The National Institutes of Health has lifted a ban on “gain-of-function” research on Tuesday—the kind of research that requires genetically modifying viruses to make them more deadly or more contagious.
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.
There’s no limit to viral ruthlessness. These lifeless packets of genetic code cause countless ails, often without a known cure. One such monster spends most of its time as a seemingly benign strand of DNA that could sit latent for years before striking, causing cells to turn into a rare but aggressive form of skin…
Millions of years ago, our ancestors’ bodies may have waged an epic battle against a virus. Through a sneaky DNA swap, the hosts would have gotten the upper hand, and turned the virus’ defenses against themselves. Researchers think they’ve unearthed the whole ordeal, left like a Dead Sea scroll in our genes.
The US Centers for Disease Control has released a report in which it identifies over a dozen cases of a deadly, antibiotic-resistant fungus called Candida auris. It’s the first time this super-strain has been found in the US, and disturbingly, four of the first seven patients infected with it have died.
Mosquitoes love to breed inside discarded car tires. So why not use this against them? Such is the thinking of Canadian researchers who have developed a DIY mosquito trap that’s already proving its worth in field tests.
A devastating fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America has now reached Washington State, prompting serious concern among wildlife officials.
Here it is, folks—our first glimpse of that abominable virus that’s been wreaking havoc in parts of South America and the Caribbean. This near-atomic scale view of Zika’s external structure could guide scientists as they work to develop effective antiviral treatments and vaccines.
Scientists strongly suspect a link between Zika and microcephaly, a disorder that causes abnormally small heads in newborns, but they’re not entirely sure. Now, a team of researchers may have figured out how this mosquito-borne virus attacks the developing brains of fetuses—and wow, is it nasty.
A third of the world’s population is at risk of contracting Dengue Fever, a miserable virus that’s a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics. Now, for the first time ever, three countries have approved a promising new vaccine.
The West African Ebola outbreak is finally starting to approach manageable levels, after nearly 18 excruciating months and over 11,000 lost lives. Here’s what the current situation on the ground looks like and how the battle against Ebola finally might be won.
The Black Death wiped out nearly half the population of Europe during the 14th Century, a blight that swept through the continent in the gut of fleas. But a new analysis of ancient human DNA shows that the dreaded bacteria emerged at least 3,000 years before the first plague pandemic—a time before it mutated into its…
Around 60% of all human diseases and some 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they spread from species to species. This remarkable visualization shows how these problematic pathogens proliferate among the animals.
Having stamped out a number of tropical diseases—including malaria—decades ago, is the United States today complacent about a rising wave of infectious disease?
To fans of Game of Thrones, Greyscale and its disruptive terror might be a reminder of the Black Death or those mysterious poxes and fluxes that chroniclers wrote about in the era before modern medicine. But Greyscale’s allure for contemporary audiences can actually be traced back to a biblical mistranslation of…
Last October, Dr. Ian Crozier was released from Emory University Hospital after nearly losing his life to Ebola. Months later, he began to experience pain and fading vision in his left eye. Within a few days, his iris, which is normally blue, had turned green.
On April 17, California health officials declared the large measles outbreak that began last December at Disneyland over. But the outbreak remains active in Canada, where its persistence highlights the looming risk of measles’ return in the United States.
Colonel Dan Wattendorf is a program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office. His goal: To dramatically suppress Ebola, and infectious diseases like it, with a new, unconventional vaccine. And according to Wattendorf, the biggest hurdles he faces in accomplishing this mission "aren't scientific, but institutional."
A new research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics is the first to positively link low vaccination rates to the Disneyland measles outbreak that emerged in California late last year. The new research also shows how frighteningly fast measles can spread in a population that's insufficiently immunized against the highly…
West Africa's Ebola outbreak could be stanched by mid-year – but in the epidemic's wake, another public health crisis looms. Disruption of the region's already feeble health care systems has derailed health campaigns targeting childhood diseases, leaving the door wide open for measles and other preventable…