September 25, 2012 |
Good news, pimple poppers: The solution to your acne problem may already be all over your face. A new study has found that a specific group of benign viruses that live alongside zit-causing bacteria have the power to stop acne before it starts. The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes generally causes acne, which lives inside skin pores. When people hit puberty, an increase in hormones leads to a drastic increase in P. acnes , which in turn causes an inflammatory response on the skin.
September 20, 2011 |
An extract from sharks seems to fight a broad array of viruses, according to a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The chemical, called squalamine, was discovered in 1993 by Dr. Michael Zasloff, now at Georgetown University Medical Center and the lead investigator of the paper. He's been studying it ever since, mostly for its immune properties. Working with a variety of scientists at Georgetown, UCLA and elsewhere, Zasloff and his colleagues tested the ability of squalamine to fight off infections by a variety of viruses including dengue virus, yellow fever and hepatitis A, B and D. Some of the experiments were done in tissue culture cells of various types: human liver cells for the hepatitis viruses, for example, and human blood vessel cells for the dengue virus. In other cases, such as yellow fever and cytomegalovirus, the tests were done in hamsters and mice.
November 18, 1996 |
After last week's column mentioned IBM's new anti-virus Web site, two Pasadena-based virus researchers wrote to point out that they too have a Web site devoted to debunking myths about computer viruses. The site is the creation of George Smith, editor of the anti-virus Crypt Newsletter, and Bob Rosenberger, a virus myths researcher. In addition to providing information about virus hoaxes, the site is in the midst of soliciting votes for the "1996 John McAfee Awards for Computer Virus Hysteria."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2000
Re "Fast-Moving Virus Hits Computers Worldwide," May 5: What a shame! I wish I had a thimbleful of the talent those individuals who write viruses have. I could do so much more with my life, using it to better things instead of damaging things. They are the graffiti vandals of the Internet industry, causing so much frustration. RORY O'BRIEN Manhattan Beach For all the media attention given to the latest virus, it's amazing how little is said about this fundamental fact: that computer viruses are carefully conceived and written by a human being with the specific intent to cause damage.
October 6, 2011 |
Here's a posting from the "ick" files. Scientsts are now delving into an uncharted environment to study human and other viruses: raw sewage. In a study published Tuesday in the online journal mBio, researchers from the U.S. and Spainfound that untreated human wastewater -- "the effluence of society," they wrote -- contains an incredible diversity of viruses ... and that the vast majority are viruses we hadn't known of before. Click for the abstract . At this point, biologists know of about 3,000 different viruses, representing 84 different viral families -- but they suspect that those known bugs are just the tip of the iceberg.
September 9, 2011 |
A new villain has taken over movies, but this one doesn't have razor-sharp fangs and didn't arrive in a spaceship. It can, however, reproduce at astronomical rates and loves to mutate. Viruses are the hottest bad guys on the big and small screens, multiplying with abandon in films such as "Contagion" (opening Friday), this summer's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and any recent zombie-centric movie or TV show like AMC's "The Walking Dead. " They're an excellent cinematic expression of evil--invisible to the naked eye, they kill scores with no remorse.