Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses News

New Cancer-Causing Virus Confirmed By Researchers

An important new study from the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics at USC has confirmed cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a cause of the most common salivary gland cancers. CMV joins a group of fewer than 10 identified oncoviruses - cancer-causing viruses - including HPV.

The findings, published online in the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology over the weekend, are the latest in a series of studies by USC researchers that together demonstrate CMV's role as an oncovirus, a virus that can either trigger cancer in healthy cells or exploit mutant cell weaknesses to enhance tumor formation.

Kawasaki Disease: First Evidence That Long-Range Wind Transport Of An Infectious Agent Might Result In Human Disease

Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a severe childhood disease that many parents, even some doctors, mistake for an inconsequential viral infection. In fact, if not diagnosed or treated in time, it can lead to irreversible heart damage. After 50 years of research, including genetic studies, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the disease.

Now, surprising findings of an international team of scientists organized by Jane C. Burns, MD, professor and chief, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, suggest that KD cases are linked to large-scale wind currents that track from Asia to Japan and also traverse the North Pacific.

Health Of Gums Improves With Weight Loss

Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers found the human body is better at fighting gum disease when fat cells, which trigger inflammation, disappear.

Findings come from a pilot study of 31 obese people with gum disease. Half of the group with an average body mass index (BMI) of 39 had gastric bypass surgery and had fat cells from the abdomen removed. That half fared better than a control group of obese people with a BMI of 35 who also were treated for gum disease but did not have the gastric bypass surgery or fat removed.


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