Graphics by Ian Mackay and Susan Nasif.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Renaissance Virology Comics: Get the Facts with Virology Comics!
#VirologyComics (Every Tuesday)
“The exponential increase in health-related online platforms has made the Internet one of the main sources of health information worldwide. However, online communities with greater freedom of speech have, regretfully, become a powerful platform for anti-vaccine voices and the sharing of defective medical information. Health communicators have not yet taken their responsibilities on digital media as seriously as it should be.” (quoted with a few additions)
Therefore, the main objective of Virology Comics, the winner of the Science Hero Award in 2015, is to raise public awareness, inform readers about routes to prevent the transmission of viral diseases, and to provide basic knowledge and teaching tools for health professionals and educators in an easy, enjoyable, inspirational, and informative way.
Virology Comics’ dream is big, its ability is massive and its greatest strength is determination. We realize that dreams do not become realities without sweat and hard work, but we also know that getting the significant interest & support of like-minded and generous individuals makes a huge difference. I hasten to say that I am not only an artist, but also an artist with a medical background (Ph.D. in Virology). This is a rare combination, which only adds to the uniqueness of my work.
If you enjoy this material, I ask that you consider supporting it: cartooning is expensive, unfortunately, and we need all the resources we can get! If interested, you can click on the link to the Patreon site to provide a regular monthly financial contribution of as little as $6: https://www.patreon.com/VirologyComics
I would like you to enjoy, via the Internet Journal of Comprehensive Virology’s site, the outstanding story of Zika Virus Comics straight from The Lancet, published some time ago, and ask you to remain in the loop for more episodes! Learn, Share & Enjoy!
Thank you very much.
Susan Nasif, Ph.D.
Protection of Cattle against Rinderpest by Vaccination with Wild-Type Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus30 April, 2016
Although rinderpest virus (RPV) has been eradicated in the wild, efforts are still continuing to restrict the extent to which live virus is distributed in facilities around the world and to prepare for any reappearance of the disease, whether through deliberate or accidental release. In an effort to find an alternative vaccine which could be used in place of the traditional live attenuated RPV strains, we have determined whether cattle can be protected from rinderpest by inoculation with vaccine strains of the related morbillivirus, peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). Cattle were vaccinated with wild-type PPRV or either of two established PPRV vaccine strains, Nigeria/75/1 or Sungri/96. All animals developed antibody and T cell immune responses to the inoculated PPRV. However, only the animals given wild-type PPRV were protected from RPV challenge. Animals given PPRV/Sungri/96 were only partially protected, and animals given PPRV/Nigeria/75/1 showed no protection against RPV challenge. While sera from animals vaccinated with the vaccine strain of RPV showed cross-neutralizing ability against PPRV, none of the sera from animals vaccinated with any strain of PPRV was able to neutralize RPV although sera from animals inoculated with wild-type PPRV were able to neutralize RPV-pseudotyped vesicular stomatitis virus.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: jvi.asm.org
We tested the neutralizing and enhancing potential of well-characterized broadly neutralizing human anti-DENV monoclonal antibodies (HMAbs) and human DENV immune sera against ZIKV using neutralization and ADE assays. We show that anti-DENV HMAbs, cross-react, do not neutralize, and greatly enhance ZIKV infection in vitro. DENV immune sera had varying degrees of neutralization against ZIKV and similarly enhanced ZIKV infection.
Conclusions / Significance
Our results suggest that pre-existing DENV immunity will enhance ZIKV infection in vivo and may increase disease severity. A clear understanding of the interplay between ZIKV and DENV will be critical in informing public health responses in regions where these viruses co-circulate and will be particularly valuable for ZIKV and DENV vaccine design and implementation strategies.
Zika virus graphic from Russell Kightley Media
Sourced through Scoop.it from: biorxiv.org
Researchers develop another mouse model of Zika virus infection that mimics the disease in humans.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.the-scientist.com
Genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter has created a synthetic cell that contains the smallest genome of any known, independent organism. Functioning with 473 genes, the cell is a milestone in his team’s 20-year quest to reduce life to its bare essentials and, by extension, to design life from scratch.
Venter, who has co-founded a company that seeks to harness synthetic cells for making industrial products, says that the feat heralds the creation of customized cells to make drugs, fuels and other products. But an explosion in powerful ‘gene-editing’ techniques, which enable relatively easy and selective tinkering with genomes, raises a niggling question: why go to the trouble of making new life when you can simply tweak what already exists?
Thomas Deerinck and Mark Ellisman/NCMIR/UCSD
Each cell of JCVI-syn3.0 contains just 473 genes, fewer than any other independent organism.
Unlike the first synthetic cells made in 20101, in which Venter’s team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California, copied an existing bacterial genome and transplanted it into another cell, the genome of the minimal cells is like nothing in nature. Venter says that the cell, which is described in a paper released on 24 March in Science2, constitutes a brand new, artificial species.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nature.com
In 2002 a few of us here in South Africa wrote a booklet entitled “Castro Hlongwane…”‚ and sub-titled it “HIV/AIDS and the Struggle for the Humanisation of the African”.
Here is an excerpt from that booklet, which speaks for itself: “The first report on the incidence of HIV in South and Southern Africa was published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” and the “South African Medical Journal”, both in 1985. Two of the most important findings in this report were that in our country and region:
HIV infection was confined to male homosexuals; and,
HIV was not endemic in this region of the world.
To quote this report, it said: “The only positive subjects were in the group compromising male homosexuals. The majority of these positive subjects had either recently been to the United States or had had sexual contact with other homosexuals who had visited the United States…
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.timeslive.co.za
Critics say that Thabo Mbeki’s character matters less than his AIDS denialism. But these things are actually intimately linked.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com
“Scientists have warned that panspermia – the theory of genetic material raining down from space – could make Zika stronger and more deadly”
Genetic material falling on Earth from outer space could create a supercharged version of the Zika virus, scientists have warned.
Experts claim that the virus, which is spreading across the globe, will become more prevalent and deadly in the future.
Changes in Zika have already been noted, as it’s changed to be passable through sexual contact.
The disease, first discovered in monkeys in 1947, had previously only been transferable by mosquito bite.
But now, scientists are warning that it could mutate, growing stronger and spreading more easily – with its victims suffering more serious consequences.
They have warned that future strains could become worse thanks to panspermia – the theory of genetic material constantly raining down on Earth from outer space.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.mirror.co.uk