MicrobiologyBytes Missing Links – 26th April 2013

nCoV Welcome to the Weekend!


World Malaria Day recognises global efforts being made in the fight against malaria. First established in 2007 by the World Health Assembly, it falls on 25 April every year.

Measles outbreak: In graphics
Great use of data by BBC News – students take note – this is how you do it.

Strain of measles possible cause of dolphin deaths [Audio]
Scientists think that more than a hundred dead dolphins found washed up on the Italian coast, may have been infected with a killer strain of “measles”. [Human measles, or another Paramyxovirus?]


Mapping the H7N9 avian flu outbreaks
Where are the 104 human cases reported so far and where might the virus go next?


Promising Treatment for New Human Coronavirus
A new report says that two antiviral drugs, ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b, will stop nCoV from replicating in cells grown in the lab.


Radioactive Listeria cures cancer – or does it?
This report just appeared in PNAS. Let’s hope it’s a generalisable method, but for the present this is one small scale study – still a long way to go before this is a routine treatment.


The Truth About Why Microbes Make You Sick
Between fevers, congestion and diarrhea, there are numerous ways that microbes can make us feel sick. But just how do microorganisms cause these symptoms?


Gonorrhea could be untreatable by 2015 [Audio]
There’s been a sharp increase in the number of cases of the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea – up 25% in 2011. It is also becoming harder to find antibiotics that treat it, which has raised the prospect that it could soon become untreatable.


Holy Virus Treasure Trove, Batman!
Think about the type of animal that would make an ideal host for a virus. It would gather in large dense groups, making it easier for the virus to jump into fresh hosts. It should have a relatively long lifespan, so any single individual has many chances of becoming infected. It would certainly travel over long distances to spread the infection far and wide. Humans certainly fit the bill. So do bats.


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