Genome Scientists Want to Build Human Cells That Are Impervious to Viruses

Two years ago, a consortium of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs announced a plan to synthesize an artificial human genome from scratch —an extremely ambitious endeavor that’s struggled to secure funding. Project organizers have now disclosed details of a scaled-down version of the venture, but with a goal that’s still quite audacious: creating human cells that are invulnerable to...

9 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 06, 2018. 7 comments

You've Never Seen Herpes Like This Before

You've Never Seen Herpes Like This Before

Herpes is decidedly not amazing. But a new view of its molecular structure might make you say “wow.”

Two teams of scientists, one in China and another in the United States, have released new up-close views of the protein capsule that encompasses herpesvirus DNA, called a capsid. They revealed some of the best images yet of the virus (or of any large virus, for that matter). And it’s an...

7 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Mar 06, 2018. 16 comments

Giant Viruses Feature Their Own Built-In Antivirus Software 

Giant Viruses Feature Their Own Built-In Antivirus Software 

Mimiviruses are viruses so big they can actually be seen with a simple light microscope. European scientists have now learned that these bizarre organisms have their own immune system that makes them virtually invulnerable to predatory viruses, suggesting these creatures may actually represent a new branch in the tree of life.

Mimiviruses, which measure just a micrometer across, were first...

16 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Mar 04, 2018. 14 comments

These 19th Century Maps Show Measles Death Rates Before Vaccines

These 19th Century Maps Show Measles Death Rates Before Vaccines

As parts of North America struggle to contain a completely unnecessary measles epidemic, it's important to remember what life was like prior to the onset of vaccines. These maps paint a grim picture of the past — and where we ourselves may be headed in the future.

As Slate's Rebecca Onion reports, these statistical maps were compiled by the U.S. Census Office.

"Experiments in data...

14 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Mar 02, 2018. 6 comments

Doctors Think They've Nabbed Culprit Behind Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Paralyzing Kids

Doctors Think They've Nabbed Culprit Behind Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Paralyzing Kids

Since 2014, doctors have been stymied by a medical mystery: People, mostly children, were coming down with a previously unknown, polio-like illness that causes paralysis. Now, an international team of doctors published in The Lancet believe they’ve managed to confirm the main culprit.

Ever since the defeat of polio in the U.S. a half-century ago, reported cases of paralysis brought on by...

6 Comments

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