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Modified viruses prevent death from infectious disease

Many species of life-threatening bacteria are immune to antibiotics, and because of this, about 700,000 people die each year. Of course, researchers from all over the world are trying to develop new drugs, but the process has been going on for quite a while, while they have another, less proven method of treating infections – the use of viruses that eat bacteria. Recently, an experimental and extremely risky method helped save the life of a girl, whose probability of survival was less than one percent. How was the treatment? The girl who escaped imminent death was seventeen Isabelle Carnell Holdey. Even as a child, she suffered from chronic infection with Mycobacterium abscessus and from cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease accompanied by damage to the endocrine glands and dysfunction of respiration. She underwent a lung transplantation, after which her condition worsened greatly: the infection was activated with double force, the liver Continue Reading

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Created technology for the complete destruction of viruses in donor organs

Today, thousands of people need donor organs, but not all receive them. Perhaps a new virus removal technique will solve this problem, since many of the donated organs do not reach the recipients due to infections that make them unsuitable for transplantation. The technology involves washing their cavities and vessels with a non-toxic liquid preservative and destroying bacteria using two types of light. The method was coined by Prof. Marcelo Sipel from the University of Toronto. Previously, physicians had already decontaminated organs by replacing blood with a liquid to kill viruses, but this technology was not as effective as we would like. Ultraviolet light was used for blood disinfection – why not combine these technologies together to get the best result? To translate his ideas into reality, Marcelo Sipel teamed up with Wanderleigh Bagnato of the University of São Paulo, Brazil. They created an apparatus that, as part of a Continue Reading

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A small device can weaken the immunity of viruses to antibiotics

Antibiotics are considered one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century, but their effectiveness is constantly decreasing. The abuse has led to the fact that bacteria quickly develop immunity, and very soon there may come a time when even simple infections will become dangerous for people. To avoid this, scientists are trying to develop new antibiotics and are looking for ways to weaken the protection of viral bacteria. Researchers at Purdue University, for example, have created a device to weaken the immunity of viruses using blue radiation. To prove the effectiveness of their device, researchers used it against Staphylococcus aureus. It is especially dangerous for people with weakened immunity, so hospital patients and nursing home residents are constantly at risk of becoming infected. With all this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fight the bacteria every year – it has already developed protection against methicillin, and the Continue Reading

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Sleeping viruses awaken during space travel

The herpes virus was activated again in more than half of the crew aboard the space shuttles and the International Space Station, according to a NASA study published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small part of the symptoms appear, the virus’s reactivation rate increases with the duration of the space flight and can pose a significant health risk when traveling to Mars and beyond. NASA's rapid detection systems and research are beginning to protect astronauts — and immunocompromised patients on Earth. Herpes virus is reactivated by astronauts with a weakened immune system. "NASA astronauts are experiencing weeks or even months remaining susceptible to microgravity and cosmic radiation – not to mention extreme overloads during takeoff and return to the atmosphere," says senior study author Dr. Satish Mehta from KBR Wyle at the Hobby Space Center. Johnson "This physical problem is exacerbated by already familiar stress factors, such as Continue Reading