Human spaceflight seems all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that our bodies didn’t evolve for space. We suffer in major ways as a result of microgravity and living in confined quarters hundreds of miles above the surface of the planet. Even our our immune systems take a hit, leaving us more susceptible to infection and disease as we spend more time in space. Continue reading Most of us have viruses sleeping inside us, and spaceflight wakes them up
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. Continue reading Herpes Viruses Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease in New Brain Research
Newsflash: You probably have herpes. This is actually okay. According to the World Health Organization, over two thirds of the global population have HSV-1 (commonly known as oral herpes or cold sores) and more than 10 percent have HSV-2, or genital herpes. Given that HSV-2 rates are much higher among women, urbanites, and minority groups than in the general population (and given that HSV-1 increasingly shows up as a genital infection instead of an oral one), herpes is easily the most common sexually transmitted infection.
The Australian government recently announced an unusual initiative to eradicate a long-standing animal pest problem.
To rid their streams and rivers of invasive European carp crowding out native freshwater species, officials plan to begin introducing a strain of the herpes virus — Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), or “carp herpes” — into fish populations.
Most people with herpes don’t know they have it, which is probably how almost two-thirds of the global population ended up with the virus. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO)announced that, “More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, or 67 percent of the population, are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1.”