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Illustration of viruses represented with different colors overlapping each other.
What Happens When You Catch More than One Virus?
The “tripledemic” shines a spotlight on viral interference, in which one infection can block another.
What Happens When You Catch More than One Virus?
What Happens When You Catch More than One Virus?

The “tripledemic” shines a spotlight on viral interference, in which one infection can block another.

The “tripledemic” shines a spotlight on viral interference, in which one infection can block another.

flu
A mouse in front of an open sack of grain.
Mice Fed a Highly Processed Diet Are More Susceptible to the Flu
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Nov 18, 2022 | 3 min read
It’s not clear why grain-fed mice are better able to recover after infection, but a study’s findings suggest food type may skew the results of animal studies.
an immune cell in blood
Why Viral Infections Are More Severe in People with Down Syndrome
Andy Carstens | Oct 14, 2022 | 6 min read
In people with the genetic condition, inflammation can cause a mild infection to snowball out of control, a study finds.
The Impact of Influenza
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Richard Webby and Edward Hutchinson discuss influenza viruses—the development of new strains, how they mediate virulence, and their threat to human society.
A dead northern gannet (Morus bassanus) on a beach
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 4, 2022 | 2 min read
Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.
3D rendered images of three T cell
T Cells Ward Off Aging with Help from Their Friends
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 16, 2022 | 5 min read
Immune cells deliver packages of telomeres to T cells, helping them retain their virus-fighting function over time, research suggests.
Metal shelves densely packed with preserved tissue specimens of various sizes, all suspended in glass containers.
Evolution of 1918 Flu Virus Traced from Century-Old Samples
Dan Robitzski | May 10, 2022 | 5 min read
The work reveals that the pandemic flu was likely the direct predecessor of the seasonal H1N1 flu that circulated for decades.
indoor chicken farm
Avian Flu Case Numbers Soar in Europe
Chloe Tenn | Jan 7, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke with the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, about this winter’s high bird flu prevalence, the effects of the disease, and efforts to combat it.
Illustration of a targeted virus over a world map
The Hunt for a Pandemic’s Origins
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022 | 10+ min read
Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.
Illustration of a world map showing a truck going from the US to Mexico, a plane going from Europe to Mexico, and a pig surrounded by various viruses in Mexico
Infographic: How H1N1 Came to Spark a Pandemic in 2009
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022 | 2 min read
The pathogen known as swine flu evolved in pigs in Mexico following imports of the livestock from the US and Europe.
An illustration with a world map, pigs, and viruses
Timeline: Investigating the Origins of the 2009 Pandemic
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022 | 3 min read
Seven years of surveillance and research revealed the complex history of the H1N1 virus that leapt from pigs to humans and sparked the global swine flu outbreak.
An artist’s rendering of the Omicron variant portrays the virus as a lumpy blue sphere with several orange spike proteins jutting out of it.
Omicron Propagates 70 Times Faster than Delta in Bronchi: Study
Dan Robitzski | Dec 17, 2021 | 5 min read
A preprint reports that the new SARS-CoV-2 variant multiplies faster in human bronchial tissue but slower in lung tissue than the Delta variant, potentially explaining how it’s spreading from person to person so quickly.
three children outside with winter gear wearing surgical masks
The Pandemic Crushed the Flu—What Happens When It Returns?
Diana Kwon | Jul 7, 2021 | 8 min read
Cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses sank dramatically during the pandemic, with potential implications for both people and pathogens.  
Photograph from 1918 influenza pandemic shows mask-wearing women holding stretchers at backs of ambulances in Saint Louis, Missouri.
100-Year-Old Lungs Yield Genetic Samples of 1918 Flu Viruses
Christie Wilcox, PhD | May 18, 2021 | 2 min read
Influenza RNA sequences from three sets of lungs preserved in formalin since 1918 provide new insights into the deadly pandemic.
a hand making a "stop" signal at an incoming coronavirus particle
Scientists’ Advice for Ways to Ward Off the Coronavirus
Shawna Williams | Oct 9, 2020 | 5 min read
We asked experts for measures people can take that may help boost defenses against COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
A Challenge Trial for COVID-19 Would Not Be the First of Its Kind
Jef Akst | Oct 8, 2020 | 9 min read
Although scientists debate the ethics of deliberately infecting volunteers with SARS-CoV-2, plenty of consenting participants have been exposed to all sorts of pathogens in prior trials.
Masks Lower Wearers’ Exposure to Viruses, Experts Propose
Ashley Yeager | Jul 28, 2020 | 2 min read
Face coverings prevent wearers from spreading pathogens, and might also limit the number of viral particles that enter the body, staving off severe infection, including COVID-19, research indicates.
Flu Shot Ignites Immune Attack Against Cancer in Mice
Ashley Yeager | Apr 1, 2020 | 5 min read
Injecting the seasonal flu vaccine directly into clumps of malignant cells recruits immune cells to confront the cancer.
Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV
Abby Olena, PhD | Mar 31, 2020 | 4 min read
The host transcriptional signature elicited by the coronavirus appears to be less robust and lacks the induction of key antiviral genes.
Coronavirus’s Genetics Reveal Its Global Travels
Ashley Yeager | Feb 25, 2020 | 4 min read
Random mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen’s genome help researchers track the spread and transmission of COVID-19, the disease it causes.
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