About viruses and viral disease
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:14:58 +0000
A virus that melts sea stars
Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs (photo credit). In the past year millions of sea stars in the west coast waters of North America have melted into piles of slime and ossicles. Sea star associated densovirus might be the cause of this lethal disease. Sea star wasting disease (SSWD) […]
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:14:58 +0000
TWiV 311: Bulldogs go viral
On episode #311 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent visits the University of Georgia where he speaks with Zhen Fu and Biao He about their work on rabies virus and paramyxoviruses. You can find TWiV #311, audio and video versions, at www.twiv.tv.
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:45:00 +0000
Algal virus associated with altered human cognitive functions
Many well-known human viruses, including poliovirus, rabies virus, West Nile virus, can infect cells of the nervous system, leading to alterations in the function of that organ. Could a virus that infects algae also cause human neurological alterations? Chloroviruses are large DNA-containing viruses that infect unicellular algae called zoochlorellae (pictured: image credit, ViralZone). Unexpectedly, chlorovirus […]
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:41:02 +0000
Nobel Laureates and Ebola virus quarantine
After the governors of New York and New Jersey decided that health workers who have returned from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa should be subject to a 21-day quarantine, two Nobel laureates entered the fray. Bruce Beutler feels that the quarantine is the right thing to do, while Peter Doherty says it’s wrong. Which […]
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:06:14 +0000
TWiV 309: Ebola email
On episode #309 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVocytes answer questions about Ebola virus, including mode of transmission, quarantine, incubation period, immunity, and much more. You can find TWiV #309 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 20:39:28 +0000
TWiM 90: Think globally, act locally
I usually don’t post TWiM episodes here, but #90 has a lot of virology. In this episode, recorded in La Jolla, CA at the annual meeting of the Southern California Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, I first speak with Laurene Mascola, Chief of Acute Communicable Diseases at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Dr. […]
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:44:52 +0000
The Wild Types
The Wild Types is an interview show about scientists hosted by Ushma Neill and Richard White. Ushma interviewed me for episode #2. The show name doesn’t refer to the fact that all scientists are wild (some are; I am not) but the genetic term referring to the strain or organism that is compared with mutants. As […]
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:28:42 +0000
The 100th birth anniversary of Jonas Salk
Jonas Salk, who lead the team that developed the first poliovirus vaccine, was born 100 years ago today, 28 October 1914, in New York City. Numerous sites across the country have convened symposia in his honor. Last week City College of New York, where Salk earned a bachelor’s degree, held a centennial celebration. The photo shows Salk’s […]
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:59:35 +0000
TWiV 308: The Running Mad Professor
On episode #308 of the science show This Week in Virology, Tom Solomon, an infectious disease doctor from Liverpool, talks with Vincent about viral central nervous system infections of global importance, Ebola virus, and running the fastest marathon dressed as a doctor. You can find TWiV #308 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 14:53:39 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Why CRISPR Doesn't Work in E. coli
by Elio | We received this query: »I enjoyed the article on your blog 'Six Questions About CRISPRs' by Merry Youle. I am an ex-lambdologist, having quit phage lambda in the early 70s and moved to GM-plants. There is one thing about CRISPR that I do not understand: Why did lambdologists not find CRISPR? They found phage...
Five Questions About the Foraminifera
by Elio | The Foraminifera ("forams") are among the largest and most abundant of all unicellular organisms. They can reach 20 cm in length and 18 cm in width, and the shells surrounding them are even bigger, up to 30 cm in length. They have existed in prodigious numbers that the remnants...
TWiM #91: Rats, Viruses and Bacteria
Vincent, Elio, and Michele review a study of the viruses and bacteria in commensal rats in New York City.
Fine Reading: There Is No 'Healthy' Microbiome
by Gemma and Elio | This is our first ever recommendation of an article published outside the usual scientific venues, but after all the hype we have heard about the human microbiome we were delighted to finally read a balanced account of what the research tells us and what it does not tell us. Plus…
Life on a Pig's Skin
by Sean Kearney | How frequently do microbes exchange genes when living on a host? This question has been on my mind lately. Broadly speaking, the discovery of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) revolutionized the way we think about prokaryotic evolution. No more could we think only of inheritance via vertical descent — HGT made possible the transmission of traits even between distantly related species.
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