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Viruses

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NEWS
March 24, 1997 | by Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
The family of viruses that wasted dolphins off the New Jersey coast 10 years ago has also dealt death among cows, sheep, dogs - and humans. Since the dolphin die-off, scientists have linked viruses of this type to lethal epidemics among marine mammals from the Gulf of Mexico to an Asian lake. The viruses, known as morbilliviruses, have now been implicated in at least five waves of death among aquatic animals: Hundreds of bottlenose dolphins from New Jersey to Florida in 1987-88.
BUSINESS
March 31, 1999 | By John Fried, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Maybe it is the long winter that keeps computer hackers indoors for months, but March is the month for viruses. The much-dreaded and anticipated Maltese Amoeba and Michelangelo viruses struck in March a few years ago. Now we have the Melissa and Papa viruses. What exactly are computer viruses and what can anyone do about them? Here are some frequently asked questions to help make sense of it all. Question: What is a computer virus? Answer: A virus is a small program designed to infiltrate computers and the programs they run. A virus can duplicate itself and move from computer to computer.
NEWS
August 13, 1991 | By Ralph Cipriano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thomas F. Anderson, 80, a scientist who used the electron microscope to take historic photos of mating bacteria and viruses infecting a host cell, died Sunday at Jeanes Hospital. Dr. Anderson, a resident of the Fox Chase section of the city, died after a series of strokes, colleagues said. He was a biophysical chemist and geneticist who was among the first to use the electron microscope in the study of viruses. The electron microscope, invented in the 1930s, uses a beam of electrons to magnify microscopic specimens 120,000 times or more.
NEWS
April 1, 1992 | BY MIKE ROYKO
Millions of computer users are wondering how to protect themselves against the wave of viruses that are threatening their machines. I have a suggestion. First, they should remember that these viruses don't spring from nature. They are little computer programs created and sent on their way by people who are brainy, malicious and arrogant. It doesn't seem to bother them that the more destructive of the viruses could take lives if, say, a hospital's computer programs were wiped out. So the question is: How do you find the creators of the virus programs?
NEWS
December 24, 1997 | By Chris Satullo
The story so far: In the bedroom of his mansion after midnight Dec. 24, software mogul Quentin Stiles has seen three holographic visitors emerge from his bedside computer: his old partner Simon Charles, and the Viruses of Christmas Past and Present. The Virus of Christmas Present has just shown him how his angry cancellation of vacation for a top manager has torn apart the employee's family. HUENTIN STILES' eyes were clenched shut, trying to erase the sight of two parents gazing in anguish as their son rocked to and fro before a computer screen, locked in autistic embrace of a binary world that didn't include them.
NEWS
February 25, 2002 | By Robert S. Boyd INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
A new age may be dawning in the battle against one of humanity's oldest and deadliest enemies: viruses. Scientists say we are just entering an "antiviral era" comparable to the amazingly successful antibiotic era that began with the discovery of penicillin before World War II. "Fifty years ago, we were just beginning to produce antibiotics," said Dorothy Crawford, a microbiologist at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. "Today we're in exactly the same position with antiviral drugs.
NEWS
July 30, 2010 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Most creatures, if they leave behind evidence of their existence, do so in the form of fossils buried in the earth. Viruses, on the other hand, can leave genetic "fossils" woven into the DNA of animals that they have infected - accounting for a surprising 8 percent of the genome in humans, for example. A new study has identified animal species that harbor fossils from two especially nasty virus families, one of which includes Ebola, offering intriguing clues as to why some animals can survive infection by these killers and others cannot.
NEWS
January 2, 2012 | By Faye Flam, Inquirer Columnist
It's a common misconception that evolution is a matter of faith, because it happens too slowly to observe. Here's the way one reader sees it: "I don't see any fish walking around, nor do I see any other creature in mid-evolving mode. . . . Simply stated, both creationism and evolution should be taught as competing theories; both are not provable, and both cannot be duplicated in a lab. " But evolution does happen in the lab, in real time, and it's bad news for us because such rapid evolution allows organisms that can kill us by evading drugs, vaccines, and our own immune systems.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Faye Flam, Inquirer Columnist
While it may be that some Americans doubt we're related to chimps and other primates, viruses recognize the similarities in our cells. The more closely two species are related, the more easily infections jump between them, said biologist Edward Holmes, who just moved from Penn State to the University of Sydney. For us humans, that means we're particularly vulnerable to catching diseases from other primates. HIV, for example, in various strains has jumped from primates to humans in at least 12 separate incidents.
NEWS
February 13, 2003 | By Aparna Surendran INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Colds, flu and stomach ailments are taking their toll in local classrooms, driving up absenteeism and forcing several schools to close briefly. Some area hospitals have also reported an increase in gastrointestinal illnesses, some of which may be due to the Norwalk virus or similar viruses, which cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The noroviruses, as they are also known, attracted widespread publicity when they caused illnesses on cruise ships late last year. The illness usually lasts one to two days.
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TRAVEL
May 2, 2016 | By Michael Matza, Staff Writer
In November, I booked our all-inclusive vacation to Martinique, wired the deposit, and began counting down the days to our March week in the Caribbean. Including my wife, Linda, and our grown children, Max and Zoe, we were a family of four headed for the nonstop sports and lavish buffets of Club Med's Buccaneers Creek in the French West Indies. We had heard that some vacationers were canceling travel to the region because of a spooky, mosquito-borne virus surging in South America and making its way up the archipelago that includes Martinique.
NEWS
February 17, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Norovirus is what caused more than 12 percent of Ursinus College's student body to get sick last week, officials said Monday. Test results confirmed the highly contagious virus as the culprit behind the stomach illness that swept across the Collegeville campus, sickening at least 214 students, plus faculty and staff, since last Tuesday. "This is the agent we have suspected since this outbreak began," said Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, a physician and interim medical director of the county health department.
NEWS
February 11, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin and Robert Moran, STAFF WRITERS
Pennsylvania and Delaware health officials Tuesday confirmed their first cases of the Zika virus. Two women in Pennsylvania who recently traveled to countries affected by the virus tested positive. "They were very, very mild cases: fever, rash, no complications," state Health Secretary Karen Murphy said in a conference call with reporters. She declined to say whether the women were pregnant. Health officials' prime concern about the virus has been reports of a small percentage of babies born with abnormally small heads to women who were infected while pregnant in Brazil, the center of the epidemic in the Americas.
NEWS
January 31, 2016
Most of what is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus comes from its explosive spread in Central and South America. The Philadelphia region is different. Who should be worried? For now, public health officials say they are mainly concerned about pregnant women who recently traveled to any of the affected countries. A small number of cases there have been linked to birth defects. Women who are pregnant have been advised to postpone travel to those areas. Pregnant women who recently returned from infected areas should consult their health-care provider.
SPORTS
December 20, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Toledo cornerback Cheatham Norrils has professional aspirations and rightly so but last year he was wondering if he'd ever return to the football field. A 6-foot, 195-pound senior, Norrils is expected to play a significant role when Toledo (9-2) meets Temple (10-3) in Tuesday's Boca Raton Bowl. He earned first-team all-Mid American Conference honors after recording 60 tackles, three interceptions and 13 breakups. It's a remarkable recovery after Norrils missed last season when he contacted an undiagnosed viral infection that left him bed-ridden for weeks.
NEWS
October 25, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
They're everywhere. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye and too numerous to count, they inhabit our insides and outsides, our guts and the surface of our skin. They are the bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms that make up what scientists call our microbiome. It's a complex environment, and scientists are only just beginning to understand and appreciate its vitally important role in keeping us healthy and signaling when we are sick. This week, Penn Vet, Penn Medicine, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will host their second annual microbiome symposium.
NEWS
June 14, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nearly 50 years after the Epstein-Barr virus was discovered to cause human cancers, there are no good treatment options for the 200,000 new cases diagnosed annually, most of them in the world's poorest places. The Wistar Institute aims to change that. The illustrious Philadelphia research center last month received a three-year, $5.6 million grant from the Wellcome Trust in London to continue developing a novel anti-viral drug. "We certainly hope that this first-in-class drug we are developing will slow the progression or - even better - cure these deadly cancers," said Wistar senior scientist Troy Messick.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
The small shorebird - a ruddy turnstone - was not happy. Moments ago, it had been feasting on horseshoe crab eggs along the waterline of Delaware Bay near Villas, N.J. But now, University of Georgia researcher Deb Carter had a gentle but inescapable grip on the bird, and her colleague Clara Kienzle was sticking a cotton swab down its throat. Next, they swabbed the bird's other end and then jabbed a slim needle into a vein to draw blood before releasing it. Their goal: to see if this healthy bird was carrying a flu virus.
NEWS
November 1, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia imposes a mandatory quarantine three or four times a year for uncooperative people with tuberculosis and is planning to automatically seek a court order as a precaution if a patient is confirmed with Ebola, officials said. The city is monitoring about 40 travelers from West Africa who arrived at five designated airports in other parts of the country. An additional 20 or so, including 11 in Burlington County, are being followed at least daily in surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
NEWS
October 27, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Practically everyone at the march had a story about people who refused to shake hands or moved to another bus seat when they realized they were near a Liberian. "Once they hear our accent, people try to avoid us," said Harris Murphy, a filmmaker. "Everybody is afraid of you. I'm a West African - not a virus. " On Saturday, he and about 60 members of Philadelphia's Liberian, Guinean, and Sierra Leonean communities took to the streets, staging a noisy, drum-thumping demonstration to call attention to the facts of the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 5,000 in West Africa.
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