Researchers converted a staple human ubiquitin protein into an anti-viral tool. Through subtle tweaks, they created an engineered version of the ubiquitin that binds more tightly and paralyzes a key enzyme in MERS to halt viral replication in cells. Other synthetic forms of ubiquitin can be quickly generated to target a diverse range of pathogens.
Two randomized trials that examined the effects of zinc lozenges for the duration of common cold symptoms found that colds were shortened on average by 4.0 days and by 1.77 days. However, the shortest colds in the placebo groups of both studies lasted for only two days.
Vaccinating pregnant mothers year-round against flu in the resource-challenged region of subtropical Nepal reduced infant flu virus infection rates by an average of 30 percent, increased birth weights by 15 percent and resulted in babies having less influenza, according to a study. An international research team reports expanding year-round flu vaccinations during pregnancy would also benefit children in other tropical and subtropical parts of the world.
There is no vaccine. No medication. And, no quick, reliable test for Zika virus … until now. Babies born with the virus often have lifelong, devastating birth defects. Testing for the virus currently involves trained medical staff drawing and mailing blood samples to a lab, a process that can take up to four weeks. Scientists have now developed a quick, simple test for Zika virus so easy to administer, you don't even need a doctor.
The risk of having a heart attack is 17 times higher in the seven days following a respiratory infection, research has found. The increased risk peaks in the first 7 days and gradually reduces but remains elevated for one month.
According to a meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials, zinc acetate lozenges may increase the rate of recovery from the common cold three fold. On the fifth day, 70 percent of the zinc lozenge patients had recovered compared with 27 percent of the placebo patients.
The threat of a major flu pandemic is a perennial concern. Now scientists have developed a fast and easy-to-use point-of-care diagnostic test that could one day help doctors and hospitals head off the rapid spread of the flu.
An international team has developed a unique computational model to project the spread of the seasonal flu in real time. It uses posts on Twitter in combination with key parameters of each season's epidemic, including the incubation period of the disease, the immunization rate, how many people an individual with the virus can infect, and the viral strains present.
New research provides insights into why infection with Zika virus after birth generally causes only mild symptoms, whereas devastating fetal malformations can develop when infection occurs during pregnancy.
Much is known about flu viruses, but little is understood about how they reproduce inside human host cells, spreading infection. Now, a research team has identified a mechanism by which influenza A, a family of pathogens that includes the most deadly strains of flu worldwide, hijacks cellular machinery to replicate.