The New York Times – New approach to blocking H.I.V. raises hopes for an AIDS vaccine
A new compound has blocked H.I.V. infection so well in monkeys that it may be able to function as a vaccine against AIDS, the scientists who designed it reported Wednesday.
H.I.V. has defied more than 30 years of conventional efforts to fashion a vaccine. The new method stimulates muscle cells to produce proteins that somewhat resemble normal antibodies, which have Y-shaped heads. These proteins have both a head and a tail, and they use them to simultaneously block two sites on each “spike” that the virus uses to attach itself to a cell.

The Huffington Post India – 9311 cases of swine flu registered, 624 lives claimed
Swine flu deaths continued unabated as the toll crossed 620 even as the country’s drug authority today asked chemists to stock Tamiflu drug but not sell it without prescription.
The virus claimed 39 more lives between February 15-16 taking the total total number of deaths this year to 624. The number of people affected by the flu is 9311 this year so far, much more than past few years.
With the death toll rising, the number could surpass that of 2013, which had reported 699 deaths. 218 people had died of swine flu last year. In 2012, there were 405 deaths.

The Atlantic – Should doctors write about patients?
A number of years ago, I wrote an essay about an elderly woman, a patient of mine. After her death, I spent months cobbling our encounter into a narrative, rich with detail about how her illness had come to define her life, what she looked like, how she sounded. I was proud of the piece and prouder yet when I learned that it would be published.
And yet I also felt anxious. This was her story, too. If she were still alive, I could have asked her permission. Now, I could omit details that made it more likely someone might recognize her. So I nixed a few touches that weren’t vital to the piece. Still, I was pretty sure that one of her children—if they happened to come across this—would recognize that their mother was the main character in this story.

The Washington Post – The weird way that climate change could lead to new disease outbreaks around the world
Climate change could be behind more than just rising ocean levels, melting polar ice caps, and extreme weather events – it could also be creating the ecological basis for infectious diseases to spread to new places and new hosts. Writing in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, two prominent zoologists, Daniel Brooks of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Eric Hoberg of the U.S. National Parasite Collection of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service,warn that outbreaks of infectious diseases such as West Nile virus and Ebola are just the start – global warming could enable similar types of diseases to emerge and thrive in places you might not expect.
The basic underpinning of this “climate change causes infectious disease” model is that warming temperatures and other forms of “climatological variation” have the potential to fundamentally change natural habitats. As habitats change, this ultimately leads to wildlife, crops, livestock and humans being exposed to new pathogens. In some cases, these pathogens find new susceptible hosts and are able to spread quickly.