The Planet of the Apes prequels did much to explain how humans lost their status as the dominant species on the planet—a cataclysmic set of events fueled by a global pandemic known as the “Simian Flu.” This virus, the product of a medical experiment gone horribly wrong, wiped out the vast majority of humans, but it…
Modest reductions in measles vaccination rates among US children are poised to produce an inordinate number of new cases of the disease, while increasing annual public health expenditures by at least $2.1 million, according to new research.
The vast majority of infectious human diseases come from animals, yet we know surprisingly little about which animals pose the greatest risk. A new study helps resolve this shortcoming, ranking the mammals that are most likely to spread infectious diseases to humans.
An old enemy—yellow fever—is rearing its ugly head in parts of Brazil, prompting concerns that the mosquito-borne virus could spread across the Americas and into the United States. It’s a headache in the making given the severity of the disease—and the fact that vaccines are in short supply.
Scientists have learned that upwards of 25 percent of all people who become infected with Ebola show none of the typical symptoms. The finding suggests the recent West African Ebola Epidemic was more widespread than previously thought, and that new methods need to be developed to diagnose and contain the dreaded virus…
British red squirrels are being afflicted by a medieval strain of leprosy that was thought to have disappeared from Europe over 700 years ago, according to a new DNA analysis. Researchers say the chances of the dreaded disease spreading to humans is low, but the discovery suggests this strain of leprosy has been…
A new analysis of the Ebola genome shows the dreaded virus acquired several new mutations during the course of the 2013-2016 West African Epidemic, making it even better at infecting human cells.
The origin of the AIDS pandemic has been reconstructed in unprecedented detail, showing the disease jumped from the Caribbean to New York City around 1970. The new study subsequently clears the name of Gaétan Dugas, a French-Canadian flight attendant long-thought to be “Patient Zero.”
Endemic measles has officially been wiped out in the Americas. That means the only outbreaks that happen are those imported from abroad. It’s the first region in the world to achieve this certification, but the battle against measles is far from over. We’re looking at you, anti-vaxxers.
The US Centers for Disease Control has confirmed that a South Carolina swimmer has been infected with Naegleria fowleri, a warm-water dwelling amoeba that can cause a life-threatening brain infection.
To prevent an illness from spreading around the workplace, some employers will send their sick staff members home and replace them with healthy versions. New research suggests this practice does the opposite of what’s intended, causing the disease to spread even more rapidly.
The ability to control fire brought our ancestors countless benefits, but as a new study by Australian researchers suggests, it may have also triggered the spread of one of the worst blights to afflict our species: tuberculosis.
Models produced by researchers at Imperial College London indicate that the ongoing Zika epidemic in parts of Latin American will likely burn itself out within three years. Finally, we have some good news to share about this dreadful disease.
In preparation for the upcoming Olympics in Brazil, a British long jump champion is planning to freeze his sperm just in case he contracts Zika. It’s meant as a precaution to prevent any future children from developing birth defects, but in reality it’s a complete overreaction based on unfounded fears.
Up until a few months ago, we knew virtually nothing about the Zika virus—or what it even looked like. But a beautiful new illustration by David S. Goodsell reveals its hidden details, while also showing how the dreaded virus goes to work.
Researchers have demonstrated a paper-based device that can detect the Zika virus within two to three hours. It’s affordable, effective, and practical for widespread use—particularly in countries with underdeveloped healthcare infrastructures.
An intrepid team of postdocs at the Santa Fe Institute pulled off a hell of a feat last week. They gleaned some useful insights into how fads, technology, and new words spread rapidly throughout the population—even faster than a deadly virus. And they did it all in just 72 hours.