An in-depth series examining latent viruses—which may lie dormant for decades and in some cases inhabit 80-90% of the human population—and the complex roles they play in human health
Although the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 are different from those of true latent viruses, scientists are looking at reactivation of latent viruses, and other existing post-infection syndromes, for answers about long-haul COVID-19.
Cytomegalovirus infects 50-85% of U.S. adults. Felicia Goodrum, an immunobiology professor at the University of Arizona, specializes in CMV. Kathleen Muldoon, a medical-school professor at Midwestern University, became a CMV specialist of a different kind.
Studying the interplay of the immune system, the gut microbiome, and genetics is leading Arizona researchers toward understanding why some latent viruses cause recurrent infections and ultimately cancer, as can be the case with HPV.
A team from Arizona is among several research groups working with NASA on simulated space flights, investigating topics such as the effects of stress on the immune system—including how managing stress can keep latent viruses at bay.
About two-thirds of U.S. Valley fever infections are contracted in Arizona, yet until recently, the state had made little financial investment in preventing, treating and researching the fungal infection. That’s what makes the Arizona Board of Regents’ three-year, $3.3 million grant to a collaborative Valley fever research project among the three state-funded universities so historic.
Climate Change is Spreading a Debilitating Fungal Disease Throughout the West / Inside Climate News
California has seen an 800 percent increase in Valley fever cases in the last two decades. Infections are also steadily climbing in Arizona, the state with the largest number of infections. Climate change is largely to blame, creating ideal conditions for the coccidioides fungus to thrive and spread.
Deadly Venom From Spiders and Snakes May Cure What Ails You / New York Times
Efforts to tease apart the vast swarm of proteins in venom have burgeoned in recent years, and the growing catalog of compounds has led to a number of drug discoveries. Two Arizona institutions—the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, and the VIPER Institute at the University of Arizona—play critical roles.
With their newest lab in Phoenix, Texas-based Caris Life Sciences hopes to use molecular analysis to make cancer diagnosis more accurate, convenient, and detailed than ever before. The $45 million liquid biopsy facility, resulting from more than a billion dollars raised by Caris, will be able to profile 1,500 patients per day, creating hundreds of bioscience jobs in the process.
Long COVID-19 is not well understood, but researchers estimate about 30% of people who get infected will develop long-term symptoms—potentially more than 600,000 people experiencing long COVID-19 in Arizona alone. Janko Nikolich-Žugich of the University of Arizona is part of a research team working to enroll 17,000 participants in a nationwide study.
Arizona’s private investors seek to build up local ‘money center’ ecosystem / Phoenix Business Journal
The Arizona Fund Manager Association, a recently formed industry group, is focused on building up the local institutional private investment ecosystem so Arizona businesses can turn to local decision-makers and not be forced to rely on investors in other states or even other countries.
June 13-16: BIO International Convention