Articles on Viruses

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These are viruses called bacteriophages that infect only bacterial cells. Ewa Parylak/shutterstock.com

Are viruses the best weapon for fighting superbugs?

Bacteria are becoming resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics. These expensive, hard-to-treat infections are prompting physicians to reassess using viruses to destroy bacteria.
This is a model of the adenovirus type 5 which causes respiratory infections. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com

Potential treatment for eye cancer using tumor-killing virus

When you think of viruses, you might think of the horrible illnesses they cause, like flu or Ebola. But now researchers are learning how to use the unique traits of viruses to treat disease.
Human poo is a concoction made up mostly of water with a sprinkling of the solid stuff. from www.shutterstock.com

Your poo is (mostly) alive. Here’s what’s in it

Around 75% of our faeces is made up of water. The other 25% is the good stuff, including bacteria, viruses and undigested food.
An Atlanta hospital set up a mobile ER to deal with the large number of flu cases. AP Photo/David Goldman

Why did the flu kill 80,000 Americans last year?

Part of the problem was a mismatch between the influenza strains circulating and the vaccine available. Here's how annual flu shots are formulated.
Monitoring sewage for virus allows for a quick public health response if any polio is detected. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Sewage surveillance is the next frontier in the fight against polio

Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
Every surface of our body – inside and out – is covered in microorganisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and many other microscopic life forms. vrx/Shutterstock.com

Meet the trillions of viruses that make up your virome

Just because you don't have the flu doesn't mean that your aren't teeming with viruses inside and out. But what are all these viruses doing, if they aren't making you sick?
Bejing. Bird flu is transmitted in various ways and the process needs to be studied in depth. Sojourner in a Strange Land/Flicker

Bird flu: are viruses still in the air?

A scientific question fascinates experts : under which conditions can bird flu virus be transmitted to humans by aerial particles, and what will be the consequences for those who aren’t immune?
Tagged European rabbit kitten infected with myxoma virus, but that died from rabbit haemorrhagic virus disease (RHDV). Photo by David Peacock, Biosecurity South Australia

Tandem virus cocktail kills pest rabbits more effectively

Feral rabbits previously exposed to myxoma virus are more likely to be killed by rabbit haemorrhagic diease, meaning that these two biocontrol agents can become even more powerful when used in tandem.
Health workers get ready to spray insecticide in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to combat the mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus in this Jan. 26, 2016 photo. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

Viruses can cause global pandemics, but where did the first virus come from?

Recent discoveries of ancient viruses are helping scientists understand their origins.
Imported frozen pomegranate seeds have been linked to hepatitis A infections in NSW. from www.shutterstock.com

What is hepatitis A and how can you get it from eating frozen fruit?

Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. Symptoms usually take 15-50 days to develop after initial infection and typically last for several weeks or sometimes longer.

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