Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

New SARS-Like Virus Infects Both Human and Animal Cells 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the two-for-the-price-of-one dept.
sciencehabit writes "A SARS-like virus discovered this summer in the Middle East may infect more than just humans. The pathogen, a close cousin to the one that caused the 2002 to 2003 SARS outbreak, may also be able to infect cells from pigs and a wide range of bat species, researchers report today (abstract). The findings may help public health officials track the source of the outbreak and identify the role of wild animals and livestock in spreading the virus, researchers say."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New SARS-Like Virus Infects Both Human and Animal Cells

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So to summarize: if we don't stop this supervirus, we won't have any bacon anymore. Oh, and we might also be dead.

  • by dorpus (636554) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @08:51PM (#42255927)

    I am a statistician. In light of this year's early flu epidemic, I am tasked with modeling ER flu counts as a function of time.

    When I plot the residual graph (observed - expected), I get upward spikes lasting about a week, corresponding to epidemics of particular strains. But there are also downward spikes lasting about a week. They occur at random, independent of the upward spikes. So what do I call such downward spikes? I've searched around but there is no antonym for "epidemic".

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @09:04PM (#42256009) Journal

      Academic?

    • >> I get upward spikes lasting about a week, corresponding to epidemics of particular strains. But there are also downward spikes lasting about a week. They occur at random, independent of the upward spikes

      What do you mean with 'random'? Do you think that it might be prove that God does play dice after all?
      If yes... all I can say is that I always thought that Einstein was wrong... But now there seems to be conclusive prove!
      Oh...
      wait...
      what?
    • I'd call them a "pedantic" after their discoverer.
    • I am a statistician. In light of this year's early flu epidemic, I am tasked with modeling ER flu counts as a function of time.

      When I plot the residual graph (observed - expected), I get upward spikes lasting about a week, corresponding to epidemics of particular strains. But there are also downward spikes lasting about a week. They occur at random, independent of the upward spikes. So what do I call such downward spikes? I've searched around but there is no antonym for "epidemic".

      First of all, I don't think it's really fair that you were moderated off-topic, your comment is as close to topic as most. I quoted the full message so that more people will see it.

      That said, I would first check the size of the population against the duration of the downward spikes. If the population is small enough relative to the size of the health care infrastructure you would expect the downward spikes to gradually get longer as the population builds immunity to the virus.

      As for naming the d

      • by dorpus (636554)

        Thank you. I work for a medical center and the counts are for a children's emergency room. So the at-risk population is constant.

        • I figured being you are a statistician you would make the necessary corrections, but it is easy to overlook some of the population adjustments you need to make for something like this. I guess you nee to decide whether or not the population of children who could potentially be infected is large enough in comparison to the spread of the virus to be considered truly constant, as of course no child should be infected more than once (assuming only one strain is passing through your area). Hence of course if t
          • by dorpus (636554)

            We have no way of knowing anything at that level of detail -- what percent of the population as a whole was infected, how many were vaccinated. The government does not have such information either. What you describe is for hypothetical simulations. I'm just working with ER managers to enable efficient resource allocation: how many flu patients do we expect today? Where are we relative to seasonal baseline?

            • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:34PM (#42256885) Homepage Journal

              We have no way of knowing anything at that level of detail

              True, though based on the situation you may be able to estimate some of them fairly well.

              what percent of the population as a whole was infected

              If you are the only hospital in the area, you can presume that all the severe cases are coming to you. You could then presume that a certain percent of infections are severe enough to warrant hospitalization and estimate the total infected from that. Obviously not a perfect number but a useful one nonetheless.

              how many were vaccinated

              This one also varies with the population pool you are dealing with. If you are the primary source of vaccination then you have a pretty good idea of how many are vaccinated. On the other hand if you have 20 clinics in your area, plus 4 drugs stores and 2 discount retailers that all do vaccination as well, then your numbers won't describe the vaccination rate well on their own.

              The government does not have such information either

              Correct. Of course, you do know who makes the vaccines, and you could use their numbers as a high limit for vaccinated people across the country.

              What you describe is for hypothetical simulations.

              Hypothetical situations are described to make models for the real world when real world data is not sufficient.

              I'm just working with ER managers to enable efficient resource allocation:

              Which is very important work as well. I'm just suggesting you may be able to get some reasonable estimates of the bigger picture from not a lot more data and work.

              how many flu patients do we expect today? Where are we relative to seasonal baseline?

              Also worth knowing. And with some additional work you should be able to project fairly well where you are on the trajectory, as well (unless, of course, you are one hospital in a community of millions, at which point the numbers likely break down).

              In other words, I think what you describe is very interesting. I'm just suggesting that for many cases you may be able to use it to model some things that you had not (yet) described. I'm an informatics guy, I enjoy mining data like that...

        • Have you looked for correlations with school holidays and the presence or absence of school events that increase the likelihood of transmissions between cohorts? For instance, among high school students, dead weeks preceding end of term tests may decrease the usual amount of mingling between students of different schools and delay transmission of the virus. Similarly, there could be fluctuations in transmission opportunities related to the success or failure of a school team's advancement in semi-final comp

    • by khallow (566160)
      I wouldn't call an upward spike an "epidemic". Rather I'd use language like "surge" and "retreat", or maybe "surge" and "stall" would be better (since a disease which isn't infecting new cases declines either through victims developing resistance or the deaths of the victims).
    • by geekoid (135745)

      It scars me that you are doing statistics of an epidemic, but don't understand what epidemic is.

      Seriously dude, you can't be good at your job.

      It's like trying to find what the antonym of earthquake is.

  • cpt. obv? (Score:3, Informative)

    by v1 (525388) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @08:59PM (#42255973) Homepage Journal

    Virus Infects Both Human and Animal Cells

    well, last I checked, humans were animals?

    • by treeves (963993)

      Of course, you realize that in context, 'animal' means 'non-human animal', but you still had to be pedantic.

    • well, last I checked, humans were animals?

      That's the residuum of monotheistic creationism in people's thinking for you. ;-) No, we're special! We have souls and animals don't! Well, people still haven't learned to think in those terms. Old habits die hard.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @09:39PM (#42256233) Homepage Journal
    The full text (available for free from anywhere - hooray for open access!)) states that the patient reported in June of this year. Paper was submitted on October 24, accepted November 1, and published November 20.

    This also shows how good next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have become. They were able to sequence and assemble an entire virus genome in ~4 months or (likely) less, from a single infected human.
  • The world ending is near....
    • I'll kinda miss that meme :( But I'm sure a suitable replacement will be found.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        But I'm sure a suitable replacement will be found.

        It's inevitable. The end of the world is always near, and someone always knows the date. This year it was the Mayan calendar, a few ears ago it was some nutball preacher who claimed to have figured it out from the bible despite the fact that the bible says Jesus doesn't even know. A coupld of years earlier it was the same nutball, who said he must have made a math error when the world didn't end. Then there was Y2K and the people who thought aliens would tak

  • What better place to test the virus you engineered on human subjects!
  • New SARS-Like Virus Infects Both Human and Animal Cells

    So what the fuck are we? Vegetables?

  • ... Humans ARE animals, you idiotic dipshits.

  • In Islamic culture pigs are considered unclean, and I remember when swine flu hit in '09 places like Egypt culled pig herds. In this case I'm pretty sure the end result won't be good but there's even more reason to think they're doing good by killing lots of swine, and without making bacon even.
  • This is something people should be aware of especially if it concerns their health! This post will surely deliver them the message and what they need to know and learn about it! Thank you for sharing.
  • This virus has a few days left to make the Maya end of the world prediction come true. Hurry up!
  • by PPH (736903) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @02:32AM (#42257695)

    ... its time to quit having sex with the livestock.

    • by Xest (935314)

      How else do you think AIDS made the jump from monkeys to humans?

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        From what I've read, it came from an African tribe that considered monkey brain to be a delacacy. AIDS is not really an STD, it's a blood-bourne virus. It's a lot easier to get AIDS in a knife fight than it is from sex. If you're butchering a monkey and you have a cut on your hand, guess what? You got AIDS!

  • How about "animals including humans"?

    • by treeves (963993)

      How about no more comments pointing out that humans are animals? (1) Context (2) Duh.

  • What, Curiosity found a virus on Mars? I hear it causes dyslexia.

  • Infects Both Human and Animal Cells? What are you trying to say? Quick: How old is the Earth? Checkmate, Christian!

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

Working...