Smallpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the variola virus, a member of the Orthopox virus family. It is one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity, with a mortality rate as high as 30%. In 1967, the World Health Organization embarked upon an intensified vaccination campaign to eliminate smallpox, which culminated in the successful eradication of the disease globally by 1980.
By the mid-1980s, there were only two known repositories of variola virus: the Institute of Virus Preparations in Russia, and the US CDC. The events in the US in September and October 2001 highlighted the risk that the variola virus might be used as an agent of bioterrorism. Governments around the world are taking precautionary measures to be ready to deal with a potential smallpox outbreak.
Pox viruses get a head start on infecting a host by delivering a package of proteins that interferes directly with the innate immune system of the host.
An international group led by McMaster University researchers, in partnership with the University of Paris Cité, has recognized and reconfigured the first ancient genome of E. coli using fragments derived from a 16th-century mummy’s gallstone.
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have revealed how poxviruses build their scaffold - a temporary protein coat that forms and disappears as the virus matures.
Poxviruses have found a unique way of translating their genes into proteins in the infected organism. A team of researchers from Würzburg shows for the first time how the molecular machinery involved works at an atomic level.
As early as the Neolithic period (circa 3900 BC), the domestication of animals likely led to the development of diseases including measles and smallpox. Since then, zoonotic disease has led to other major transnational outbreaks including HIV, Ebola, SARS, MERS, and H1N1 swine flu, among others.
In celebration of National DNA Day, AZoLifeSciences interviews renowned DNA expert Professor George Church about his life-long career in DNA research.
According to a new study, the removal of a single gene makes poxviruses—a lethal family of viral infections that spread from animals to humans—harmless.