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.
Read More
Liberia Suffers New Ebola Death, Despite Being 'Ebola-Free'
Health care workers put on protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak..
November 25th, 2015
The death of a Liberian teen from Ebola raises a lot of questions.
Read More »
HIV-Related Virus Has Existed in Primates for Millions of Years
African Monkey - Baby Kipunji
August 27th, 2015
Viruses related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have infected Old World monkeys as far back as 16 million years ago, according to a new study.
Read More »
New Squirrel Virus Strain Suspected in Deaths of 3 in Germany
A variegated squirrel climbs in a tree
July 8th, 2015
Three people in Germany who worked as squirrel breeders and who all died from brain inflammation may have contracted a new strain of virus from their squirrels, according to a new report of the cases.
Read More »
The Science of Vitamin C: Can Taking It Prevent a Cold?
sneeze, sick, cold, allergies
November 6th, 2015
Vitamin C may have a modest effect on how long colds last, but it's unlikely to ward off the wintertime sniffles completely, evidence suggests.
Read More »
As Social Ties Collapse, the Anti-Vaccine Movement Grows
Boy getting vaccinated
July 30th, 2015
Vaccines have been used safely and effectively for decades. So why is the American public – or at least a significant segment of it – now increasingly skeptical of mandatory school vaccinations?
Read More »
Viruses Could Help Fight Deadly Superbugs
An artist's depiction of a phage injecting its genetic material into a bacterium.
May 18th, 2015
Viruses could be used in the fight against the deadly scourge of bacteria that can't be treated with antibiotics, researchers say.
Read More »
Virus-Crafted Metal Nano-Sponges Boost Boiling
Drexel University lab's virus-templated nickel nanostructures
March 26th, 2015
A watched pot may never boil, but a watched pot coated in these super-sponge nanostructures might.
Read More »
Ebola May Stay in Survivors' Semen for Many Months
This Ebola virus, as seen through a transmission electron microscope.
October 14th, 2015
It's possible that people could spread Ebola many months after they have recovered from the deadly viral disease, a new study suggests.
Read More »
'Leaky' Vaccines May Fuel Evolution of Deadlier Viruses
July 29th, 2015
Certain types of vaccines, that allow vaccinated individuals to spread disease, could lead to deadlier viruses, new evidence in chickens shows.
Read More »