About viruses and viral disease
Mon, 23 May 2016 16:25:33 +0000
An open letter to PLoS One
PLoS One 1160 Battery Street Koshland Building East, Suite 100 San Francisco, CA 94111 Dear PLoS One Editors: In 2012, PLoS One published “Adaptive Pacing, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Graded Exercise, and Specialist Medical Care for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis.” This was one in a series of papers highlighting results from the PACE study—the […]
Mon, 23 May 2016 16:25:33 +0000
TWiV 390: Building a better mosquito trap
Project Premonition, a Microsoft Research project that uses drones to capture mosquitoes and analyze them for pathogens, preprint servers, and three mouse models for Zika virus induced birth defects are the topics of episode #390 of the science show This Week in Virology. You can find TWiV #390 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV […]
Sun, 22 May 2016 13:31:58 +0000
Virus Watch: Zika virus and microcephaly
Three papers have been published showing that Zika virus can cross the placenta in mice, replicate in the fetus, and cause microcephaly. In this video from Virus Watch I summarize these data and their implications.
Fri, 20 May 2016 21:23:24 +0000
Science publishing has a Zika problem
Science publishing has a problem. I agree with Nobel Laureate Randy Schekman, who wrote that prestigious science journals like Cell, Nature, and Science – which he calls ‘luxury journals’ – are damaging science. The succession of articles on Zika virus nicely illustrates this problem. The big three in science publishing – Science, Nature, and Cell […]
Thu, 19 May 2016 23:49:04 +0000
Interview with Thomas Hope
For the chapter on The Infectious Cycle in the textbook Principles of Virology, Vincent spoke with Thomas Hope, PhD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, about his career and his work on using high resolution microscopy to study the cell biology of infection with HIV-1.
Mon, 16 May 2016 17:24:23 +0000
TWiV 389: Alphabet hepatitis with Stan Lemon
Vincent speaks with Stan Lemon about his career in virology, from early work on Epstein Barr virus, through making essential discoveries about hepatitis A virus, hepatitis C virus, and rhinoviruses, on episode #389 of the science show This Week in Virology. You can find TWiV #389 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV […]
Sun, 15 May 2016 15:08:27 +0000
Zika virus crosses the placenta and causes microcephaly in mice
I am convinced that Zika virus causes microcephaly in humans, but it would be valuable to have an animal model to study how the virus crosses the placenta and damages the fetus. As with many questions about Zika virus, answers are coming very rapidly, and three different groups have now provided substantial insight into this problem. When a […]
Thu, 12 May 2016 19:26:41 +0000
Virus Watch: Building Zika virus
The results of recent structural studies have given us the ability to display the structure of Zika virus and of the viral E protein bound to antibody. In this video from Virus Watch I explain how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it interacts with an antibody that blocks infection, in beautiful three […]
Wed, 11 May 2016 11:08:13 +0000
TWiV 388: What could possibly go wrong?
Preprint servers, the structure of an antibody bound to Zika virus, blocking Zika virus replication in mosquitoes with Wolbachia, and killing carp in Australia with a herpesvirus are topics of episode #388 of the science show This Week in Virology, hosted by Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Kathy. You can find TWiV #388 at microbe.tv/twiv, or […]
Sun, 08 May 2016 15:12:37 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Who Feasts on Volcanic Fluids?
by Than Kyaw | When limiting nutrients like nitrates and phosphates are introduced into a body of water, microscopic algae multiply so much that the water changes color. For example, in response to fertilizer runoff, a 2011 cyanobacteria bloom changed the clear waters of Lake Erie into a dark-green soup and forced the nearby city of Toledo into a state of water crisis.
A Snippet: Oceanic Conversations
by Elio | In the ocean, bacteria and eukaryotic microbes (mainly the phytoplankton) interact in various ways, some mutually beneficial, others detrimental. Many, perhaps most of these interactions, take place via chemical communications. If you had a hydro phone-like gadget that could detect chemicals instead of sound, the racket would be deafening. Yet, we know little about these goings-on.
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend - A Microbial Solution to The Emperor of all Maladies
by Elie J. Diner | Following the State of the Union Address by President Obama and his declaration "to cure cancer once and for all," a recent post on this blog pondered the following: How can microbes contribute to this effort of finding a cure for cancer? This seems to be a true underdog situation considering the size difference between a bacterial cell (~1 µm3) and a mammalian cancer cell (~2,000 µm3). Given how many of these cancerous cells could make up a tumor, this head-to-head battle seems to have a predetermined winner; the little guys don't stand a chance.
Pictures Considered #37. The Queen's Necklaces
by Christoph Weigel | Rod-shaped Escherichia coli cells have, depending on growth conditions, a length of 1–2 µm and a diameter of ~0.5 µm but harbor a chromosome that is ~1.5 mm long, a difference in length by a factor of 1,000. So, there is a problem to fit this chromosome into the cell, right? Not so, in fact, because...
Subway Snowblowers and Men in Black - This Week in Microbiology #127
TWiM #127: Microbes in snowblower vents on the ocean floor, and cleavage of antibody molecules by a Mycoplasma protease.
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