The Rise of a Vaccine Resistant strain of Polio

Globally, we have Polio on the ropes. It's been eradicated in countless countries across the globe. It should only be a matter of time before it goes the way of Smallpox. But there are a few hold-outs, where the virus is stubbornly hanging on. This story is about a virus's last ditch effort to survive. » 11/11/14 5:17pm 11/11/14 5:17pm

How Ebola Can Still Be Very Infectious (Without Being Very Contagious)

We've been hearing a lot about how Ebola is both not very contagious and, at the same time, highly infectious. Could both be true? It turns out, yes. » 10/03/14 4:10pm 10/03/14 4:10pm

Soviet Doctors Cured Infections With Viruses, and Soon Yours Might Too

In the Soviet Union, western antibiotics couldn't make it past the Iron Curtain. So Eastern Bloc doctors figured out how to use viruses to kill infectious bacteria. Now, with antibiotic-resistant bugs vexing doctors, that eerie yet effective method might come our way. In post-antibiotic world, infection cures you! » 6/07/14 4:51pm 6/07/14 4:51pm

Will Smallpox Reemerge in Siberia as Corpses Thaw from Climate Change?

In an article primarily about the potential folly of holding onto stockpiles of smallpox virus for research purposes—a now-eradicated plague that humans no longer have natural immunity to and that would very likely cause a worldwide catastrophe should it escape from the lab—the BBC includes one awesomely horrible… » 2/03/14 4:07pm 2/03/14 4:07pm

Researchers create a ‘trojan-horse’ virus to eliminate cancer in mice

Scientists in the United Kingdom have developed a new therapy in which cancer-killing viruses hide inside the immune system of mice. The researchers successfully demonstrated that macrophages (immunity-endowing white blood cells) can be used to deliver specially designed viruses that can attack tumors directly. And… » 12/24/12 9:29am 12/24/12 9:29am

RNA-based vaccine could wipe out the flu forever

While traditional vaccines can offer annual protection from the latest flu strains, the viruses mutate and evolve so fast that we're right back where we started the following year. That's where a revolutionary new vaccine could change everything. » 11/25/12 2:00pm 11/25/12 2:00pm

Brand new "SARS-like" virus has emerged in the Middle East. Time to…

A second person has been identified as carrying a new respiratory illness similar to the SARS virus that claimed the lives of hundreds of people in 2003. The first patient, in Saudi Arabia, has already died from the recently identified coronavirus. Both of the patients apparently contracted the disease in the Middle… » 9/24/12 1:40pm 9/24/12 1:40pm

Would you pay to be infected with diseases from celebrities? The…

Here's the trailer for Antiviral, which was directed and written by David Cronenberg's son, Brandon. It's apparent that the body horror apple didn't fall far from the tree that screams when you nail a birdhouse to it. Starring Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee from X-Men First Class) and set in the near future, Antiviral » 8/09/12 9:05am 8/09/12 9:05am

10 Ways the Human Microbiome Project Could Change the Future of Science…

When astronomers talk about the number of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, they talk in terms of hundreds of billions. When microbiologists talk about the Human Microbiome — the bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on each of our bodies — they talk in terms of hundreds of trillions. » 6/25/12 10:28am 6/25/12 10:28am

Scientists cure ebola in monkeys — and humans could be next

Monkeys infected with the Ebola virus have been cured by a chemical cocktail administered 24 hours after the initial exposure. The breakthrough could eventually result in a similar human treatment for this disease, which kills up to 90% of those infected. » 6/13/12 4:30pm 6/13/12 4:30pm

Zoonosis: When Cuddling Can Kill

Did you know that H1N1 reached Russia by whale? Or that you can get the flu from a bird and give it to a pig? Find out why viruses tend to jump from animals to us, and why they seem to always pick the cute ones. » 5/28/12 7:00am 5/28/12 7:00am

Could some of humanity's deadliest viruses have come from eating bats?

Bats can scare people — apparently enough to inspire Bruce Wayne to dress up as one to fight crime. And now, researchers are increasingly discovering what might be good reason to fear bats — they could be the source of a dizzying array of lethal viruses. » 4/25/12 4:30pm 4/25/12 4:30pm

Universal vaccine could give us a world without the flu

Because flu viruses mutate so fast, the only way to stop them is to destroy their ability to evolve. That's the key to creating a universal flu vaccine... and now we may have found the secret to creating one, and wiping out the flu. » 2/27/12 3:42pm 2/27/12 3:42pm

Ultra-tiny "nano-ear" can hear bacteria and viruses

The world's smallest ear doesn't belong to any animal. Instead, it's a tiny piece of gold suspended in a laser beam. It can hear sounds a million times fainter than any human ear can, making it a powerful acoustic microscope. » 1/16/12 5:24pm 1/16/12 5:24pm

Breakthrough: A new drug that could cure everything from colds to HIV

Our most powerful antibiotics can kill many different kinds of bacterial infections at once, but we're still searching for a single all-purpose drug that kills viruses. We may have just discovered it. » 12/20/11 11:26am 12/20/11 11:26am

Breakthrough: Gene Therapy Provides Full Protection from HIV…

For hundreds of years, immunization has been one of society's most elegant and dependable methods of disease prevention. Vaccines have been developed for infections ranging from measles to HPV. Many of us get vaccinated to protect ourselves against seasonal illness, or before traveling internationally. Vaccination is… » 12/01/11 8:11am 12/01/11 8:11am

Using viruses to dye your clothes

People who still rely on public laundromats live in terror of bleach. If one person spills their bleach over a counter, or overloads the machine, an entire wardrobe is wiped out. But someday clothing could be entirely bleach-resistant. It won't be dyed with pigments. It will be dyed with viruses. » 10/21/11 4:00pm 10/21/11 4:00pm

10 Words You Might Think Came from Science (But Are Really From Science…

Last week it came to our attention that the phrase "blast off" was coined—not in a purely scientific context, but a science fictional one—by E. E. Smith, an early science fiction author often referred to as "the father of space opera." The term appeared in Smith's 1937 story Galactic Patrol, when one character… » 10/17/11 10:00am 10/17/11 10:00am

The Shark Immunity Factor that Could Save Your Life

Scientists have known for some time that dogfish sharks, like the one pictured up top, naturally produce a broad-spectrum antibiotic called squalamine in their livers. Now, new research into the cellular function of squalamine reveals how it also confers a broad-spectrum antiviral benefit for the shark — one we humans… » 9/20/11 12:58pm 9/20/11 12:58pm

10 Crazy Things Viruses Do In Movies And Television

Viruses never act realistic on television or in the movies — usually, they just kill their hosts way too quickly, probably with a brief fever and some well-spritzed movie sweats. But sometimes, fake viruses get way more insane. » 9/08/11 10:00am 9/08/11 10:00am