Viruses exacerbate disease caused by Leishmania parasite

Washington University School of Medicine’s Stephen Beverley found that viruses hidden inside the parasite Leishmania worsen disease caused by the parasite. Now, an evolutionary survey of the viruses in related parasites suggests that Leishmania’s viruses may have helped it make the jump from infecting insects to infecting vertebrates.

Lack of sleep boosts levels of Alzheimer’s proteins

Chronic poor sleep has been linked to cognitive decline. A new study from the School of Medicine shows that a sleepless night causes levels of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid beta to rise faster than the brain’s waste-disposal system can remove it. Persistently high levels of the protein can set off a cascade of brain changes leading to dementia.