"Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions—such as vaccines—may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking." Two papers
demonstrate empirical evidence for related models predicting the origin of virulence: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 21, 2012 -
A new malaria vaccine has been shown effective in large-scale field trials. After decades of disappointment, researchers think they're finally on track to unleash the first practical vaccine against malaria, one of mankind's ancient scourges.
In the world's first large field trial of an experimental malaria vaccine, several thousand young children who got three doses had about 55 percent less risk of getting the disease over a year than those who got a control vaccine against rabies or meningitis. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan
on Oct 18, 2011 -
There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Nov 12, 2010 -
A new HIV vaccine
is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX
and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus.
The study itself faced criticism
from the outset.
posted by borkencode
on Sep 24, 2009 -
A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus
. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine
, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist
at a former Soviet biological weapons lab.
posted by permafrost
on Mar 29, 2009 -
1.7 million deaths in the U.S. and 180-360 million dead globally.
That's the estimate of the impact of the next influenza pandemic
from Michael Osterholm, published
in today's New England Journal of Medicine
. He warns that almost every public health response to the inevitable emergence of pandemic influenza A strain is unplanned or inadequate: A vaccine would take minimum six months (and millions of fertilized chicken eggs); there are no plans to setup and staff the temporary isolation wards or replace dead health-care workers; nor are there detailed plans for handling the number of dead bodies. Given the deeply interconnected nature of the global economy a pandemic would be impossible to stop and wreak havoc in every nation. "Frankly the crisis could for all we know have started last night in some village in Southeast Asia," said
Dr. Paul Gully, Canada's deputy chief public health officer. "We don't have any time to waste and even if we did have some time, the kinds of things we need to do will take years. Right now, the best we can do is try to survive it. We need a Manhattan Project yesterday."
posted by docgonzo
on May 5, 2005 -
First Documented Case
of HIV hybridization in a human being was presented at the International AIDS Society conference in Paris. In this case, genetic tests on a superinfected woman showed that the two strains she was infected with swapped genetic material, creating a new hybrid strain of HIV. The actual effects are not yet clear, but this could pose a serious problem for researchers trying to create a vaccine.
posted by Irontom
on Jul 16, 2003 -
The New England Journal of Medicine made available today an early release of articles from their planned January 30, 2003 issue, designed "to help inform the current national debate about smallpox vaccination" [more inside....articles unfortunately available only in PDF....]
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Dec 20, 2002 -
But what about the kitties? Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
. FIV has been recognized as a syndrome since 1986, and as with AIDS, has been found in stored blood samples dating back to the 60s. Unlike HIV, however, for FIV there's a vaccine
. Not that everyone
is excited about it.
Originally, this was to be a post intended to provide something lighter until this
appeared: In addition, over 25 large cat species including, cheetahs, lions, and panthers have their own strain of the virus. Despite similarity among these viruses, transmission among species has never been documented. Scientists think that FIV is an old virus and may be the grandfather of all immunodeficiency viruses. Comparison of its' genetic code point to a virus that is millions of years old.
Googling led to several topics.
posted by y2karl
on Dec 1, 2002 -
, a singer-songwriter, writes about living with AIDS in his online journal. Students at Marshall High School put themselves in the shoes of an HIV-positive girl, in the project My name is Kerry and I have AIDS (Now I'm dead!)
. Journalist Eric Foss keeps a diary about his visits to AIDS victims in Zambia
, with pictures, video and interview transcripts. Adam Solomon writes at length about training for and participating in several AIDS rides
for vaccine and cure charities. Five years old, but still affecting, there's AIDS worker Paul Gallotta's AIDS diary
. Supporting group efforts of AIDS victims and other interested parties is the journal Being Alive
. There's a vast catalog of compelling first-person perspective at HIV/AIDS Positive Stories
, at Avert.org
, and at Breaking the Silence... Rompiendo El Silencio
from the AIDS Project Los Angeles.
posted by Mo Nickels
on Dec 1, 2002 -
phase III trials of a possible hiv vaccine due to "technical reasons" the trial will continue in thailand. On a happier note there are currently more than 90 other hiv vaccines in other stages of trials. What do people think are the chances the pharmaceuticals will decide chronic disease management is more profitable, and actually do something to make this a more likely outcome?
posted by rhyax
on Feb 25, 2002 -
We can all breathe a little easier now,
but it comes at a hefty price - $428 million. That's a boatload of money for a security blanket we may not even need. It's times like this, though, that make me happy (not necessarily proud) to be an American. What do you think?
posted by catatonic
on Nov 28, 2001 -
Malaria is one of the planet's deadliest diseases and one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization there are 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria each year resulting in 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths.
Malaria is a public health problem today in more than 90 countries, inhabited by a total of some 2 400 million people -- 40% of the world's population. It is also notoriously difficult to combat because of the parasite's ability to easily evade the body's immune system. Nature Update has an article
on the possibilities of designing a malarial vaccine which stimulates the immune response and has the potential of protecting people from all strains of the disease.
posted by lagado
on Nov 2, 2000 -
Immortality Protein May Offer Cancer Vaccine.
You know, I'm glad they're making progress, but once the 'cure' is found, I can't daydream about being this smart, intelligent doctor, (something right out of a soap), that creates the cure for cancer, and woos all the la-a-dies... then again there is always being that evil-twin and start cloning, with that, you won't need to wooo anyone, they're your toys! mwahahaha!
posted by tiaka
on Aug 30, 2000 -