Coronavirus

12:50pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Holy Bat Virus! Genome Hints At Origin Of SARS-Like Virus

Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
iStockphoto.com

On the surface, the new coronavirus detected in the Middle East this month looks quite similar to SARS. It apparently causes severe respiratory problems, and can be lethal.

But with viruses, the devil is in their details — the genetic details.

Dutch virologists have just published the whole genome of the new coronavirus — all 30,118 letters of its code. And, the sequence reveals that the mystery virus is most closely related to coronaviruses that infect bats in Southeast Asia.

Read more
Tags: 

1:27pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientists Go Deep On Genes Of SARS-Like Virus

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:51 pm

Cheryl Gleasner, a research technologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, works with a genome sequencing machine designed for disease surveillance. Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, advances in sequencing technologies have greatly speed up the ability to detect and track a new virus.
Ross D. Franklin AP

When an unknown virus emerges, disease detectives turn to gene sequencers — not magnifying glasses — to identify the culprit.

So when a new type of coronavirus killed a man in Saudia Arabia and hospitalized another in the U.K., investigators got cracking.

Read more

3:55pm

Mon September 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

New Virus Related To SARS Detected In The Middle East

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:52 pm

Different types of coronaviruses can cause a simple cold or a deadly respiratory illness, such as SARS.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

A mysterious virus has put a Qatari man in critical condition at a U.K. hospital, the World Health Organization said Sunday.

His illness is due to a new type of coronavirus, the family of viruses that causes common colds and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

Read more

1:33pm

Tue October 4, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Surprise In Your Sewage: Lots Of Exotic Viruses

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:03 am

You think your job is tough? Some scientists examined sewage from Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa in a hunt for unknown viruses.

They found scads. How many? At least 43,381.

To put that number into perspective, consider that up to now scientists have charted only about 3,000 viruses. And among the known viruses found in the sewage samples, only 17 were bugs that cause human disease — things like the common cold virus, diarrhea-causing Norwalk virus and human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

Read more

Pages