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How Viruses Cooperate to Defeat CRISPR

“These viruses, known as phages, are like miniature syringes” writes Ed Yong for theatlantic.com. But for billions of years before scientists realized that CRISPR could be used to alter DNA, bacteria were using it as part of their immune systems.And such teamwork also exists at a microscopic scale, among things that some scientists wouldn’t even classify as alive: viruses.They then use this cached information to guide destructive, scissor-like enzymes, which seek out any matching viruses and slice them up. Source: theatlantic.com Share This:

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Scientists aim to stop the devastation of Zika-like pandemics

“And in future new killers will emerge as humans spread into previously inaccessible areas and come into contact with infected creatures, causing deadly new pandemics” writes Robin Mckie for theguardian.com. Three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases are now spread to humans from other animals.HIV spread to humans from chimpanzees, for example. Source: theguardian.com Share This:

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New Study Shows Antibiotics Could Be Replaced With Viruses

“A new study gives hope that scientists can find an effective replacement for antibiotics: viruses” writes Avery Thompson for popularmechanics.com. The biggest victims of the world’s viruses are bacteria, and viruses that only target bacteria are called bacteriophages.More importantly, the bacteriophages didn’t cause any of the common side-effects that antibiotics cause, like a weakened immune system or gastrointestinal problems.This particular fact means that treating bacterial infections with specialized viruses might be better than treating them with antibiotics.That’s because bacteriophages only attack one specific type of bacteria, unlike antibiotics which are…

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Researchers fear deadly new pig virus could spread to humans

“The pathogen shows similarities to the deadly viruses responsible for Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome) which together have claimed more than 1,000 lives” writes Press Association for telegraph.co.uk. Professor Linda Saif, who took part in the US study at Ohio State University, said: “We’re very concerned about emerging coronaviruses and worry about the harm they can do to animals and their potential to jump to humans.”.  Source: telegraph.co.uk Share This:

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Trilobites: New York Mice Are Crawling With Dangerous Bacteria and Viruses

“His lab has also studied rats on the New York City subway system and found many of the same infectious bacteria” writes Karen Weintraub for nytimes.com. Lipkin said he presumes that they are carriers of the bacteria but are not affected by them.Lipkin said it was not clear whether the mice were getting the antibiotic-resistant bacteria from people — say, by eating food contaminated with the feces of someone taking antibiotics — or whether the bacteria developed resistance after mice ate discarded antibiotics. Source: nytimes.com Share This:

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NYC mice carry life-threatening bacteria, study finds

“In an interesting footnote, the study said mice from Chelsea were heavier than mice from other parts of the city and found to carry more viruses” reports nypost.com. A genetic analysis of their droppings revealed that the mice carry several gastrointestinal bacteria including: C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella and Salmonella, a leading cause of bacterial food poisoning.A second study also looked at all the viruses found in mice droppings.Researchers found 36 viruses, including six new ones, though none is known to infect humans.A new study in New York City found…

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Losses widen at cyber security start-up Darktrace as it embarks on hiring spree

“Darktrace, the British cybersecurity start-up backed by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, has more than doubled losses amid a hiring spree, despite a leap in revenues” writes James Titcomb for telegraph.co.uk. The Cambridge-headquartered company is seen as one of Britain’s most promising technology start-ups, and claims to have pioneered “self-learning” algorithms that mimic the way the human immune system fights viruses to protect corporate computer systems. Source: telegraph.co.uk Share This:

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Doctors find virus in a pond, use it to destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria in man’s heart

“After Yale doctors replaced a major blood vessel in a 76-year-old man’s heart, his chest became infected with bacteria” writes Mark Kaufman for mashable.com. But as the medical community becomes mobilized to fight the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, doctors are becoming increasingly curious about finding phages to kill bacteria.Running out of options, doctors employed this still-experimental treatment, inserting hundreds of thousands of viruses — known to combat this very bacteria — into the man’s chest.The usual solution would be to destroy the harmful bacteria with antibiotics.But the doctors found…

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Scientists warn of mysterious and deadly new epidemic ‘Disease X’…

“Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.”” writes Image Afp for mirror.co.uk. An unknown and deadly new illness dubbed Disease X has been added to the list of potential global epidemics that could potentially kills millions.Yesterday, the WHO warned that the next global flu epidemic could begin “tomorrow” and kill as many as 33 million people in just 200 days. Source: mirror.co.uk Share This:

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