Oxford’s Global Priorities Project has compiled a list of catastrophes—both natural and self-inflicted—that could kill off 10 percent or more of the human population. It’s a real buzzkill of a report and it says that any of these catastrophes could happen within the next five years.
Here it is, folks—our first glimpse of that abominable virus that’s been wreaking havoc in parts of South America and the Caribbean. This near-atomic scale view of Zika’s external structure could guide scientists as they work to develop effective antiviral treatments and vaccines.
Mimiviruses are viruses so big they can actually be seen with a simple light microscope. European scientists have now learned that these bizarre organisms have their own immune system that makes them virtually invulnerable to predatory viruses, suggesting these creatures may actually represent a new branch in the tree…
Zika is now a global emergency, and the latest in a long string of mosquito-borne viruses to afflict humanity. Mosquitoes truly suck, and the time has come to do something about them. Here’s how science will help—and why a war on mosquitoes doesn’t mean we have to wipe them off the face of the planet.
After a year and a half since the first case was reported in the West African country, Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola free, 42 days after the last case was cleared. The announcement is one further step forward in the fight against the 2014 outbreak.
The West African Ebola outbreak is finally starting to approach manageable levels, after nearly 18 excruciating months and over 11,000 lost lives. Here’s what the current situation on the ground looks like and how the battle against Ebola finally might be won.
Sex educators Megara Bell and Brian Flaherty (both from the Boston group Partners in Sex Education) are a little stiff on camera, but the message of their delightful science demonstration (with controls!) is clear. If you’re in a pinch, microwavable plastic wrap is impermeable to viruses and you can use it to fashion…
Having stamped out a number of tropical diseases—including malaria—decades ago, is the United States today complacent about a rising wave of infectious disease?
There’s a new tool in the fight against Ebola in West Africa: rVSV-ZEBOV, a vaccine that has recently concluded a study phase, with researchers finding that it was incredibly effective against the deadly disease. While it’s still in trial stages, the drug appears to be a promising tool moving forward.
A new research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics is the first to positively link low vaccination rates to the Disneyland measles outbreak that emerged in California late last year. The new research also shows how frighteningly fast measles can spread in a population that's insufficiently immunized against the highly…
For parents living in North America and other developed countries, the choice not to have children immunized is a luxury and a privilege. As this map makes painfully clear, there are many parts of the world where it's the inaccessibility of vaccines that's the problem.
As parts of North America struggle to contain a completely unnecessary measles epidemic, it's important to remember what life was like prior to the onset of vaccines. These maps paint a grim picture of the past — and where we ourselves may be headed in the future.
In the latest installment of Mental Floss' debunk-tastic series Misconceptions, Elliott Morgan serves up factual counterpoints to ten of the most common misconceptions about getting sick. It's all in here – from food poisoning myths to false notions about the common cold.
The recent Sony hacking scandal just proved what's already been clear to a lot of people for years: cyberattacks are an ever-increasing threat, and we're not ready. Luckily, a book released last year provides an excellent primer on this sort of situation: P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman's Cybersecurity and Cyberwar:…
On any given day last month, an average of 4% of Americans said they were sick with the flu and 11.6% said they had a cold. That's the highest these figures have ever been since Gallup first starting keeping track back in 2008.
This cute little guy is just waiting to infect you. In the late 1960s, scientists realized that seals had a virus that they could share back and forth with other pinnipeds. Over 30 years later, scientists have confirmed that it can be given to humans.
As the ongoing Ebola epidemic rages in West Africa, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the protective suits worn by healthcare workers are extremely inadequate. To address this, researchers as Johns Hopkins have designed a new suit that should dramatically reduce infection risk.
Though over 1 billion people suffer from them, they're called "neglected diseases." That's because they attract little public attention and research money. But these diseases are about to explode across the globe, which is why many doctors say the neglect needs to stop now.
For the last year and a half, sea stars all along North America's Pacific coast - from Baja California all the way to Alaska - have been withering away into nothingness. Today, researchers announced they've found the culprit: it's a virus.
Though it may not look like it, this tiny piece of paper is actually a biological machine. It's a paper-based synthetic gene network that, in a very litmus-like way, can be used to sense disease-causing microbes, including certain strains of Ebola, or medically important molecules, such as glucose.