It’s a medical mystery: Exactly how do emerging viruses such as SARS, HIV and hantavirus suddenly burst forth, seemingly from nowhere, to start infecting people and causing lethal diseases, sometimes in epidemic proportions?
In research that shines light on this worrisome phenomenon, a team of scientific sleuths based at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has examined and tested viruses from two late-20th-century outbreaks of Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE)—a deadly illness that can cause brain inflammation in horses and people—and compared them with a very similar virus that doesn’t tend to infect horses or people. The outbreaks occurred in 1993 and 1996 in deforested regions of the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. In at least this case, the solution to the mystery is, as Sherlock Holmes might put it, “Evolutionary, my dear Watson.”
The scientists cite evidence suggesting that by replacing forests with ranchland along a 500-mile-long, 20- to 50-mile-wide swath of Mexico’s and Guatemala’s Pacific coastal plains, people put extreme evolutionary pressure on the strain of the VEE virus formerly prevalent there. This VEE virus previously was believed to be spread by a particular sub-species of mosquito known as Culex (Melanoconion) taeniopus as that feeds mainly on and infects rodents and other small mammals but that is not thought to be effective at transmitting the virus to horses or people to cause epidemics.
MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute
Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering