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MOSTLY MICROBES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Mosquitoes sniff out hosts infected with certain viruses, researchers find

Infections by the viruses that cause #Zika and #Dengue fever alter how their hosts smell, making them more likely to be bitten by #mosquitoes. The study also identified a potential way to block the scent, using the #acne medication, isotretinoin which is also known as #Accutane. The smell is linked to high levels of #acetophenone Smell can be a powerful motivator. The fragrance of freshly baked cookies may compel a person to come to the kitchen, while a musky perfume might

Stem cells can use same method as plants and insects to protect against viruses

Mammalian stem cells can use same method as plants & insects to protect against RNA viruses such as #SARSCoV2 & #Zika. An isoform of Dicer, #Dicer (aviD), cuts up viral RNA & prevents RNA viruses from replicating. Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have found a vital mechanism, previously thought to have disappeared as mammals evolved, that helps protect mammalian stem cells from RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and Zika virus. The scientists suggest this could one day

First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in US Are Hatching Now

#Zika #dengue #chikungunya #yellowfever #climatechange As Aedes aegypti #mosquitoes increase their range because of warming #climate, genetic manipulation of the disease-carrying species could gain wider appeal This week, mosquito eggs placed in the Florida Keys are expected to hatch tens of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes, a result of the first U.S. release of such insects in the wild. A biotechnology firm called Oxitec delivered the eggs in late April as part o

Genetic admixture in the South Pacific: From Denisovans to the human immune response

#immunology #evolution Scientists have looked at understudied human populations from the South Pacific, which are severely affected by a variety of diseases, including vector-borne infectious diseases such as #Zika virus, #dengue, and #chikungunya, and metabolic diseases such as #obesity and #diabetes. Using genome sequencing of 320 individuals, the scientists have investigated how human populations have biologically adapted to the environments of the Pacific islands and how

An overview of mosquito vectors of Zika virus

The mosquito-borne arbovirus #Zika virus (ZIKV, Flavivirus, Flaviviridae), has caused an outbreak impressive by its magnitude and rapid spread. First detected in Uganda in Africa in 1947, from where it spread to Asia in the 1960s, it emerged in 2007 on the Yap Island in Micronesia and hit most islands in the Pacific region in 2013. Subsequently, #ZIKV was detected in the Caribbean, and Central and South America in 2015, and reached North America in 2016. Although ZIKV infecti

Understanding how mosquitoes smell us could save lives.

Of the more than 3,000 species of #mosquitoes in the world, just a small number have evolved to specialize in sucking human blood. How human-biting mosquitoes track us down so effectively isn't currently known, but it matters, since they don't just make us itch. They also carry dangerous diseases such as #Zika, #dengue, West Nile virus and #malaria that can be deadly. In fact, stopping these pesky insects in their tracks could save up to half a million lives lost to those dis

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