All news from Physiology

Zika Control: Cellular Protein Acts As A Target

A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection. The researchers, who published their findings in Emerging Microbes & Infections, tested this hypothesis by infecting human liver, human nerve and monkey kidney cells with Zika virus.

HIV Undetectable = Untransmittable: Clinical Evidence Confirms

Many HIV-positive people are unaware that they are infected with the virus. For example, in 2001 less than 1% of the sexually active urban population in Africa had been tested, and this proportion is even lower in rural populations. Furthermore, in 2001 only 0.5% of pregnant women attending urban health facilities were counselled, tested or receive their test results. Again, this proportion is even lower in rural health facilities. Since donors may therefore be unaware of their infection, donor blood and blood products used in medicine and medical research are routinely screened for HIV.

Dengue spreading to Nepal: A Major Threat In 2019

Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War and is common in more than 110 countries. Each year between 50 and 528 million people are infected and approximately 10,000 to 20,000 die. The earliest descriptions of an outbreak date from 1779. Its viral cause and spread were understood by the early 20th century. Apart from eliminating the mosquitoes, work is ongoing for medication targeted directly at the virus. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.

Drug For Treating Liver Parasites In Vivax Malaria

Vivax malaria is a serious illness with a high fever that, if untreated, can keep people bed-ridden for weeks or even months. But even after successful treatment, it's tricky: although the current, commonly-used drugs successfully treat the blood stage of vivax malaria, they are unable to prevent malaria parasites from invading the liver (liver stage) and causing the disease to recur repeatedly over many years. 

Opioid Addiction: A Public Health Crisis

The misuse of and addiction to opioids is a public health crisis in the United States. Part of solving that crisis, say two Northeastern researchers, is changing how we talk about addiction. Leo Beletsky and Zachary Siegel, are creating "Change the Narrative," a guide for healthcare professionals, journalists, policymakers, and lawyers that will help "nudge them toward more accurate, less stigmatized language," Beletsky said.

Health & Food: Engineered Light Can Improve Them

Intentionally controlled light can help regulate human health and productivity by eliciting various hormonal responses. Tailored LED wavelengths and intensities also can efficiently stimulate plant growth, alter their shapes and increase their nutritional value, opening a new world of scientific and technological possibilities for indoor farming.

People who believe light-emitting diodes, or LEDS, are just an efficient upgrade to the ordinary electric light bulb are stuck in their thinking, suggest Sandia National Laboratories researcher Jeff Tsao and colleagues from other institutions in a Nature "Perspectives" article.

Peripheral Nerve Damage: Gene Therapy Blocks

Scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks axonal degeneration, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions. Nerve axons serve as the wiring of the nervous system, sending electrical signals that control movement and sense of touch. Now, scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks this process, preventing axon destruction, suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions. The study appears in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

New Knowledge On Microbes: Potential Biotech Applications

University of Otago research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications. Researchers are investigating the function of bacteria immune systems and what impact they have on the coevolution of bacteria and viruses was published in a top tier scientific journal, Cell Host and Microbe.