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Part of MERS-CoV nucleotide sequence found in a bat

What is wrong with this paragraph from today’s New York Times that describes the origin of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus:

Health officials confirmed Wednesday that bats in Saudi Arabia were the source of the mysterious virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle ... Read More

Innovative vaccine in trial for advanced ovarian cancer

A clinical trial of an innovative vaccine is occurring. The vaccine could offer hope to patients with advanced ovarian cancer. The vaccine, which is derived from the patient's tumor cells, is designed to jumpstart the patient's immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.

Ovarian cancer is ... Read More

TWiV 247: Today's weather in virology



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, ... Read More

China bird flu analysis finds more virus threats lurking

A deadly new bird flu virus in China evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people, and there are other bird flu viruses circulating that could follow the same path, scientists have found.

The study - an analysis of the evolutionary history of the H7N9 bird flu that ha... Read More

The Latest Clean Energy Cocktail: Bacteria And Fungus

By throwing together a common fungus and a common bacteria, researchers are producing isobutanol — a biofuel that gallon-for-gallon delivers 82 percent of gasoline’s heat energy. The more common ethanol, by contrast, only gets 67 percent of gasoline’s energy, and does more damage to pipelines an... Read More

How Hormones and Microbes Drive the Gender Bias in Autoimmune Diseases

Females can mount more powerful immune responses than males, but the flip side of this enhanced protection against infections is a greater risk for autoimmune disorders. Shedding light on the underlying causes of the gender bias in autoimmune diseases, a study published by Cell Press August 22nd... Read More

Study finds that microbes influence B-cell development in the gut

Gut bacteria exert a dramatic, systemic effect on the development of the immune system's B-lymphocytes, according to a new mouse study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital. While influences of gut bacteria on T-lymphocytes have been noted before, this is the first time that researchers h... Read More

Social Media, Course Syllabi, and Blowing Off Steam...

In this post from my blog, I discuss the recent interest in snarky-funny academic hashtags on Twitter, such as #overlyhonestsyllabi. Just like students, educators need to blow off some steam (especially as classes approach!). But it is also important to remember our educational goals, and matc... Read More

New test system identifies 193 different yeasts and bacteria known to cause illness (FDA Press Release)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More

Quest For The Missing Bacteria

A Michigan State University scientist will use a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom) to solve the mystery of the missing bacteria.
The bacteria, discovered in a German charcoal pit in the 1990s, ... Read More

MWV Episode 76 - Jeffrey Almond - Vaccine Development

Dr. Jeffrey Almond began his career as an academic virologist studying influenza. Eventually Jeffrey started his own lab and began studying picornaviruses working on an oral polio vaccine strain.


Following twenty ... Read More

Doctors Fined for Implanting Fecal Bacteria into Patients’ Brains

A hospital was fined after a pair of neurosurgeons implanted fecal bacteria into the brains of patients during operations without proper authorization. A few things jump out at us here. 1) They did WHAT!?! 2) There’s proper authorization for putting poop in people’s brains!?! 3) Ewwwwwww.

The... Read More

Can bacteria use pain to tamp down the immune system?

Nothing gets our attention like pain.

But pain is more than the body’s miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes.

Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravat... Read More

Arab revolutions: Ignoring a potential catastrophe

Recent conflicts in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East may have sufficiently destabilised national and international public health control measures to a point where several tropical diseases have either emerged and are sickening large population... Read More
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