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A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

05/20/2012
It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as ...

So how does Respiratory Syncytial Virus infect your lungs?

04/20/2012
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is an extremely common infection in humans. Generally in healthy adults there is little or no disease but in infants or the elderly this lung infection can often be fatal and we do not yet have a vaccine. Over at Rule of 6ix, I ask a couple ...

Single mumps vaccine making a comeback to the UK - but is it better or worse than what we have?

04/12/2012
Due to low uptake of the MMR vaccine across the world, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of cases of measles and mumps. These have gone against efforts to eradicate these diseases. Perceived safety concerns have led to the rise in uptake of single vaccines and thus ...

Ever wondered what your spleen is for?

03/20/2012
What's that big brown bag - packed full of red blood cells - for in the upper left of your chest? Sure you can live without it but why's it there in the first place and what's it doing for you? You wouldn't just be carrying round that extra 175g ...

For US$16,818.50 would you want a synthetic human virus?

03/12/2012
In the media aftermath of the H5N1 transmission debate we've been hearing an awful lot about the possibilities of bringing synthetic biology to the field of virology. In fact, one of the best analyses of this situation is Carl Zimmer's piece in the New York Times. In it, Carl explores ...

Exploitive prions versus your innocent immune system

02/24/2012
Prions are infectious prions which are responsible for often fatal neurological diseases in mammals but just how do they do this? What allows them to enter your body? How does it initially replicate itself? And how does it get into your brain? Research out last week in PLoS Pathogens shows ...

Can we visualise viral infection in real-time?

02/17/2011
A recent study published in PLoS ONE demonstrates the ability to track the distribution of 'dyed' viral particles in vivo, in real-time through combining a mouse model with a labeled adenovirus vector - emitting light in the near-infrared range. They analyse the location of virions following systemic injection and assay ...

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