science
What Is Nipah, the Virus Spread by Bats That’s Killing People in India?

A deadly viral disease spread by bats is once again infecting humans, but in this case, it isn’t Ebola. As of 1 June, an outbreak of the Nipah virus has infected at least 18 people and killed 17 in Kerala, India, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. The outbreak, which is the first to hit South India, raises fears of the disease becoming more far-reaching. Read More >>

science
One Study Finds ‘Zombie Deer’ Prion Disease May Not Infect Humans, but Risk Remains

Scientists’ worst fears over a so-called “zombie deer” prion disease currently spreading across the US and Canada are unlikely to come to pass, suggests a long-term study published last week in the Journal of Virology. The fatal ailment, known as chronic wasting disease (CWD) and caused by a mysterious kind of protein called a prion, doesn’t seem capable of crossing the species barrier and spreading to humans—at least according to this experiment. Other research, however, has found otherwise. Read More >>

science
How a Virus Spreads Through an Aeroplane Cabin

Travelling by plane greatly increases our chances of getting sick, or so many of us are wont to believe. To be fair, it’s not uncommon to come down with a nasty illness after we return from a vacation or business trip. But is flying the culprit? The latest research suggests the answer is no—but much of it depends on where we sit. Read More >>

medicine
Thousands of UK Teens Will Help Settle a Vaccine Debate Over Meningitis 

Scientists in the UK are looking to recruit thousands of teens (presumably with attitude) to help them settle a debate over whether vaccines for a certain type of meningitis should be in wider use. Read More >>

science
Scientists Slammed for Synthesising a Smallpox-Like Virus in the Lab

The dreaded smallpox virus was eradicated more than 40 years ago, but the threat of its return still looms. In an effort to develop a safer vaccine substitute, Canadian researchers have resurrected a close relative—the extinct horsepox virus—from scratch. Critics say the exercise was pointless, and because the results were published in an open access journal, they fear the smallpox virus can now be manufactured by virtually anybody—terrorists included. Read More >>

health
Doctors Slam New Recommendation That We Should Stop Antibiotic Treatments Early

Scientists from the UK caused quite a stir this week, when they announced that we don’t necessarily need to complete a full course of antibiotics in order to treat infections properly. It’s a provocative message, but sceptics say their advice is grossly premature—and even reckless. Read More >>

science
Which Creature Is Most Likely to Cause the Next Catastrophic Pandemic?

The vast majority of infectious human diseases come from animals, yet we know surprisingly little about which animals pose the greatest risk. A new study helps resolve this shortcoming, ranking the mammals that are most likely to spread infectious diseases to humans. Read More >>

medicine
This Human-Powered Paper Centrifuge Is Pure Genius

Inspired by an ancient toy, researchers from Stanford University have developed an ingenious hand-spun paper centrifuge. Incredibly, the device costs just 20 cents (17 pence)—and it can be used to detect malaria in blood in just 15 minutes. Read More >>

science
New Research Suggests Zika Can Cross the Placental Barrier

Researchers in Brazil have detected traces of the Zika virus in the amniotic fluid of two foetuses with microcephaly, further bolstering the connection between the two. However, questions still remain. Read More >>