The Daily Dose: Virus assembly discovery overturns classical view of replication

Franken-Virus for real: A recent study has thrown the classical virology view of replication into question. Partially, at least. A team of French researchers have established that some viruses are able to assemble even though each particle is held in a separate cell. In other words, the complete replication cycle doesn’t need to happen in one place, as once thought. It’s amazing and slightly disturbing at the same time.

Dollar, dollar, bill ya’ll: Money can’t buy happiness. We all know that. However, it can definitely buy a company like Merck more ammunition in its late phase cancer pipeline. The company purchased Peloton Therapeutics for $1.1 billion, days before the company was set to be publicly listed on the NASDAQ. According to Fierce, “The deal will give Merck control of an experimental oral HIF-2α inhibitor that could challenge Keytruda for the metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) market.”

Underweight newborn scourge: The World Health Organization reports that more than 20 million babies were born with low birthweight (<5.5 lbs) in 2015. That comes out to a staggering 1 in 7 births. 80% of the 2.5 million annual newborn deaths are attributable to low birthweight. Even the babies that manage to survive suffer from Ill-effects. “Those low birthweight babies who survive have a greater risk of stunting, and developmental and physical ill health later in life, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

Abandoning children in America: Scientists at research facilities that focus on the effects of the environment on children’s health are scrambling in the face of lost funding. The Environmental Protection Agency pulled the plug on the organization’s in what many view as an attempt to stifle policies that hamper the fossil fuel industry.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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