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Switching off an HIV infection with SAMHD1

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

We at the CVR were recently visited by retrovirologist Dr Kate Bishop (not that one) from the Francis Crick Institute in the centre of London. Like our own Dr Sam Wilson (not that one), Kate works on restriction factors and retroviruses. After our customary podcast was eaten by some terrifying space monkeys, we’ve instead discussed… Continue reading

Our gut microbes and parasites are protecting us against viral lung infections

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

Before we reach our third birthday, nearly everybody in the world will have been infected by a virus called respiratory syncytial virus or RSV but most people haven’t even heard of it. While usually symptomless, a minority (2%) of cases in infants  and newborn babies are associated with severe disease. One paper recently even tried… Continue reading

Freezing flu filaments

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

As the Northern hemisphere approaches winter and the vaccines are in the process of being given before the annual flu season begins in earnest, the country starts to focus on these mysterious viruses that continue to infect us year on year. But if you look closely at influenza viruses, you’ll realise that there’s an awful lot we… Continue reading

What do you mean by ‘infectivity’? A conversation with Richard Hardy

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

  Is the ebolavirus mutating to become more transmissible in humans? Why was Zika virus able to move across the world so rapidly? Why are some viruses able to spread via aerosols floating in the air? While these may all appear to be very distinct questions, there is one major factor that connects them: the concept… Continue reading

The CVR at Glasgow Science Festival 2016: exploring biological structure and innovation through viruses

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

In a world obsessed with the deadly nature of viruses, join us in a celebration of the beauty of their biological structure. Glasgow is a fascinating place to live, with awesome architecture and design emerging from the dramatic Scottish landscape. Although invisibly small, viruses also produce strikingly beautiful structures, constructed from the local materials of… Continue reading

Battling ebolavirus in Sierra Leone

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

Before we had Zika virus on our minds there was Ebola. 2015 saw the most devastating human epidemic of ebolavirus ever recorded.  This outbreak began in December 2013 in the forests of Guinea and spread rapidly into neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, reaching Nigeria, the USA and even Glasgow, Scotland in the UK.… Continue reading

Arbovirus vectors: a view to a kill

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

As the International Meeting on Arboviruses and their Vectors, kicks off today in Glasgow with the Society for General Microbiology (#IMAV15),  we’d like to present to you the fifth and final in a series of posts about arboviruses, their vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. This post, written by Dr Alain Kohl ,CVR Arthropod-borne infections programme leader along with… Continue reading

The yin and yang of being an arbovirus host

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

“While arboviruses do not generally cause recognisable disease in their arthropod vectors they often do in vertebrates, in particular warm-blooded vertebrates like primates like us and livestock. “ As classically defined, arboviruses have both arthropod and non-arthropod hosts. Whilst insects/ticks may have legs, jaws and eyes etc., they are clearly very different to their vertebrate hosts, such as… Continue reading

Viral hepatitis causes 4000 preventable deaths every day

Published on: Author: the CVR science blog editors

  The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that nearly 1.5 million people die each year from viral hepatitis. To give you some context, that’s the entire population of Trinidad and Tobago dying each year, and is equivalent to 4000 deaths each and every day. Many of these infections are preventable but most people do not… Continue reading