science
Scientists Are Turning Zika Virus Into a Weapon Against Brain Cancer

A devastating viral disease could actually help treat and prevent brain cancer in the future, suggests yet more research, published Tuesday in MBio. Researchers at the University of Texas and elsewhere successfully used a modified version of the Zika virus to selectively kill off certain stem cells that allow brain tumours to stay alive, at least in mice. Read More >>

science
Herpes Viruses Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease in New Brain Research

A fringe theory about the origins of Alzheimer’s disease — that latent viral infections can sometimes trigger its emergence — has gotten perhaps its most significant bit of support yet. A complex new study published Thursday in Neuron has found evidence that certain viruses are not only more common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, but that they play a direct role in the chain of events responsible for the fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Read More >>

science
Scientists Find Another Possible Explanation for Why Hair Goes Gray

Scientists think they’ve stumbled upon a newly discovered mechanism that could explain why some people’s hair turns gray and others become afflicted with patches of unpigmented skin, a rare, stigmatized condition called vitiligo. Their research, published Thursday in PLOS Biology, suggests a gene that regulates the natural pigment melanin also keeps our immune system from turning on itself. Read More >>

science
Artificial Genome Scientists Want to Build Human Cells That Are Impervious to Viruses

Two years ago, a consortium of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs announced a plan to synthesise an artificial human genome from scratch—an extremely ambitious endeavour that’s struggled to secure funding. Project organisers have now disclosed details of a scaled-down version of the venture, but with a goal that’s still quite audacious: creating human cells that are invulnerable to infections. Read More >>

science
You’ve Never Seen Herpes Like This Before

Herpes is decidedly not amazing. But a new view of its molecular structure might make you say “wow.” Read More >>

science
Doctors Think They’ve Nabbed Culprit Behind Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Paralysing Kids

Since 2014, doctors have been stymied by a medical mystery: People, mostly children, were coming down with a previously unknown, polio-like illness that causes paralysis. Now, an international team of doctors published in The Lancet believe they’ve managed to confirm the main culprit. Read More >>

science
CRISPR’s Pioneers Find a Way to Use It as a Glowing Virus Detector

CRISPR is at this point well-known for its powerful ability to genetically engineer DNA, but more and more often scientists are turning to CRISPR for other tasks as well. Read More >>

olympics
As the Winter Games Begin, Norovirus Continues to Spread at an Alarming Rate

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea is quickly resembling a terrible cruise, thanks to a norovirus outbreak that’s rapidly spreading. Read More >>

science
Here Are Some Incredible Images Made Possible By This Year’s Chemistry Nobel Prize

Science, at its core, is a process. New advances in technology are as important as new discoveries they lead to. How can you understand a molecule, for example, if you can’t see it? Read More >>

science
Textbook-Rewriting Discovery Could Help Predict the Next Influenza Pandemic

Every year we go through the same motions: scientists figure out what the most common flu strains will be, and prepare a vaccine that will best protect against it. Those who get vaccinated avoid the new strains, those who don’t might get ill. But every so often, a new kind of flu pops up that doctors are unprepared to vaccinate against. That kind of flu can turn into a pandemic. 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 >>

science
This Cancer-Causing Virus Lies Dormant for Years Before Striking

There’s no limit to viral ruthlessness. These lifeless packets of genetic code cause countless ails, often without a known cure. One such monster spends most of its time as a seemingly benign strand of DNA that could sit latent for years before striking, causing cells to turn into a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. Read More >>

art
The World’s Most Infamous Computer Viruses, Transformed Into Cyberpunk Heroes

Getting hit with a computer virus sucks. But if the process actually resembled one of these amazing designs from artist Ace Volkov slinking its way through your hardware in a mashup between Tron and Neuromancer, it’d probably be slightly less infuriating. It’d also look cool as hell. Read More >>

security
How to Protect Your PC From Trolls, Hackers and Other Obnoxious Security Threats

It’s a scary fact of digital life that there are a lot of ways your PC can be exposed. Maybe you’ve been hacked by a state agent, or cracked by weird Nazi trolls. Fortunately you’re not powerless, and there are lots of ways to fight back. You don’t need to be a hacker, cracker, or computer savant to protect your laptop. Read More >>

health
The WHO Was Wrong to Say Zika Is No Longer an Emergency

Late last week, the World Health Organization declared that the Zika virus, along with its related neurological complications, no longer constitutes an international emergency. The announcement is a troubling development that could threaten important research, while also undermining those who are most affected, namely women, children, and the poor. Read More >>