A devastating viral disease could actually help treat and prevent brain cancer in the future, suggests yet more research, published Tuesday in MBio. Researchers at the University of Texas and elsewhere successfully used a modified version of the Zika virus to selectively kill off certain stem cells that allow brain tumors to stay alive, at least in mice.
Primarily spread by mosquitoes, Zika had long been considered a minor nuisance. For decades, following its discovery in the 1940s, it sporadically appeared in Asia and Africa. And when it did show up, it only occasionally caused flu-like symptoms in those infected. But starting in 2015, massive outbreaks of Zika raged across South and Central America, and parts of North America. Most people who caught the virus this time around were left no worse for the experience, but it was soon discovered that Zika could sometimes cause severe birth defects in children whose mothers had contracted it during their pregnancy. Read the full article by clicking on the photo.