Panel to announce 2020 Nobel Prize for physics

The 2020 Nobel Prize for physics is being announced Tuesday, an award that has in the past honored discoveries about the tiniest of particles and the vast mysteries of outer space.

Mapping the 3-D geometry of SARS-CoV-2's genome

The novel coronavirus uses structures within its RNA to infect cells. Scientists have now identified these configurations, generating the most comprehensive atlas to date of SARS-CoV-2's genome.

New macrolactone database could aid drug discovery, research

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals have created a free-to-use database of 14,000 known macrolactones—large molecules used in drug development—which contains information ...

Hepatitis D: The mystery of the virus' life cycle revealed

A team led by Professor Patrick Labonté at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Montreal, Canada, has identified the role of a key process in the replication cycle of the hepatitis D virus, an infection ...

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but once established, chronic infection can progress to scarring of the liver (fibrosis), and advanced scarring (cirrhosis) which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure or other complications of cirrhosis, including liver cancer.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Most people have few, if any symptoms after the initial infection, yet the virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. Persistent infection can be treated with medication, peginterferon and ribavirin being the standard-of-care therapy. Only 51% are cured overall. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant, and the virus universally recurs after transplantation.

An estimated 270-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a strictly human disease. It cannot be contracted from or given to any animal. Chimpanzees can be infected with the virus in the laboratory, but do not develop the disease, which has made research more difficult. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available. The existence of hepatitis C (originally "non-A non-B hepatitis") was postulated in the 1970s and proved conclusively in 1989. It is one of five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E.

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