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  • Science Ticker

    This week in Zika: Vaginal vulnerability, disease double trouble and more

    A glut of Zika cases in Puerto Rico suggests that the virus has a preferred victim: women.

    It’s an idea that has come up before, in previous reports from Brazil and El Salvador. But a new analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds some heft to the story. Of nearly 30,000 Zika cases in Puerto Rico from November 2015 to October 2016, 63 percent were female, the...

    11/17/2016 - 12:30 Health, Microbiology
  • Science Ticker

    Antibody protects against Zika virus in tests in mice

    The battle against Zika may have some new firepower. A single dose of a human antibody called ZIKV-117 can protect mice from death after Zika infection — and shield mouse fetuses from the virus’s damaging effects, researchers report November 7 in Nature. 

    In humans, Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to a suite of birth defects including a condition known as...

    11/07/2016 - 15:47 Health
  • News in Brief

    Antibody protects against Zika virus in tests in mice

    The battle against Zika may have some new firepower. A single dose of a human antibody called ZIKV-117 can shield mouse fetuses from the virus’s damaging effects, researchers report online November 7 in Nature.

    In humans, Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to a suite of birth defects including a condition known as microcephaly, which leaves babies with shrunken heads...

    11/07/2016 - 15:47 Health
  • Science Ticker

    Zika virus infects cells that make bone, muscle in lab tests

    Zika virus can infiltrate the cells that give rise to bone, cartilage and muscles in the head, researchers report September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe.

    In utero infection of these cells, called cranial neural crest cells, could improperly mold babies’ facial features, the authors suggest. The findings — so far observed only in cells and minibrains grown in the lab — offer a possible...

    09/29/2016 - 12:00 Health
  • Science Ticker

    Mosquito moms can pass Zika to offspring

    Female mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus can pass the infection to the next generation, lab tests show.

    Among Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, thought to be the main species spreading Zika in the Americas, at least one out of every 290 lab offspring catches the virus from its mother, Texas researchers say August 29 in the Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Infected eggs, which can...

    08/29/2016 - 17:00 Biomedicine, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Zika kills brain cells in adult mice

    Zika may harm grown-up brains.

    The virus, which can cause brain damage in infants infected in the womb, kills stem cells and stunts their numbers in the brains of adult mice, researchers report August 18 in Cell Stem Cell. Though scientists have considered Zika primarily a threat to unborn babies, the new findings suggest that the virus may cause unknown — and potentially long-term —...

    08/18/2016 - 12:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Zika-carrying mosquitoes eluding control efforts in Miami

    Despite intense efforts to kill mosquitoes that carry Zika virus, the number of people infected via mosquito bites in Florida has surged. Ten new cases of locally-acquired Zika have been identified in the state, bringing the total of such infections up to 14.

    Mosquito control measures in Miami “don’t appear to be working as well as we would have hoped,” Tom Frieden, director of the U.S....

    08/01/2016 - 16:49 Health
  • Science Ticker

    Florida mosquitoes likely spreading Zika

    Mosquitoes in Miami now appear to be transmitting Zika virus.

    Four cases of Zika infection in Florida were probably acquired via the bite of local mosquitoes, the state’s health department announced July 29. These are the first cases of local transmission of the virus in the continental United States.

    “Zika is now here,” Tom Frieden, director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

    07/29/2016 - 15:14 Health
  • Science Ticker

    This week in Zika: Revised risk, new mosquito threat, U.S. on the brink

    The whipsaw of recent Zika news — good, then grim, then good again — paints a dizzying picture of the epidemic’s reach, risks and how to fight it.

    On July 25, Colombia announced that the Zika epidemic there was over — good news for a country with nearly 100,000 cases of infection reported so far. But days later, the news was back to being bad: Honduras reported nine new babies born with...

    07/28/2016 - 17:12 Health, Microbiology
  • Science Ticker

    This week in Zika: vaccine progress, infection insights

    In the race to create a Zika vaccine, researchers face a marathon, not a sprint.

    Developing and testing vaccines is a slow and laborious process, sometimes plagued by funding problems. (Case in point: On June 28, political disputes once again derailed vaccine research support when the U.S. Senate blocked a $1.1 billion Zika bill.)

    A vaccine that’s safe and ready for use in humans...

    06/28/2016 - 16:31 Health, Microbiology