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Viruses and Bacteria

Health & Wellbeing

Existing drugs used to tackle dangerous new viruses

Scientists are constantly searching for new methods of combating harmful viruses, but it's not always necessary to create fresh drugs to deal with new threats. A team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham in the UK has found that a group of drugs currently used to treat conditions such as depression might also prove an effective means of combating emerging viruses.Read More

Fighting Zika one smartphone at a time

IBM's World Community Grid (WCG) is a program that links the processing power of the phones, tablets and computer of ordinary citizens to tackle world health problems like tuberculosis and cancer. To date the program has supported 27 different research projects, and is now setting its sights on the Zika virus.Read More

Medical

Vomiting machine projects better understanding of how stomach bugs spread

Norovirus is a nasty bug that brings about inflammation in the stomach and intestines leading to pain, nausea, diarrhea and sometimes even death. It affects around 20 million people per year in the US, but despite its rampant nature, questions remain over how exactly it is transmitted. To shed further light on how one of the world's most common pathogens spreads between humans, scientists have built a vomiting machine to study its behaviour when projected into the air.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Kinsa Smart Thermometer does more than just take your temperature

When someone is feeling sick, you take their temperature to see if they’re running a fever. That’s the way it’s been for decades. However, all that a regular thermometer will tell you is their body temperature – it won’t tell you what they might have, or what you should do. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer, while not quite a medical tricorder, is designed to do those things. Read More

Science

X-ray device traps airborne pathogens and neutralizes them

Help may be on the way for people with compromised immune systems, severe allergies, or who otherwise have to be wary of airborne nasties. A team of scientists have created something known as a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator, or an SXC ESP for short. It filters all manner of bacteria, allergens, viruses, and ultrafine particles from the air – plus, it kills everything it catches. Read More

Science

DARPA produces 10 million flu vaccine doses in one month

A familiar news topic during the flu season is the difficulties that the authorities face in producing enough flu vaccine fast enough to control the outbreak. That’s a serious enough problem, but when the influenza outbreak turns out to be the start of a global pandemic, then hundreds of millions of lives could be at risk. To combat this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a new way of making vaccines that has turned out 10 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine in a month, in a recent test run. Read More

Science

New microscopy technique lets scientists see live viruses in their natural habitat

Traditionally, in order to view tiny biological structures such as viruses, they must first be removed from their natural habitats and frozen. While this certainly keeps them still for the microscope, it greatly limits what we can learn about them – it’s comparable to an ichthyologist only being able to study dead fish in a lab, instead of observing live ones in the ocean. Now, however, researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have devised a technique for observing live viruses in a liquid environment. It could have huge implications for the development of treatments for viral infections.Read More

Science

Crab shells used to produce cheaper pharmaceuticals

Crabs and lobsters ... they're not just for eating, anymore. Chitin, one of the main components of their exoskeletons, has recently found use in things such as self-healing car paint, biologically-compatible transistors, flu virus filters, and a possible replacement for plastic. Now, something else can be added to that list. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology are developing a technique in which chitin is being used to cheaply produce a currently very-expensive source of antiviral drugs.Read More

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