Viral infection during pregnancy may be linked to autism-like behaviors in babies

A study published in the journal Science found that activation in pregnant mice of a particular immune response, similar to what may occur with certain viral infections during pregnancy, alters the brain structure of the mouse offspring and causes behavioral changes, reminiscent of those observed in humans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Several past human … Read more

Genetic variations transform mild influenza to a life threatening disease

Genetics of flu susceptibility — Researchers find gene that can transform mild influenza to a life-threatening disease – Genetic variations in human body make it more susceptible to diseases. A genetic finding explains why influenza becomes a life-threating disease to some people while it has only mild effects in others.

High blood pressure from virus cytomegalovirus

Study indicates that a common virus could cause high blood pressure – Cytomegalovirus affects majority of adults worldwide. – A new study suggests for the first time that cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common viral infection affecting between 60 and 99 percent of adults worldwide, is a cause of high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Asthma risk more in children born in autumn

Timing is Everything When it Comes to Childhood Asthma. There is a relationship between childhood asthma with the winter season after birth. – Children who are born four months before the peak of cold and flu season have a greater risk of developing childhood asthma than children born at any other time of year, according to new research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Oestrogen makes male organ resistant to HIV

A new avenue to possibly prevent HIV infection of the penis – topical estrogen to the human penis increased the thickness of the natural keratin layer on the skin, which could prevent HIV from infecting the male. – Topical oestrogen applied to the human penis could stop the spread of HIV, revealed by Australian researchers at the University of Melbourne.

Herpes virus link to complications in pregnancy

Exposure to viral infection – especially viruses of the herpes group – may be associated with pregnancy-induced hypertensive disease (pre-eclampsia) and also with pre-term birth. – Viral infection with high blood pressure during pregnancy may lead to pre-term birth, revealed by researchers at Adelaide’s Women’s & Children’s Hospital and the University of Adelaide.

273 human proteins required for HIV propagation

Using a technique called RNA interference to screen thousands of genes, researchers identified 273 human proteins required for HIV propagation. The vast majority had not been connected to the virus by previous studies. – Current drugs attack HIV itself, leaving patients vulnerable to counterattack by the rapidly mutating virus, which often evolves resistance. But the human proteins exploited by HIV represent potential therapeutic targets that could avoid this problem. The challenge will be to develop drugs that inhibit HIV by interacting with these human proteins without hurting our cells.

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