About viruses and viral disease
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:59:54 +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
Blocking HIV infection with two soluble receptors
Because viruses must bind to cell surface molecules to initiate replication, the use of soluble receptors to block virus infection has long been an attractive therapeutic option. Soluble receptors have been developed that block infection with rhinoviruses and HIV-1, but these have not been licensed due to their suboptimal potency. A newly designed soluble receptor […]
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 03:31:57 +0000
TWiV 325: Wildcats go viral
On episode #325 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent visits the ‘Little Apple’ and speaks with Rollie and Lorena about their work on mosquito-born viruses and baculoviruses. You can find TWiV #325 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:52:43 +0000
Ebolavirus will not become a respiratory pathogen
An otherwise balanced review of selected aspects of Ebolavirus transmission falls apart when the authors hypothesize that ‘Ebola viruses have the potential to be respiratory pathogens with primary respiratory spread.’ The idea that Ebolavirus might become transmitted by the respiratory route was suggested last year by Michael Osterholm in a Times OpEd. That idea was widely criticized […]
Sat, 21 Feb 2015 14:07:18 +0000
Measles in the brain: Fusion gone awry
The entry of enveloped viruses into cells begins when the membrane that surrounds these virus particles fuse with a cell membrane. The process of virus-cell fusion must be tightly regulated, to make sure it happens in the right cells. The fusion activity of measles viruses isolated from the brains of AIDS patients is not properly regulated, […]
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 02:10:50 +0000
TWiV 324: Viruses in the miR may appear more numerous
On episode #324 of the science show This Week in Virology, Lee joins the TWiV team to discuss the value of post-doctoral training, and how a cellular microRNA assists in the replication of hepatitis C virus. You can find TWiV #324 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:18:11 +0000
What does transfection mean?
I have always had a problem with the use of the word transfection to mean anything other than the introduction of viral DNA into cells (illustrated for poliovirus). An examination of the origins of the word suggests that such use might be acceptable. The introduction of foreign DNA into cells is called DNA-mediated transformation to distinguish […]
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 01:24:35 +0000
Viral supercomputer simulations
Jason Roberts, a virologist at the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, creates three-dimensional simulations of viruses showing how the molecules that make up the capsid and genome might move in very short periods of time. I visited Jason in his laboratory at the newly constructed Peter Doherty Institute, to learn how he develops […]
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 01:11:16 +0000
TWiV 323: A skid loader full of viromes
On episode #323 of the science show This Week in Virology, the family TWiVidae discuss changes in the human fecal virome associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. You can find TWiV #323 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 08 Feb 2015 14:06:27 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Cheesey Microbial Communities
by Daniel P. Haeusser | I have an insatiable fondness for cheese. Yes, the preparation of this post involved heavenly pungent dreams of Tarte au Maroilles and several trips to the cheesemonger’s counter. Gazing at the smear-ripened gooey perfection of Époisses de Bourgogne and the staggering price for this import, I appreciated the power that this microbial product can have over someone.
Michael Goldberg, Thirty Years The ASM's Executive Director
by Elio | You must have heard it said that no one is indispensable to an institution. Maybe so, but such truths come in degrees. Every so often someone comes along who makes a genuine difference in how an organization functions. I turn here to Michael Goldberg, who thirty years ago began...
The Most Abundant Small Things Considered
by Merry Youle & Gemma Reguera | The pioneering sequencing of environmental 16S rRNA bacterial genes from Sargasso Sea samples, reported by Giovannoni and colleagues in a 1990 Nature paper, revealed a great genetic diversity of marine bacteria. It also identified the most abundant rRNA sequences as belonging to a group of bacteria with no cultivated representatives...
Pictures Considered #24. Ostreococcus tauri, the Smallest Known Eukaryote
by Elio | Ostreococcus tauri is about as small as a free-living eukaryote can get. Its disk-shaped cells are as small as 0.8 µm, which makes it possible to examine them by electron cryotomography. As reported in a paper from the Jensen lab, there is barely enough room in these cells...
Noncoding DNA and Bacterial Evolution
by S. Marvin Friedman | The rapid pace of bacterial evolution is thought to result from the ease with which these organisms acquire new genetic information. What is the source of the genetic variation behind these bits of razzle-dazzle? The primary basis of bacterial phenotypic plasticity has long been considered to be changes in gene content resulting from horizontal gene transfer (HGT) as well as...
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