Tag: virus

  • HIV 2022 – The Battle Continues

    In 1982, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) coined the term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to describe a new disease that had appeared in the United States. Initially mysterious in its cause, AIDS was quickly shown to result from infection with a newly discovered virus (a discovery that eventually earned Dr. Luc Montagnier the 2008 […]

  • Eliminating Cervical Cancer

    In 1976, Harald zur Hausen, a German physician and researcher, first proposed that human papillomaviruses (HPVs) were the cause of cervical cancer. This hypothesis was controversial as the few known HPVs all caused benign skin warts. Additionally, many scientists believed that herpesviruses were implicated in cervical cancer and that the poorly studied HPVs were unlikely […]

  • Viruses and Brain Disease

    Humans may produce upwards of 100,000 proteins. Each different type of protein normally folds into a unique shape (its tertiary structure) that is essential to its function. Proteins can misfold due to mutations that change the amino acid sequence of the protein leading to a defective protein. Alternatively, sometimes a wild-type protein (the normal protein) […]

  • Move Over COVID, Influenza Is Coming to Town

    Seasonal influenza sweeps around the world year after year infecting millions of people across the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In a typical year, influenza causes 30-40 million cases in the United States with an average of 37,000 deaths per year from 2010-2019. However, because of the COVID-19 precautions (masks, social distancing, lockdowns, and cancellation of […]

  • Our Viral World

    If the COVID-19 epidemic has taught us anything, it’s that for all our scientific and medical advances, the human race is still very vulnerable to novel viruses. These novel viruses lurk in wild animal populations and can spread to people who come in contact with infected animals. Alternatively, wild animal viruses can infect domestic animals […]

  • Coming Soon

  • COVID

    Here is an outstanding YouTube video on COVID science and vaccination created by one of my Texas A&M colleagues, Dr. Andrew Dessler. He developed it to show to his new students in his fall classes, but everyone should check it out.

  • Polio – The End of an Era?

    What do polio and smallpox have in common? These are both dreaded viral diseases that science has (smallpox) or soon will (polio) completely eliminate from the planet through vaccination. Unlike many viruses that lurk in animal reservoirs, only humans are the natural hosts for both of these viruses. Smallpox virus and poliovirus persist by spreading […]

  • Rubella Has a Family at Last

    Some viruses, such as the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), have co-evolved with mankind throughout evolutionary history. These ancient human viruses often cause silent infections and may establish persistent infections that last for years to decades. Other viruses, often ones associated with common human acute diseases, entered the human population only within the last few millennia. Typically, […]

  • COVID-19 Update – Variations on a Theme

    The news is filled with alarming stories about new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that were isolated in recent weeks. These variants are versions of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that have acquired mutations. Mutations are a natural and regular occurrence that happens when the parental viral genome replicates during the process of making progeny viruses. In an […]