The world now has an Ebola vaccine, in historic EU approval

The vaccine is 97.5% effective in protecting against the Zaire species of Ebola, according to the World Health Organization.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The European Medicines Agency granted special approval for an Ebola vaccine called Ervebo.
  • Ervebo has proven remarkably effective in clinical trials conducted in Africa.
  • An Ebola outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since August 2018.
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One shot for life: New research brings us closer to universal flu vaccine

Researchers recently discovered an antibody that totally disrupts the influenza virus's ability to replicate; it could be used to design a universal flu vaccine.

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  • Because the flu mutates so frequently, we have to get a new flu shot every year that's designed for that year's strain of flu.
  • But researchers recently discovered an antibody found in an infected patient's blood that prevents the virus from replicating, even across multiple strains. According to researchers, this effect "is just mind-boggling."
  • The antibody works by targeting a very specific part of a very specific protein on all flu virions; this piece can't change too much from strain to strain because it is fundamental to the flu's ability to replicate.
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Scientists are producing deadly zoonoses on this tiny German island

The German island of Riems is home to some of the most dangerous virology research on the planet.

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  • The Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Germany is a biosafety level 4 facility where scientists conduct dangerous research on zoonoses.
  • Zoonoses are diseases that can be spread from animals to humans, or vice versa.
  • These diseases not only pose a major threat to humans, but also to animals.
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Flu season is here. Researchers may have discovered a cure.

Ferrets are not humans, but this new drug is showing promise.

Photo Illustration by Florian Gaertner/Getty Images
  • Researchers at Georgia State University and Emory University tweaked an old drug and found great results.
  • None of the ferrets given EIDD-2801 twelve hours after infection developed the flu.
  • Those given the drug a day later developed less severe symptoms than the control group or those receiving Tamiflu.
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Students develop door handles that kill bacteria

After living through a terrible epidemic, two inventors have created a self-cleaning door handle.

  • A pair of students in Hong Kong have created a self-cleaning door handle.
  • The device uses ultraviolet light to cause a chemical reaction that kills germs.
  • In tests, it was able to kill 99.8% of microbes on the door handle.
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