Creating an artificial protein shell to combat COVID-19

During the first COVID-19 wave, when Saumitra Das and colleagues were sequencing thousands of samples every day to check for SARS-CoV-2 variants as part of INSACOG, the Government of India's genome surveillance initiative, ...

Detecting viruses in a pinprick

Scientists at Swansea University, Biovici Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory have developed a method to detect viruses in very small volumes.

I was here first! How hepatitis C inhibits hepatitis E

It is well known that co-infections with hepatitis viruses do exist. "However, the co-infection of hepatitis C and E has not yet been systematically researched," says Thomas Burkard. "Even though the possibility always looms ...

Coronavirus epidemics first hit more than 21,000 years ago

Sarbecoviruses have crossed into humans twice in the last decade, leading to the deadly SARS-CoV-1 outbreak in 2002-04 and the current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A new Oxford University study, published ...

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.

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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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