Category Archives: Microbiology

Mimivirus – making us think again about virus classification

This article – by one of the discoverers of Mimivirus – argues that the new giant DNA viruses are different from other viruses and that as a result, we neew to create a new brach of microbes. Other virologists are … Continue reading

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Protecting the lungs against influenza

Influenza viruses are a major public health threat. Each year, the typical seasonal flu epidemic affects millions of people with sometimes fatal outcomes, especially in high risk groups such as young children and elderly. The sporadic pandemic outbreaks can have … Continue reading

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Design and Evolution

A half century of structural studies have shown the design principles controlling self-assembly of viral proteins into icosahedral virus capsids. A large repertoire of virus structures, mainly determined using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, are now conveniently available and carefully … Continue reading

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Good Amyloid, Bad Amyloid – What’s the Difference?

It’s quite remarkable that after so many years of studying prions we still don’t have a good understanding of their pathogenesis – how do they make normal cellular proteins turn evil? This interesting article suggests that it’s not the end … Continue reading

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Sorry, it turns out you are human after all

It’s often said that the bacteria and other microbes in our body outnumber our own cells by about ten to one. But that’s a myth that should be forgotten according to a new paper – the ratio between resident microbes … Continue reading

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A host protein restricts bird flu in mammals

Influenza A viruses circulate in various natural hosts, including mammals and birds. Transmission of influenza virus between mammals and birds occurs only rarely, owing to host restriction: an influenza A virus that is adapted to an avian host typically does not grow … Continue reading

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New Polio Vaccine Strains for the Post-Eradication Era

When I started my scientific career by working on polio vaccines over 30 years ago, we were already thinking about newer, safer vaccines. Although polio eradication remains tantalizingly out of reach, we are close enough now to think in detail … Continue reading

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Doomed? No, science can still save us

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Person-Doomed-science-save/story-28318859-detail/story.html Recently there were stories in the media about a new superbug that might kill us all. This started with the discovery of bacteria in China which are resistant to the drugs used when all other treatments have failed. So … Continue reading

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Oncolytic Virotherapy – Where Are We Going?

The last few years have seen an increased interest in immunotherapy in the treatment of malignant disease. In particular, there has been significant enthusiasm for oncolytic virotherapy, with a large amount of pre-clinical data showing promise in animal models in … Continue reading

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