Previous research into brain damage caused by the Zika virus shows the virus’s preference for a particular neural cell: the astrocyte. However, few studies have sought to identify the infection effects on these cells, as well as their association with developmental alterations, including brain malformations and microcephaly. Now, new work explores the virus’s consequences on… Read more

A novel formulation of multiple amino acids hinders the replication of Zika virus by up to 90% in human and non-human primate cells, a new study[1] indicates. Researchers tested a unique composition of three free-form amino acids (FFAAP) — cystine, glycine, and glutamate, as well as a minute amount of selenium — that was previously… Read more

Compounds derived from coconut oil are better than DEET at repelling blood-sucking insects, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study finds. Using repellents is one of the most efficient ways to prevent disease transmission and discomfort associated with insect bites. For more than 60 years, DEET(N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) has been considered the gold standard in insect… Read more

Zika virus may cause significant damage to the fetal brain even when the baby’s head size is normal, a new animal study led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine indicates. The damage, which can be difficult to detect even with sophisticated brain scans, may also occur in children infected during early… Read more

Two viruses closely related to Zika – West Nile and Powassan – can spread from an infected pregnant mouse to her fetuses, causing brain damage and fetal death, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings suggest that Zika may not be unique in its ability to… Read more