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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Vaccines Do Not Increase Risk of Multiple Sclerosis
A woman receives a vaccinations
October 20th, 2014
Getting a vaccination does not increase people's risk of developing multiple sclerosis, as some anti-vaccination groups have suggested, a new study finds.
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Office Germs: Viruses Spread Everywhere in Just Hours, Study Shows
illness, sick, health
September 8th, 2014
Keeping your distance from sick co-workers may not be enough to avoid contact with their germs: A new study shows that viruses quickly spread through offices and other buildings.
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Ebola Bomb: Possible, But Not So Easy to Make
August 8th, 2014
Some sources have suggested that Ebola could be used in a terrorist attack, but bioterrorism experts say that weaponization of the deadly virus is unlikely.
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Ebola Mortality: Would Outbreaks Be As Deadly in US As in Africa?
Microscopic view of Ebola virus
October 13th, 2014
Ebola mortality rates would be lower if an outbreak occurred in the U.S., experts say.
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Viruses Deflate Huge Algal Blooms at Sea
August 21st, 2014
Gobs of microscopic organisms called algae may have met their match in viruses that can invade their cells, ultimately leading to death, new research suggests.
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Newly Discovered Virus Lives in Half the World's Population
July 24th, 2014
A new virus that lives in the gut has just been discovered, and to the surprise of scientists, can be found in about half the world's population, according to a new study.
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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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Ebola vs. Hemorrhagic Fever: What's the Difference?
The Ebola virus
October 9th, 2014
Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever. But not all hemorrhagic fevers are Ebola.
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5 Viruses That Are Scarier Than Ebola
Microscopic view of Ebola virus
August 14th, 2014
Ebola is just one of many viral diseases that shows its victims little mercy.
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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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