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Articles on Viruses

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Transmission electron micrograph of particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

An exclusive (and imaginary) interview with the coronavirus

The SARS-CoV-2 virus at the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic is one ten-thousandth of a millimeter in diameter. How can such a microscopic organism have such an immense impact on global health?
The Spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 must bind to proteins on the surface of human cells to trigger an infection. KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

A second pathway into cells for SARS-CoV-2: New understanding of the neuropilin-1 protein could speed vaccine research

Scientists in the UK and Germany discovered a new doorway that the COVID-19 virus uses to infect human cells. This reveals new therapeutic possibilities for blocking the virus.
Palak Mehta

Curious Kids: how do vaccines kill viruses?

Vaccines work by teaching your immune system about new viruses. Your immune cells are very clever – they will remember what they learnt, and protect you if you encounter that virus in the future.
The microbes in the mother’s gut can alter the number of neurons in the baby’s brain and the connections they make. bestdesigns/Getty Images

How a pregnant mouse’s microbes influence offspring’s brain development – new study offers clues

Microbes in the gut aren't just important for digesting your food. In pregnant women, these gut microbes are producing chemicals that are essential for proper brain development of the fetus.
Children run as an agent of the National Institute of Public Hygiene carries out fumigation in the Anyama district of Abidjan,Ivory Coast. SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images

More dengue fever and less malaria – mosquito control strategies may need to shift as Africa heats up

A warming climate may change the types of viruses that thrive. A new report suggests that the threat of malaria may be replaced by dengue, for which there is no treatment and no cure.

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