Archive for April 17th, 2012

From herd immunity and complacency to group panic: How vaccine scares unfold

17 April, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

A new study, published in PLoS Computational Biology, shows how worries over vaccine risks can allow preventable contagious diseases, such as measles and whooping cough, to make a comeback.

Via www.eurekalert.org

How old human tissue can help unlock secrets of the past

17 April, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

Tissue samples have been used to reconstruct the 1918 influenza epidemic and to illuminate the proliferation of the AIDS virus.

Preserved human tissue can help shed light on why diseases — caused by microbes, environmental exposures and lifestyle changes — emerged when they did. It might even help scientists predict disease trends or outbreaks. Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, is among the top researchers responsible for establishing the most credible date for when HIV entered the human population. He was able to do so in part thanks to analysis of tissue samples such as the ones pictured, from Congo, where some of the earliest HIV cases were discovered. The tissues are stored in blocks of wax.

 

A good archive is a wonderful thing – as I have discovered, when I have found that my first-ever clone is just a bit of dried-up agar in a cracked Petri dish….

Via www.washingtonpost.com

On Second Thought, Flu Papers Get Go-Ahead

17 April, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

“The end of an impassioned and often strident global debate over the proper balance between scientific openness and security began with 2 hours of mandatory, studious silence in a room protected by an armed guard.

When members of a U.S. government advisory panel gathered last week on the campus of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) near Washington, D.C., to reconsider their controversial December 2011 recommendation that two groups of scientists redact key details from papers describing how they made the H5N1 avian influenza virus more transmissible between mammals, one of the first items on the agenda was to read revised versions of the manuscripts.”

 

Well, I would hope so – and then stop being silly.

Image courtesy Russell Kightley Media

Via www.sciencemag.org

Biotechnology science fiction on your Kindle this weekend …

17 April, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

PROJECT GENESIS: Triumph, Tragedy, & Romance in the Futuristic Realm of Biotechnology [Kindle Edition] Markus Fredericks (Author). “Our story begins in year 2055 A.D. Felix and Monique are two attractive bioengineers …

 

I said “and other things”.  This is one of them.

Via cbt20.wordpress.com