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An artist’s rendering of a DNA-based virus trap, represented as gray rods in a short cone-shaped arrangement. One is coated with blue molecules, likely antibodies, that adhere to a virus target. Another image shows to traps coming together to capture a red coronavirus.
“Origami” DNA Traps Could Keep Large Viruses From Infecting Cells
By engineering structures out of DNA, scientists could potentially prevent larger viruses, like coronaviruses and influenza viruses, from interacting with cells.
“Origami” DNA Traps Could Keep Large Viruses From Infecting Cells
“Origami” DNA Traps Could Keep Large Viruses From Infecting Cells

By engineering structures out of DNA, scientists could potentially prevent larger viruses, like coronaviruses and influenza viruses, from interacting with cells.

By engineering structures out of DNA, scientists could potentially prevent larger viruses, like coronaviruses and influenza viruses, from interacting with cells.

influenza
Illustration of viruses represented with different colors overlapping each other.
What Happens When You Catch More than One Virus?
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Dec 7, 2022 | 8 min read
The “tripledemic” shines a spotlight on viral interference, in which one infection can block another.
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.
The balance of mind and body on a seesaw
Psychological Stress Distracts the Immune System from Fighting Infections
Jennifer Zieba, PhD | 3 min read
Acute stress makes immune cells migrate immediately to the bone marrow, which prepares the body for injury at the expense of increasing infectious disease susceptibility.
person in white jacket putting bandaid on arm of child
Can We Predict How Well Someone Will Respond to a Vaccine?
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Nov 14, 2022 | 7 min read
Researchers find signatures pre- and post-vaccination that correlate with a more robust immune response. 
Micrograph of influenza A virus and RSV
Flu/RSV Coinfection Produces Hybrid Virus that Evades Immune Defenses
Catherine Offord | Oct 25, 2022 | 2 min read
When fused to RSV, influenza A virus is better able to escape antibodies that usually neutralize it, an in vitro study finds.
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The Scientist Speaks - To Conserve and Protect: The Quest for Universal Vaccines
Niki Spahich, PhD | 1 min read
Patrick Wilson discusses the challenges in designing universal vaccines and his work developing one for influenza.
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.
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.
Discover Genetic Influences on the Immune Response
The Genetics Behind Immune Response Variability
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Researchers seek genomic clues to understand differences in the immune response to infection.
Person in a black, beaked robe (left) and man in a black tunic (right), flanking a red coat of arms
Masking Up, 1619 to Present
Devin A. Reese, PhD | Jul 5, 2022 | 3 min read
Putting on a mask to protect oneself and others against disease is nothing new, nor is resistance to mask-wearing, but mask designs have changed considerably from their first iterations.
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.
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.
Man with white hair sits in front of a world map
Famed Pathologist Johan Hultin Dies at 97
Lisa Winter | Mar 2, 2022 | 3 min read
Hultin’s work helped identify the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic.
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.
Understanding Immune-Mediated Damage After Respiratory Infection
The Scientist Creative Services Team in collaboration with 10x Genomics | 1 min read
Paul Thomas from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will discuss how he used single cell and spatial transcriptomics to discover the underlying mechanism of an inflammatory immune response in the lungs.
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.
Headshot of Sherif Zaki
CDC Pathology Investigator Dies Unexpectedly at 65
Jef Akst | Nov 23, 2021 | 2 min read
Sherif Zaki worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 30 years, and was renowned for uncovering crucial intel on various outbreak-causing scourges, from Ebola and Zika to SARS and influenza.
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