March 4, 2016
Zika caught 'killing' brain cells
Zika virus kills the type of tissue found in the developing brain, researchers have shown. It was able to destroy or disrupt the growth of neural progenitor cells, which build the brain and nervous system, in lab tests. The discovery, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, adds weight to claims that Zika is causing brain abnormalities in babies. However, the US researchers caution this is not yet the conclusive link. There have been more than 4,800 confirmed and suspected cases of babies born with small brains - microcephaly - in Brazil. It is widely thought that the Zika outbreak is to blame, but this has not been scientifically confirmed.