UW News

August 26, 2014

Health Digest: Ebola outbreak, HIV persistence, kids’ sleep routines

UW Medicine Newsroom

UW expert on Ebola outbreak: ‘Not just a one-off event’

Ebola virus

A micrograph of the Ebola virus.CDC

While the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has captured the world’s attention, it’s just one of many emerging infections that we must confront in the coming years, said Michael Katze, UW professor of microbiology. He leads Ebola research at a high-level biocontainment facility at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana.

“Ebola is not the only emerging virus; it’s just the most famous one,” Katze said. “There’s West Nile, which was never in North America before and now is everywhere. There’s Chikungunya virus, which had never been in the Americas, but now has spread through the Caribbean and has reached the southern United States. There’s SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), which spread from Asia to Toronto and Vancouver, and there’s MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) that still ongoing in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. That epidemic isn’t over.

To be more agile in responding to emerging pathogens, Katze advocates for accelerated development of new drugs and vaccines.

Read more:  http://hsnewsbeat.uw.edu/story/uw-expert-ebola-outbreak-not-just-one-event


Study helps explain why HIV causes lifelong infection

The persistence of HIV infection despite antiretroviral treatment depends partly on which human genes the virus integrates, according to a study by researchers at the UW schools of Public Health and Medicine, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Sherry McLaughlin, senior scientist at Seattle Children’s, developed way to test where HIV integrates into human chromosomes. Specimens were collected from three individuals at three different times over about a dozen years of anti-HIV treatment.
The retrovirus laboratory of co-senior author James Mullins, UW professor of microbiology, contributed to the study. The Mullins laboratory has designed computational and molecular biology tools to examine the staying power and progression of HIV infections, as well as host/virus genetic interactions.
When HIV inserts into cancer genes, human cells proliferate more than when HIV is inserted into other genes, and form clones, explained co-senior author Lisa Frenkel, professor of pediatrics, laboratory medicine and global health.

Read more: http://hsnewsbeat.uw.edu/story/study-helps-explain-why-hiv-causes-lifelong-infection


Back-to-school tips to reset kids sleep routines

As the new school year approaches, School of Nursing sleep expert Teresa Ward, professor of parent and child nursing, offers advice on helping your children arrive rested each day and ready to learn and play.

Learn how kids establish good sleep habits: http://hsnewsbeat.uw.edu/story/back-school-tips-reset-kids-sleep-routines