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smallpox

In Science this week: researchers recover near-complete smallpox virus genomes from Viking Age-individuals, and more.

Researchers used sequence data from variola virus strains in 11 "Viking Age" individuals from northern Europe to gain new clues about smallpox evolution.

By sequencing samples from historical vaccination kits, a team from McMaster University identified which viruses were in use as smallpox vaccine strains.

Keep Them or Not?

NPR says the explosion and fire earlier this week at a Russian lab that stores dangerous pathogens revives the question of whether such samples should be kept.

Vox writes that lab mishaps involving pathogens are quite common.

More to Do

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has amassed a team to spot DNA orders that could be used in bioweapons, Bloomberg reports.

Not Cow, But Horse

The sequencing of a more than 100-year-old smallpox vaccine finds that it contains horsepox, researchers write in NEJM.

Mail-Order Pox

Canadian researchers have re-created the horsepox virus, ScienceInsider reports.

A sequenced variola virus isolate from the 1600s points to a relatively recent common ancestor for viruses involved in 20th century smallpox infections.

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Two COVID-19 vaccine developers have released their trial protocols to build public trust, the New York Times reports.

A new analysis finds the rapid COVID-19 test from DnaNudge to be highly accurate, Reuters reports.

In Science this week: global citizens' assembly on genome-editing technologies proposed, epigenetic markers predict metformin response, and more.

According to the Verge, many US states are not including positive results from rapid COVID-19 testing in their case numbers.