IRD researchers have succeeded in the first identification of bats as a potential natural reservoir of Ebola virus. Several epidemics of haemorrhagic fever have raged in the Republic of Congo and Gabon since 2001, hitting both humans and primates simultaneously. The virus transmission route from great apes to humans was already known, yet neither the natural reservoir nor the means of prior viral transmission to these primates had hitherto been identified.
Today scientists from the IRD and the CIRMF (1) are publishing in the journal Nature a study on small vertebrates captured near carcasses of infected primates. The research team detected specific Ebola virus antibodies in the serum of three species of tropical fruit bats. And revealed the presence of viral genome fragments in the liver and spleen of these vertebrates. Observations indicated that the large primates become contaminated directly by contact with these bats. These results are an essential element for understanding Ebola virus’s cycle in its natural environment and could prove decisive for the prevention of human Ebola virus epidemics.
Ebola virus (of the Filoviridae family) was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex- Zaire). It has been the source of several lethal epidemics in central Africa. Four subtypes exist, three of which rage on the African continent. The zaire subtype, the most dangerous for humans, was responsible for eight epidemics which have hit Gabon and the Republic of Congo since 1995. Infection by this subtype in humans is expressed by a violent haemorrhagic fever which in 80 % of cases kills the victim in a few days. There has been a succession of 14 epidemics of Ebola in Africa since 1976. Ten of which were caused by the zaire sub-type, generating 1850 cases resulting in 1300 deaths.
Sophie Nunziati | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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