West Nile Virus

For the past month or so, a search of Google News for ‘virus’ has yielded mainly articles on computer viruses or West Nile virus. Why are there so many articles on West Nile virus? Summer is the prime season for transmission of this virus, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. In temperate climates (e.g. …

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So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite ’em And so proceed ad infinitum This verse is by Jonathan Swift, the 18th century Irish cleric and satirist. He wrote it about the time that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek began looking through the microscope and discovered …

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Antiviral Drugs

An article in The Star of Malaysia illustrates why the public is often confused by stories about viruses in the popular press. The article reports that ‘a four-man medical research team from the University Malaya Medical Centre has achieved a first by discovering an anti-virus for dengue fever from herbs’. Let’s take apart this sentence …

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