About viruses and viral disease
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:45:48 +0000
TWiV 434: Live long and pupate
The esteemed TWiVumvirate reveal the discovery of a new negative stranded RNA virus of wasps that regulates longevity and sex ratio of its parasitoid host. You can find TWiV #434 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 434 (64 MB .mp3, 106 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV!
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:45:48 +0000
The viruses in your blood
If you have ever received a blood transfusion, along with the red blood cells, leukocytes, plasma and other components, you also were infused with a collection of viruses. A recent study of the blood virome of over 8,000 healthy individuals revealed 19 different DNA viruses in 42% of the subjects. Viral DNA sequences were identified among the genome […]
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 03:10:06 +0000
An open letter to Psychological Medicine, again!
Last week, Virology Blog posted an open letter to the editors of Psychological Medicine. The letter called on them to retract the misleading findings that participants in the PACE trial for ME/CFS had “recovered” from cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy. More than 100 scientists, clinicians, other experts and patient organizations signed the letter. […]
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:31:56 +0000
TWiV 433: Poops viruses and worms
The lovely TWiV team explore evolution of our fecal virome, and the antiviral RNA interference response in the nematode C. elegans. You can find TWiV #433 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 433 (65 MB .mp3, 107 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV!
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:01:19 +0000
An open letter to Psychological Medicine about “recovery” and the PACE trial
Sir Robin Murray and Dr. Kenneth Kendler Psychological Medicine Cambridge University Press University Printing House Shaftesbury Road Cambridge CB2 8BS UK Dear Sir Robin Murray and Dr. Kendler: In 2013, Psychological Medicine published an article called “Recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome after treatments given in the PACE trial.” In the paper, White et al. reported that graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive […]
Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:39:51 +0000
TWiV 432: Conjunction junction, what’s your function?
The TWiVites discuss Zika virus seroprevalence in wild monkeys, Zika virus mRNA vaccines, and a gamete fusion protein inherited from viruses. You can find TWiV #432 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 432 (65 MB .mp3, 108 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV!
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 15:24:53 +0000
Did viruses enable sex?
A key step in sexual reproduction is the fusion of haploid cells to form a diploid zygote, yet the molecular mechanism underlying this joining of cells is poorly understood. Two studies reveal amazing similarities between proteins required for fusion of sperm and egg, and virus with host cells. A screen for genes that cause male sterility in the flowering plant Arabidopsis led to […]
Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:59:14 +0000
TWiV 431: Niemann-Pick of the weak
The TWiVirions reveal bacteriophage genes that control eukaryotic reproduction, and the biochemical basis for increased Ebolavirus glycoprotein activity during the recent outbreak. You can find TWiV #431 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 431 (71 MB .mp3, 118 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV!
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 14:23:35 +0000
A virus that controls reproduction
The obligate intracellular bacteria Wolbachia (pictured), which infects 40% of arthropods, can manipulate its host to ensure its maintenance in the population. An example is cytoplasmic incompatibility, which occurs when infected males mate with uninfected females, and causes embryonic lethality (mating with an infected female produces viable offspring). Two Wolbachia genes responsible for this phenotype have been […]
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 17:46:51 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Fungi, The Tillers
by Elio | "The fossil record of life's earliest steps onto land is profoundly incomplete." So starts a paper by Cambridge University's Martin Smith that helps shed light on this momentous happening. The climb ashore took place about 500 million years ago, give or take (no one seems to be quite sure of the date). These successful adventurers were plants, but still far from the highly-evolved plants...
Talmudic Question #143
On the planet Trafalmadore there are no lytic phages, only lysogenic ones that are only rarely induced to produce progeny virions. How does their planetary microbiome differ from ours?
On the Discovery of CRISPR – An Interview
by Roberto | It was August 21, 1992 when a graduate student at the University of Alicante, Spain studying the transcriptional responses of the archaeon Haloferax mediterranei to high salinity noticed an unusual pattern of repeated sequences in a gel. Soon thereafter he noticed that a similar pattern of repeats had been reported in Escherichia coli in 1987 and in Mycobacterium bovis in 1991...
Did the Neanderthals Eat Mushrooms?
by Elio | A recent report in Nature carries the tantalizing title “Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus.” A consortium of some 30 authors from about a dozen countries studied the dental plaque of five Neanderthals, two found in caves in Belgium, two in Spain, and one in Italy. (A good thing that these relatives of ours did not practice extensive dental hygiene, which...
Why Did Jacques Monod Not Become Ole Maaløe
by Elio | I was asked recently why Jacques Monod did not followup on his early work on bacterial growth. Instead, he happily veered in a different direction and went on to become one of the fathers of Molecular Biology. Together with François Jacob, he proposed the operon model and other key breakthroughs on the regulation of gene expression...
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