About viruses and viral disease
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 12:26:57 +0000
TWiV 351: The dengue code
On episode #351 of the science show This Week in Virology, the Masters of the ScienTWIVic Universe discuss a novel poxvirus isolate from an immunosuppressed patient, H1N1 and the gain-of-function debate, and attenuation of dengue virus by recoding the genome. You can find TWiV #351 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 12:26:57 +0000
1977 H1N1 influenza virus is not relevant to the gain of function debate
The individuals who believe that certain types of gain-of-function experiments should not be done because they are too dangerous (including Lipsitch, Osterholm, Wain-Hobson,) cite the 1977 influenza virus H1N1 strain as an example of a laboratory accident that has led to a global epidemic. A new analysis shows that the reappearance of the 1997 H1N1 […]
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:24:44 +0000
TWiV 350: Viral gene therapy with Katherine High
On episode #350 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent speaks with Katherine High about her career and her work on using viral gene therapy to treat inherited disorders. This episode is drawn from one of twenty-six video interviews with leading scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of virology, part of the new edition […]
Sun, 16 Aug 2015 13:21:40 +0000
Lassa virus origin and evolution
I have a soft spot in my heart for Lassa virus: a non-fictional account of its discovery in Africa in 1969 inspired me to become a virologist. Hence papers on this virus always catch my attention, such as one describing its origin and evolution. Lassa virus, a member of the Arenavirus family, is very different from Ebolavirus (a filovirus), but […]
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:36:15 +0000
A collection of polioviruses
In midsummer 1986, five years after starting my poliovirus laboratory at Columbia University, I received a letter from Frederick L. Schaffer, a virologist at the University of California, Berkeley, asking if I would like to have his collection of poliovirus stocks. He was retiring and the samples needed a home, otherwise they would be destroyed. […]
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:48:02 +0000
TWiV 349: One ring to vaccinate them all
On episode #349 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan and Rich explain how to make a functional ribosome with tethered subunits, and review the results of a phase III VSV-vectored Ebolavirus vaccine trial in Guinea. You can find TWiV #349 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:36:21 +0000
An Ebolavirus vaccine in Africa
An Ebolavirus vaccine has shown promising results in a clinical trial in Guinea. This vaccine has been in development since 2004 and was made possible by advances in basic virology of the past 40 years. The ability to produce the Ebolavirus vaccine, called rVSV-EBOV, originates in the 1970s with the discovery of the enzyme reverse transcriptase, the development of […]
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 02:01:07 +0000
TWiV 348: Chicken shift
On episode #348 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent and Rich discuss fruit fly viruses, one year without polio in Nigeria, and a permissive Marek’s disease viral vaccine that allows transmission of virulent viruses. You can find TWiV #348 at www.twiv.tv.
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 13:03:58 +0000
Permissive vaccines and viral virulence
A permissive vaccine prevents disease in the immunized host, but does not block virus infection. Would a permissive vaccine lead to the emergence of more virulent viruses? This hypothesis is based on the notion that viruses which kill their hosts too quickly are not efficiently transmitted, and are therefore removed by selection. However a vaccine […]
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:47:57 +0000
Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
by Jamie Henzy | One could say that bacteria get quite a bit more attention than viruses here at STC. In fact, one could say that they hog the limelight, chewing the scenery and mugging for the camera while viruses, like stepchildren of a stage mom, hang backstage as understudies. So let’s engage in an inclusive family activity, in which both bacteria and viruses can participate.
The Louse And The Vaccine
by Elio | Several events in my life that I will recount below have combined to make me feel connected to the rickettsiae. Consequently, I was drawn to a recent book somewhat bombastically entitled "The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl" by Arthur Allen.
A Whiff of Taxonomy (….and Pathogenesis): Akkermansia muciniphila
by Elio | The depth and breadth of the intestinal microbiome seem to have no limit, so highlighting a single species is totally arbitrary. But choose one must, and I have opted for Akkermansia muciniphila as much as anything, for reasons of human interest.
This Week in Microbiology #110: Exploring unseen life with unpronounceable words
TWiM #110 | The gut microbiome, from a single member, Akkermansia muciniphila, to the effect of antibiotics on its composition and colonization resistance against C. difficile.
Dine in or take out?: The dilemma of the mixotroph
by Rachel and Elie Diner | One of the most important questions for any microbe is where their next meal will come from. For us, whether to make your own meal or eat food prepared by others is a common, perhaps daily, dilemma. In the natural world, the dine-in vs. take-out dilemma is played out in a different form: namely, do organisms make their own food by means such as photosynthesis, or do they rely on consuming other organisms or pre-made organic compounds for sustenance?
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