April 15, 2013 |
Circumcision is known to reduce a man's risk of HIV infection by at least half, but scientists don't know why. A new study offers support for the theory that removing the foreskin deprives troublesome bacteria of a place to live, leaving the immune system in much better shape to keep the human immunodeficiency virus at bay. Anyone who has ever lifted a rock and watched as the earth beneath it was quickly vacated by legions of bugs and tiny worms...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2013 |
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a warning Friday about an uptick in complaints about an Internet virus that locks computers and demands payment after falsely alleging the user is guilty of a crime. The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center first issued an alert in August about the virus known as Reveton ransomware virus, a malware program that can engage as soon as a victim clicks on a compromised website. The virus then locks the victim's computer and displays a message claiming that there has been a violation of federal law. The computer often displays a fake message purporting to be from the FBI or Department of Justice, claiming that the user's Internet address has been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal activity.
March 13, 2013 |
They call it "break-bone fever" because of the agonizing muscle and joint pain it causes, while extremely severe cases can trigger internal hemorrhaging. Although the mosquito-borne dengue virus was thought to be fully eradicated in the continental United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday that the tropical disease had indeed returned. In a study published in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases , authors identified Key West, Fla., as ground zero for transmission of dengue in the U.S..
March 3, 2013 |
For the first time, doctors are reporting that a child born with HIV and put on an unusually aggressive treatment regimen has been functionally cured of the infection. Now 2 years old, the Mississippi girl has only trace amounts of HIV in her bloodstream and has been able to keep the virus that causes AIDS in check without the help of medication, doctors said Sunday at a medical conference in Atlanta. If researchers demonstrate that the same treatment can work in other children, it could drastically alter the lives of the estimated 1,000 babies born with HIV every day, most of them in Africa, doctors said.
February 21, 2013 |
U.S. health officials announced plans for scientists to move forward with controversial research on the deadly H5N1 bird flu and said that any discoveries about how the virus might gain the ability to spread easily among humans should be shared with other scientists and the public. The new policy, released Thursday by the National Institutes of Health, requires that studies aimed at making the virus more dangerous would now be subject to a heightened level of review. Effective immediately, researchers will have to explicitly delineate the potential science and health benefits - as well as safety risks - involved in their work before they can get government funding, said Dr. Amy Patterson, NIH associate director for science policy.
February 13, 2013 |
A newly identified virus tied to five deaths worldwide since April appears capable of transmission from one person to another, British health officials said Wednesday. The virus, part of a family called coronaviruses that range from the common cold to SARS, was found in a British resident who was apparently infected by a relative. It can cause fever, coughing and breathing problems. Until now, health officials had little evidence of whether the virus could be transmitted from person to person.
January 23, 2013 |
Bird flu researchers said Wednesday that they would end a self-imposed moratorium on controversial experiments to determine how the deadly H5N1 virus might mutate and gain the ability to spread easily among humans. In a statement published online by the journals Science and Nature, 40 scientists said they were poised to resume their investigations - but only in countries that have established clear rules for conducting the research safely. The U.S., which is the largest funder of influenza research, is not yet among those nations.
January 23, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors said they had foiled an international cyber-crime ring that targeted bank accounts in the U.S. and around the globe. The criminal charges, disclosed Wednesday, highlight the vulnerabilities of online consumer banking, which has become more popular in the digital age. It also comes just months after most every major U.S. bank suffered a relentless round of online attacks by Middle Eastern hackers. In the case unveiled Wednesday, three men - a Russian, a Latvian and a Romanian - allegedly created and spread a virus they called "Gozi" that infected more than 1 million computers around the globe, including at least 40,000 in the United States.
December 17, 2012 |
An eerie new disease is cropping up among raccoons in Northern California and Oregon: brain tumors that may be linked to a previously unidentified virus discovered by a team led by UC Davis veterinarians and researchers. Necropsies conducted since 2010 have found brain tumors in 11 raccoons from Northern California and one from Oregon, the researchers said. All of the animals with tumors also had the virus scientists know as raccoon polyomavirus. "Previous to this, there had been two reports of a raccoon with a brain tumor over the past two decades," Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and principal author of a study on the malady published earlier this month in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, said in an interview.
November 29, 2012 |
Are you willing to take a close look at yourself for science? A really, really close look? A team of scientists in the Bay Area is inviting citizen scientists to join them in a quest to create the largest database of human microbiomes in the world. The human microbiome is the ecosystem of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that live on and in your body. If that makes you feel squeamish, get over it. Your body is an ecosystem, providing a home for trillions of microscopic organisms.