About viruses and viral disease
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 13:12:16 +0000
TWiV 334: In vino virus
On episode #334 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVles talk about endogenous viruses in plants, sex and Ebolavirus transmission, an outbreak of canine influenza in the US, Dr. Oz, and doubling the NIH budget. You can find TWiV #334 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 13:12:16 +0000
Retroviral influence on human embryonic development
About eight percent of human DNA is viral: it consists of retroviral genomes produced by infections that occurred many years ago. These endogenous retroviruses are passed from parent to child in our DNA. Some of these viral genomes are activated for a brief time during human embryogenesis, suggesting that they may play a role in development. […]
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 01:32:04 +0000
TWiV 333: Naturally curious chimeras
On episode #333 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent returns to Vanderbilt University and meets up with Ben, Megan, Bobak, and Meredith to learn about life in the Medical Scientist Training Program, where students earn both an MD and a Ph.D. You can find TWiV #333 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:11:05 +0000
Describing a viral quasispecies
Virus populations do not consist of a single member with a defined nucleic acid sequence, but are dynamic distributions of nonidentical but related members called a quasispecies (illustrated at left). While next-generation sequencing methods have the capability of describing a quasispecies, the errors associated with this technology have limited progress in our understanding of the genetic […]
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 01:40:10 +0000
TWiV 332: Vanderbilt virology
On episode #332 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent visits Vanderbilt University and meets up with Seth, Jim, and Mark to talk about their work on a virus of Wolbachia, anti-viral antibodies, and coronaviruses. You can find TWiV #332 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 13:36:36 +0000
A transmissible cancer of soft-shell clams
A leukemia-like cancer is killing soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America. The cancer is transmitted between animals in the ocean, and appears to have originated in a single clam as recently as 40 years ago. Hemic neoplasm is a disease of marine bivalves that is characterized by proliferation of morphologically and functionally aberrant hemocytes, the […]
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 03:47:13 +0000
TWiV 331: Why is this outbreak different from all other outbreaks?
On episode #331 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiV team discusses the possible association of the respiratory pathogen enterovirus D68 with neurological disease. You can find TWiV #331 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 05 Apr 2015 15:09:24 +0000
HeLa RNA is everywhere
The first immortal human cell line ever produced, HeLa, originated from a cervical adenocarcinoma taken from Henrietta Lacks. The cell line grew so well that it was used in many laboratories and soon was found to contaminate other cell lines. Now HeLa RNA has made its way into human sequence databases. Although the cause of […]
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:10:04 +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
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Four Resources and One Fiction
by Daniel P. Haeusser | Aside from research, teaching, and writing for Small Things Considered, I read a lot. Reviews of advanced reading copies that I am fortunate to receive appear on my site Reading 1000 Lives and in contributions to the Skiffy and Fanty Show. Occasionally some of what I read is worth noting...
Super Mario, Super Sonic, Paramecium!
by Radwa Raed Sharaf | What could those three possibly have in common? Believe it or not, they all play the role of a lead action figure in kids’ video games. Hearing the latest edition of the German biotechnology news broadcast, I was surprised to learn that researchers of the Riedel-Kruse lab at Stanford...
No Free Lunch for Cheaters
by S. Marvin Friedman | Bacteria engage in a variety of behaviors that require coordinated gene expression, such as bioluminescence, biofilm formation, production of virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance. In these situations, gene expression requires a critical number of cells. In its absence, the exercise would be in vain, something like...
Your Favorite Talmudic Questions, I.
by Elio | These are questions that may not have definitive answers but where the pleasure resides in contemplating the question. What deeper meaning lies therein? As an aside, the question "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" may sound Talmudic but actually has a totally different...
Small Size Holds Sway
by Elio | Let me meander a bit before tackling the topic of how small a size microbes can attain. One of the main tools in this business is filtration, a technology that we tend to take for granted in the microbiological lab. Yet, filtration has a notable history and notable applications. It was used...
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