About viruses and viral disease
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:07:23 +0000
TWiV 330: A swinging gate
On episode #330 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVers explain how a protein platform assists the hepatitis C virus RNA polymerase to begin the task of making viral genomes. You can find TWiV #330 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:07:23 +0000
A protein platform for priming
The enzymes that make copies of the DNA or RNA genomes of viruses – nucleic acid polymerases – can be placed into two broad categories depending on whether or not they require a primer, a short piece of DNA or RNA, to get going. The structure of the primer-independent RNA polymerase of hepatitis C virus reveals […]
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:20:04 +0000
TWiV 329: Pox in the balance
On episode #329 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiV team reviews identification of immune biomarkers in CFS/ME patients, and how a cell nuclease controls the innate immune response to vaccinia virus infection. You can find TWiV #329 at www.twiv.tv.
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 00:49:36 +0000
Covering up a naked virus
Viruses can be broadly classified according to whether or not the particle is enveloped – surrounded by a membrane taken from the host cell – or naked. Some naked viruses apparently are more modest than we believed. Members of the family Picornaviridae, which include Hepatitis A virus, poliovirus, and Coxsackieviruses, have non-enveloped particles that consist of a protein shell […]
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 00:59:56 +0000
TWiV 328: Lariat tricks in 3D
On episode #328 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVocateurs discuss how the RNA polymerase of enteroviruses binds a component of the splicing machinery and inhibits mRNA processing. You can find TWiV #328 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:14:04 +0000
Is chronic wasting disease a threat to humans?
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose). It was first detected in Wyoming and Colorado, and has since spread rapidly throughout North America (illustrated; image credit). Because prions that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, mad cow disease) are known to infect humans, there is concern that CWD might also cross the […]
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 02:02:02 +0000
TWiV 327: Does a gorilla shift in the woods?
On episode #327 of the science show This Week in Virology, the eTWiVicators review evidence that the HIV-1 group O epidemic began with a single cross-species transmission of virus from western lowland gorillas. You can find TWiV #327 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:40:20 +0000
Blocking virus infection with soluble cell receptors
We recently discussed the development of a soluble receptor for HIV-1 that provides broad and effective protection against infection of cells and of nonhuman primates. Twenty-five years ago my laboratory published a paper which concluded that using soluble receptors to block virus infection might not be a good idea. In the first paragraph of that paper we wrote: …it has […]
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:14:47 +0000
TWiV 326: Giving HIV a flat tyr
On episode #326 of the science show This Week in Virology, the sternutating TWiVers discuss preventing infection of cells and animals by a soluble CD4-CCR5 molecule that binds to HIV-1 virus particles. You can find TWiV #326 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:59:54 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
The Attraction of Magnetotactic Bacteria
by Daniel P. Haeusser | Regular readers of Small Things Considered may recall our mention of the magnetotactic bacteria, organisms that can sense the Earth's magnetic field to orient themselves and distinguish up from down. The magnetotactic bacteria vary greatly in morphology, metabolism, and phylogeny, but they all share a little tool that permits the magnetic sensing underlying their coordinated movement (magnetotaxis).
A Snippet. How Do Long Bacteria Snip Apart?
by Elio | Surely there are limits to the size and physiology of bacterial cells. They can only get to be so big or so small, so full of ribosomes or so depleted of them, so fast or so extremely slow in their growth. Add another one to this list: are there limits to how precisely bacteria position their division site? What brings this up is that many of the bacteria encountered in...
When Antibiotic Resistance in vitro Does Not Tell You What You Need To Know
by Terry Roemer | Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that there is a deep difference between what happens in vivo and in vitro. The idea that one can comfortably extrapolate from the bench to, say, the bedside, is receding rapidly. Living things, not even the smallest ones, are no agar plates, however convenient and inexpensive these may be.
A Talmudic Conversation
We posted Talmudic Questions #118 and #119 together because they struck us as being inter-related, both sending our thoughts down similar avenues. Their appearance together on the blog prompted a lively conversation that we thought too interesting to leave buried out of sight. Moreover, we note that it is not too late to take part by posting a comment. You don't have to be an expert to contribute a comment here, or on any of our posts. We invite you to join in...
Evolution of a Superpathogen
by S. Marvin Friedman | The enterobacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, was responsible for many terrifying outbreaks over the course of recorded history, but the most devastating pandemic was known as the Black Death. Occurring between the years 1347 and 1351, it is estimated that it claimed about one-third of Europe’s population, half of that of China, and one-eighth of Africa's. This dreaded disease...
To Retract or Not to Retract… That’s the Question
In the previous post I discussed  that editors of Science asked for the retraction of a paper linking XMRV retrovirus to ME/CFS. The decision of the editors was based on the failure of at least 10 other studies to confirm these findings and on growing support that the results were caused by contamination. When the authors refused […]
Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:34:25 +0000
Science Asks to Retract the XMRV-CFS Paper, it Should Never Have Accepted in the First Place.
Wow! Breaking! As reported in WSJ earlier this week , editors of the journal Science asked Mikovits and her co-authors to voluntary retract their 2009 Science paper . In this paper Mikovits and colleagues of the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) and the Cleveland Clinic, reported the presence of xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells […]
Thu, 02 Jun 2011 21:34:34 +0000
Does the NHI/FDA Paper Confirm XMRV in CFS? Well, Ditch the MR and Scratch the X… and… you’ve got MLV.
The long awaited paper that would ‘solve’ the controversies about the presence of Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related virus (XMRV) in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was finally published in PNAS last week . The study, a joint effort of the NIH and the FDA, was withheld, on request of the authors , because it contradicted […]
Mon, 30 Aug 2010 03:32:21 +0000