How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans

Yellow fever, malaria and Ebola all spilled over from animals to humans at the edges of tropical forests. The new coronavirus is the latest zoonosis.

Maria Anice Mureb Sallum, Professor of Epidemiology, Universidade de São Paulo • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: health climate covid-19 coronavirus ebola pandemic malaria forests disease epidemics wildlife deforestation bats wildlife-trade monkeys mosquitoes yellow-fever zoonoses vectors carrying-capacity

What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them

People have lived with infectious disease throughout the millennia, with culture and biology influencing each other. Archaeologists decode the stories told by bones and what accompanies them.

Michael Westaway, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Archaeology, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland • conversation
June 15, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: infectious-diseases covid-19 coronavirus archaeology pandemic skeletons plague sars-cov-2 outbreak disease pathology 1918-flu-pandemic black-death pathogens disease-spread pathogen skeleton bioarchaeology

Research highlights immune molecule’s complex role in Huntington’s disease

Knocking out the immune cytokine IL-6 exacerbates symptoms in HD model mice, affects neural connection genes.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
June 8, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: neuroscience immunology broad-institute disease research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences picower-institute

What goes into the toilet doesn’t always stay there, and other coronavirus risks in public bathrooms

Public restrooms can be scary when it comes to coronavirus, and they get scarier when you look at how the virus spreads. A doctor explains how to stay safe when you're traveling and really gotta go.

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
June 5, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic disease soap toilets cleanliness gastroenterology bathrooms public-buildings


SMART researchers receive grant to develop rapid tests for Covid-19

Using engineered binder proteins to detect viral proteins or antibodies rather than RNA, new tests may overcome current challenges in testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology • mit
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: health public-health covid-19 pandemic rna disease research proteins school-of-engineering grants singapore-mit-alliance-for-research-and-technology-smart

Making an impact through chemical engineering

Hadley Sikes designs simple-to-use diagnostic devices that could benefit patients around the world.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
May 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: cancer covid-19 profile disease research school-of-engineering faculty chemical-engineering singapore-mit-alliance-for-research-and-technology-smart diagnostics

MIT engineers propose a safer method for sharing ventilators

Suggested design could make it easier to divide air flow for Covid-19 patients in emergencies when no other options are available.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
May 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: medicine covid-19 pandemic disease research mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering harvard-mit-health-sciences-and-technology

HIV genome bends over backwards to help virus take over cells

Differently shaped RNA molecules allow HIV to express different genes from the same RNA sequence.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
May 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: medicine genetics hivaids biology rna disease viruses research computer-science-and-technology algorithms whitehead-institute

Your genes could determine whether the coronavirus puts you in the hospital – and we're starting to unravel which ones matter

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University found that variations in genes that code for parts of the cellular alarm system might play a role in how well people fight off COVID-19.

Reid Thompson, Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University • conversation
May 5, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: genetics covid-19 coronavirus immune-system biology genes t-cells immune-cells disease viruses research-brief white-blood-cells immune cells computational-biology

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