About viruses and viral disease
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:58:04 +0000
Trial By Error: FITNET-NHS Recruitment Ad Promotes “Recovery”
By David Tuller, DrPH A British medical education company has recently disseminated a recruitment ad for a high-profile pediatric study of treatment for what it calls CFS/ME. The recruitment ad’s headline describes the intervention being investigated as “effective,” without caveat or reservation. (Full headline: “Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME): effective home treatment for teenagers”) To […]
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:58:04 +0000
TWiV Special: David Tuller is PACEman
David Tuller returns to provide an update of his investigative work to expose the methodological and ethical problems with the PACE trial for ME/CFS. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>&lt;span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&amp;lt;span data-mce-type=”bookmark” […]
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:45:44 +0000
Trial By Error: More Mayo, Please…
By David Tuller, DrPH Two years ago, the Mayo Clinic referred Lisa Alioto, a patient diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, to a three-day rehabilitation program–a mini-version of a multi-week program designed for those with a grab-bag of chronic pain and related conditions. These conditions, as listed on the Mayo website, include fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, […]
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:23:57 +0000
TWiV 507: The fusion of form and function
The TWiV team discuss the biology of Ebola viruses, and how localization of the membrane proteins of vaccinia virus drive function: the fusion machinery sits at the tips of virions, and binding proteins are at the sides. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: […]
Sun, 19 Aug 2018 15:06:04 +0000
Viral glycoproteins are not always randomly distributed
The membranes of enveloped viruses contain embedded proteins that are essential for attaching to cell receptors and fusing with cell membranes. We generally view these glycoproteins as evenly distributed over the surface of the virus particle, as illustrated for influenza virus. But many more envelope glycoproteins are involved in attachment and entry of larger viruses, […]
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 01:43:54 +0000
Trial By Error: The BPS Brigades Score Another Own Goal
By David Tuller, DrPH Not long ago, Sir Simon scored an own goal by enticing a childhood buddy to enter the PACE debate. That buddy, attorney and social commentator Mike Godwin, soon pronounced the trial—which Sir Simon had called “a thing of beauty”–to be “so profoundly flawed that it cannot be trusted.” Sir Simon tweeted […]
Wed, 15 Aug 2018 23:49:54 +0000
Trial By Error: Open Letter to The Lancet, version 3.0
By David Tuller, DrPH Two months ago, Professor Racaniello sent Lancet editor Richard Horton an open letter about the indisputable methodological and ethical failings of the PACE trial. This was a follow-up to Virology Blog’s 2016 open letter to Dr. Horton; the new one detailed what has happened since then. Last month, I re-sent and […]
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 04:22:11 +0000
TWiV 506: A Cafeteria full of jelly rolls
The TWiVniks explain how the three-dimensional structure of the giant Cafeteria roenbergensis virus suggests a new mode of assembly, and the apparent elimination of dengue fever in an Australian city by release of mosquitoes harboring Wolbachia. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” […]
Sun, 12 Aug 2018 14:58:15 +0000
A lytic bacterium that behaves like a virus
What do you call a small bacterium that acts like a virus, infecting and lysing eukaryotic cells? Chromulinavvorax destructans, of course! As part of a study to identify pathogens that infect protist zooplankton, particles smaller than 0.8 microns were obtained from freshwater habitats in southwestern British Columbia, and used to infect cultures of protists. This […]
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:28:34 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
More Respect For the Silicon Cycle, Please
by Elio | Silicon is the second most abundant element within Earth’s crust and is necessary for the livelihood of protists, plants, and animals. Maybe best known, silica (SiO2 or opal) is used by marine organisms such as diatoms and rhizarians to build their glassy and often beautiful shells.
Occasionally, Microbiologists use Macroscopes...
by Christoph | If you'd ask people around you which hand tool characterizes a professional microbiologist, they would probably come up with the microscope. Much like hammer and saw would be named as typical carpenter tools, or the plough as typical for farmers ('hammer and sickle' is a similar case, yet not the point here). The light microscope...
What To Do When You Run Out of a Cherished Symbiont?
by Elio | The answer is easy: pick up another one. This happens with the cicadas, those noisy insects that have been in the mindfulness of humans since antiquity. Cicadas, like aphids, psyllids, leafhoppers and others, feed on plant sap fluids, which are rich in sugars but poor in amino acids and vitamins.
How to Build a Giant Winogradsky Column
by Scott Chimileski | In part one of my tour of the Microbial Life exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH), I wrote that the microscopy station and the live bacterial colonies are my personal favorites. Actually, those are my second and third favorites. I was saving my "most favorite" exhibit for its very own post: a giant-sized, living and changing Winogradsky column.
The Microbial Life Exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History
by Scott Chimileski | In late 2015, I wrote an STC post about plans for a microbial exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. That article, Bringing the Microbial World into Our Natural History Museums, and another written at ASM.org in 2016, Age of the Microzoo, describe the background and motivation behind the exhibition. Now, I am pleased to share with the STC audience...
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