The saying goes that we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so while there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, rather than solely focusing on the underlying genetic defect might not help people right now as directly targeting muscle repair. 

Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases characterized by skeletal muscle wasting and weakness. Mutations in certain proteins, most commonly the protein dystrophin, cause muscular dystrophy in humans and also in mice.

When it comes to defense against viruses, the immune system has an arsenal of weapons at its disposal, including killer cells, antibodies and messenger molecules, and when a pathogen attacks the body, the immune system usually activates the appropriate mechanisms. 

Doctors in Australia are reporting 61 percent fewer cases of genital warts among young women since the introduction of the national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program.

The study reviewed more than a million patient encounters between 2000 and 2012 and found a significant year-on-year reduction in the management rate of genital warts in women aged 15-27 years since the vaccination program started. 

The HPV vaccination program was introduced in 2007, and the rate of genital wart presentation fell dramatically from 4.33 per 1,000 encounters pre-program (2002-2006) to 1.67 per 1,000 encounters in the post-program period (2008-2012).

Dengue is a serious illness diminished in importance in much of the developed world. Some efforts evolve around genetic modification while other efforts work on a vaccine.

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line. Credit:NIAID

By Rob Brooks

My social media accounts today are cluttered with stories about “mutating” Ebola viruses. The usually excellent ScienceAlert, for example, rather breathlessly informs us “The Ebola virus is mutating faster in humans than in animal hosts.”

The MERS coronavirus has caused disease outbreaks across the Arabian Peninsula and spread to Europe several times, claiming the lives of several hundred people since its discovery in 2012.

How easily the pathogen spreads from human to human has remained a mystery but recent work shows human transmission is low. Still, a third of infected persons with symptoms die. 

Researchers have developed a potential antibody therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), one of the two most lethal strains of Ebola.

 Sudan ebolavirus
was first identified in 1976 and has caused numerous Ebola outbreaks (most recently in 2012) that have killed more than 400 people in total.  
A different strain, the Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), is now devastating West Africa.

Biofilms are the first line of defense for harmful bacteria and make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult because microorganisms protected in a biofilm have antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment.

Biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 percent of total bacterial infections in humans and are 50 to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than simpler bacterial infections.

 Biofilms often persist in the periphery of an actual wound, beneath an intact, healthy skin layer and the difficulty of their treatment is largely due to the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, being a natural barrier for drug delivery.

In the 14th century, Venice was in many ways still a world power in its own right. The days when it could topple kingdoms using commerce were behind it, but it was still an important trade destination. In that period, trade meant ports and ports meant the Bubonic Plague in 1347.

When it hit, some tried prayer, some tried hunting vampires, but then officials quickly began to utilize what we would now call resilience management: rather than trying to target a poorly understood risk, state authorities focused on managing physical movement, social interactions, and data collection for the city as a system.

Researchers at
the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving researchers the best animal model yet for testing potential treatments. 

They used marmosets after predicting in computer models that the animals could be infected with MERS-CoV based on the binding properties of the virus.