Virus, parasite may combine to increase harm to humans

A parasite and a virus may be teaming up in a way that increases the parasite’s ability to harm humans, scientists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report this week in Science.

Biologists’ favorite worm gets viruses

A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn’t be happier. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and other institutions have found that the nematode C. elegans, a millimeter-long worm used extensively for decades to study many aspects of biology, gets naturally occurring viral infections.

New model will open immune cell’s secrets

Five decades after the discovery of a rare but potentially pivotal immune cell, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a way to eliminate it in mice. The finding, which appears in the journal Immunity, will enable more detailed investigations of the important roles the plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) plays in fighting viruses and causing autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and lupus.

Technology identified could reduce the spread of rice virus

National Science FoundationBuilding on plant virus research started more than 20 years ago, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis and his colleague at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis have discovered a technology that reduces infection by the virus that causes Rice Tungro Disease, a serious limiting factor for rice production in Asia.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful

Antibiotics are not the answer to curing the common cold.The sniffles. A runny nose. A cough. That’s right — the cold season is upon us. But before you head off to your doctor demanding antibiotics to lessen your symptoms, be aware that those drugs don’t always work and can have serious side effects, say two physicians at Washington University in St. Louis.