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Novel Coronavirus is Well-adapted to Humans, Susceptible to Immunotherapy 

Novel Coronavirus is Well-adapted to Humans, Susceptible to Immunotherapy The new coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East is well-adapted to infecting humans but could potentially be treated with immunotherapy. HCoV-EMC can penetrate the bronchial epithelium and evade the innate … Continue reading

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What is the commonest living thing on Earth? 

Pelagibacter ubique is the most successful member of a group of bacteria called SAR11, that jointly constitute about a third of the single-celled organisms in the ocean. But this is not P. ubique’s only claim to fame, for unlike almost … Continue reading

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UK measles cases at highest level for 18 years 

2,016 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in 2012, the highest annual total since 1994. Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the HPA, said: “Coverage of MMR is now … Continue reading

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Strategies to Develop Antivirals against Enterovirus 71 

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is an important human pathogen which can cause severe neurological complications and death in children. The virus caused several outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region during the past two decades and has been considered a significant public health … Continue reading

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Mystery of Hepatitis B Virus and cancer solved? 

Exactly how hepatitis B virus causes liver cancer has been a mystery for a long time. It is clear that the X protein (HBx) has something to do with it, but exactly what mechanisms are involved?  These are very different … Continue reading

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Sham poo 

Not many people like drinking poo, even if it’s for health reasons. A few hundred C. difficile patients have been given stool infusions from healthy donors, often because they have run out of options. And it works – more than 90 … Continue reading

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A virus emerging before our eyes 

When I wrote about the high incidence of norovirus infections in the UK recently – http://goo.gl/TUdko – a commenter helpfully pointed to a paper published in Eurosurveillance on January 3 described a new variant of norovirus called Sydney 2012. The UK HPA … Continue reading

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How HIV Sneaks aboard Mature Dendritic Cells 

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has an extensive repertoire of tricks that it uses to evade, manipulate, and subvert the human immune system. Perhaps most insidious is the virus’s ability to turn the immune system’s defensive tactics to its … Continue reading

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Norovirus – making a fuss about nothing? 

For all the media attention on the UK norovirus “epidemic” over the past few weeks, current figures recently released by the UK Health Protection Agency (see: http://goo.gl/KLNhl ) suggest that this norovirus season (“”winter vomiting”) is not particularly unusual. HPA … Continue reading

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