Virus

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What is a virus?

What is a virus?

Viruses are these tiny, invisible structures that cause infections. They make us sick. There are millions of viruses in our environment but only about 5000 have been identified by scientists. The ones you may have heard of are the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV and the Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19. What do viruses look like? Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Do you think that a virus is some creepy, crawly thing?...

The Smart Polluters

The Smart Polluters

Health officials in Canada are very busy these days. They are placing chickens at fixed points all along their border with the United States of America. That’s an enormous distance of 2,500 km. It’s not a practical joke, nor have the Canadians gone mad. They are using these chickens to see if the deadly West Nile virus is lurking around. The virus infects birds, so they think that the chickens have a good chance of catching the virus....

Magic Johnson

Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was born in Lansing, Michigan on August 14, 1959 and is one of professional basketball’s premier guard. Magic Johnson is famous for his brilliant passing skills, all-round sublime talent and engaging personality. At 6ft 9 inches he was the tallest point guard in League history and his illuminating smile made him the most admired as well. He became an instant legend and left people in awe of his skills even as a 15-yr-old high school player....

Vanishing Vulture

Vanishing Vulture

It’s the bird most commonly associated with death. Once a common sight in South Asia, the vulture, or nature’s scavenger, is one of the 78 species in India that is dying out. Faced with a mysterious virus and pesticide poisoning, the population of vultures today is said to be just 5 per cent of what it was (about 20 years ago) in the 1980s. A couple of years ago, the vultures of Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur numbered 2000....

The Peacocks are Dying

The Peacocks are Dying

May 11: The residents of the Rajasthan State Electricity Board colony in Heerapur, 12 km from Jaipur, are in shock. They don’t know how to reconcile to the sudden, unexplained deaths of 19 peacocks in their colony in the first week of May. The priest at the Radha Krishna temple in the colony is inconsolable: there are no more peacocks to peck at the vessel filled with jowar. In the first week of May, at Sirsiya village in Phagi district, a villager saw six of the birds die, foaming at their mouth as they tried to dance....

A Battle Well Fought

June 2: In the war against AIDS, they don’t come any tougher than Xolani Nkosi, better known as Nkosi Johnson since his adoption by a white family. In his short life, he had become one of South Africa’s youngest and boldest campaigners fighting for the rights of AIDS affected people to be accepted by society. At 5:40 am on June 1, he finally lost the battle. Now, there’s nothing more the doctors can do for him....

Flightless Mosquitoes the Solution to Dengue Fever?

Where: Oxford, United Kingdom February 27, 2010 :Scientists have come up with a novel method to tackle the menace of dengue fever. They propose to breed mosquitoes that cant fly. The plan is to genetically alter the male of the species. These males will father a new generation of female mosquitoes with limited wing growth. The females will continue to transmit these genes, but only to female offspring. The male offspring will remain unaffected. Scientists feel this is a safe way to fight the spread of dengue – safer than the use of insecticides....

Chetak's Descendents

September 9: Rajasthan’s Maharana Pratap was a legendary warrior who fought many battles astride his favourite horse, Chetak. The beautiful Chetak was loyal, brave and extremely fast. Chetak is probably one of the few animals famous in history for their legendary qualities. Chetak belonged to a special breed of horses called Marwari or Rajasthani. These horses are known for their loyalty and battle-worthiness. They are handsome and tall and have long flowing manes. The fame of these horses has spread far and wide....

Bird Flu Virus Returns to Asia

Bird Flu Virus Returns to Asia

Where: China December 18, 2008: The deadly Bird Flu virus is back, and hundreds of thousands of chickens are being culled (killed) across Asia and Africa to stop the virus from spreading. The H5N1 virus is commonly referred to as Bird Flu virus since it spreads through birds. It can be fatal for human beings, especially those that are exposed to birds such as poultry. Bird Flu Virus Returns to Asia [] In China, over 370,000 chickens have been culled in the country’s eastern province of Jiangsu....

World Health Organisation Declares Swine Flu Pandemic

Where: Geneva, Switzerland June 12, 2009 : The World Health Organisation (WHO), one of the United Nations organisations, officially declared a worldwide swine flu pandemic* after an emergency meeting on June 11, 2009. The flu, which has spread all over the world, is a new strain of the influenza A virus subtype H1N1. The virus was identified in April 2009, and is commonly referred to as swine flu. It infects human beings and can be transmitted either by coughs and sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose or mouth....

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