A virus is defined as any of a various number of submicroscopic parasites that can infect any animal, plant or bacteria and often lead to very serious or even deadly diseases. A virus consists of a core of RNA or DNA, generally surrounded by a protein, lipid or glycoprotein coat, or some combination of the three. No virus can replicate without the help of a host cell, and though they can be spread, viruses lack the ability of self-reproduction and are not always considered to be living organisms in the regular sense. Some of the most common or best known viruses include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is the virus that causes AIDS, the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, smallpox, multiple sclerosis, and the human papilloma virus, now believed to be a leading cause of cervical cancer in adult women. The common human cold is also caused by a virus. Since a great deal of mystery still surrounds the origins of most modern viruses, ways to cure these viruses and the diseases they cause are still in the very early stages of development.
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Could Ebola Spread to the United States?
The Ebola virus
June 27th, 2014
An outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now the largest in history, but how likely is it to spread to the United States or other countries around the world?
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Can the Chickenpox Vaccine Cause Shingles Later in Life?
A young girl receives a vaccination.
May 21st, 2014
The painful skin condition shingles is on the rise in the U.S. leading some to wonder whether the use of the chickenpox vaccine is to blame.
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Human Evolution 'Definitely Not' Over, Expert Says
evolution, humans, primates, apes, why, how
May 17th, 2014
Is human evolution over? That’s the question Briana Pobiner, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, asked an audience at the Future is Here festival.
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3D-Print a Brain with Free Government Library
3D printed models, like the one of brain tissue above, can aid surgeons in medical procedures.
June 18th, 2014
A new government website allows people to download, share and edit files for use in 3D-printing.
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70% of Americans Infected with HPV
HPV causes warts and can result in cervical cancer.
May 20th, 2014
More than two-thirds of healthy Americans have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection on some part of their body, a new study suggests.
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New 'Penguin Flu' Found in Antarctica
adelie penguin in antarctica
May 6th, 2014
An unknown strain of bird flu has been evolving in Antarctica for between 49 and 80 years, researchers report. Fortunately, the disease is not very deadly, nor can it take hold in mammals.
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What Happens to Your Body When You Get Ebola?
ebola virus, health
June 18th, 2014
You don’t know it yet, but Ebola virus has started to attack your immune system.
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3rd MERS Virus Infection in US Reported in Illinois Man
A highly magnified picture of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
May 17th, 2014
A blood test on a man in Illinois shows that he was likely infected with the MERS virus in the past, CDC officials said today (May 17).
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Going Viral: When Living Networks Go Awry
Artist's rendition of a network diagram
May 14th, 2014
Networks are everywhere, from our social media circles to the power grid that delivers electricity to the interactions of genes, proteins and other molecules and when to understand how their dysfunction you must understand their functions.
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