Zika virus has been around since at least 1947, causing mild symptoms. All of a sudden it went full-beast mode and started producing shrinking heads in babies, and other terrible neurological outcomes. Scientists may have figured out that one little amino acid could responsible for flipping the script.
In the two months since the CDC announced that Zika virus causes microcephaly, researchers have been working tirelessly to learn how it does. A recent study brings us one step closer by showing that the Zika virus can bind to, and replicate in, cells of human placentae. This type of insight will help design a drug that could block Zika from getting to the developing fetus.
Two Australian manufacturers have developed an anti-viral prophylactic that it will be available to Olympic athletes. Ansell, the world's second biggest condom maker, in teaming up with the Starpharma, maker of the anti-viral agent, says its product provides "near-complete" protection against the mosquito-spread Zika virus. But unfortunately, while the effort sounds worthwhile, it's essentially just window dressing for a major health concern that's gripped a jittery public.