Samples from the recently confirmed case of Ebola in Sierra Leone have been analysed at a new infectious diseases laboratory in the country, set up in partnership with the University of Cambridge in the wake of the epidemic.
Archaeological evidence shows that intestinal parasites such as whipworm became increasingly common across Europe during the Roman Period, despite the apparent improvements the empire brought in sanitation technologies.
Piers Mitchell (Department of Biological Anthroplogy) discusses what Roman toilets did for the health of the population.
New research dates plague back to the early Bronze Age, showing it had been endemic in humans across Eurasia for millennia prior to first recorded global outbreak, and that ancestral plague mutated into its bubonic, flea-borne form between the 2nd and 1st millennium BC.
An international consortium of laboratories worldwide that are studying the differences among dengue viruses has shown that while the long-held view that there are four genetically-distinct types of the virus holds, far more important are the differences in their antigenic properties – the ‘coats’ that the viruses wear that help our immune systems identify them.
A survey carried out earlier this year has found the first evidence of the ‘superbug’ bacteria Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in sausages and minced pork obtained from supermarkets in the UK. However, researchers stress that this does not pose a significant immediate risk to the public.
The global movement patterns of all four seasonal influenza viruses are illustrated in research published today in the journal Nature, providing a detailed account of country-to-country virus spread over the last decade and revealing unexpected differences in circulation patterns between viruses.
A team of scientists, part of the international effort to curb further spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, has released its first dataset of the virus’ genetic structure online. The dataset will allow the global scientific community to monitor the pathogen’s evolution in real-time and conduct research that can lead to more effective strategies against further outbreaks.