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Assessing gram stain error rates

Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More

TWiV Special: DA Henderson, smallpox eradicator

Donald “D.A.” Henderson, a physician, educator, and epidemiologist who led the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate smallpox, died at 87 years of age on Aug. 19, 2016. Vincent was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with DA Henderson in 2014 about his career, the smallpox era... Read More


Bohr's atomic model comes to life with Kocuria rhizophila, Serratia marcescens, and Lactobaccillus casei. Read More

Are Viruses Alive?

Plenty of people have weighed in on the question, 'Are Viruses Alive?' Here is my answer - different from all the others. Read More

Dengue: Asymptomatic people transmit the virus to mosquitoes

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the CNRS provided proof that people infected by dengue virus but showing no clinical symptoms can actually infect mosquitoes that bite them. It appears that these asymptomatic people - who, together with mildly sym... Read More

Zika virus: 5 things to know

A concise "Five things to know about.... Zika virus infection" article for physicians highlights key points about this newly emerged virus in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) Read More

New bat gammaherpesvirus may help understand bats' role in zoonoses

Many emerging viruses (such as SARS-CoV, Ebola virus, and the Henipavirus genus) are thought to have zoonotic reservoirs in the regional bat populations. Bats offer a threat to spreading these viruses because their flight capacity makes them readily mobile. Also, there are a whole lot of them: w... Read More

Famous Ancient Iceman Had Familiar Stomach Infection

Researchers have extracted the oldest complete genome sequence of a pathogen yet, from the body of the 5,300-year-old ice mummy Ötzi.

According to a January 7 paper in Science, the ‘Iceman’ was infected with the bacteriumHelicobacter pylori, which also plagues modern humans.

Few corpses h... Read More

Top secret, viruses with RNA genomes!

Today it is well known that viruses may contain DNA (poxvirus, mimivirus) or RNA (influenza virus, Zika virus), but for many years it was thought that genomes were only made of DNA. The surprise at finding only RNA in a virus is plainly evident in a 1953 letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor to J... Read More

TWiP 111: Bug bites

The TWiP trio solve the case of the bug bites all in a row, and talk about a secreted Toxoplasma protein that is central to the parasite's manipulation of host cells.

Hosts: Vincent Racan... Read More

TWiV 397: Trial by error

Vincent speaks with David Tuller about flaws in the U.K's $8 million PACE trial for chronic fatigue syndrome, and efforts to have the trial data released.

Host: Vincent Racaniello 

Gue... Read More

THE RIDDLE OF THE R.I.D.L _ Zika virus Comics (Playlist)

In Zanzare, the new comic from Cimaza (www.cimazacomics.com/), we are plunged head-first into the global mystery of the Zika virus. We meet the mosquitoes (in Italian: zanzare) implicated in its spread; but the insects plead their innocence, saying it's all a misunderstanding. They lay their cas... Read More

TWiEVO 1: When (scientific) worlds collide

Nels and Vincent launch a new podcast on evolution, This Week in Evolution (TWiEVO) and start by discussing how the field has changed through recent mergers of evolutionary and experimental biology in the post-genome era. Read More

CRISPR/Cas9 used for rapid functional study of cancer-causing genes

In a novel use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which can be deployed to switch genes off, researchers from Germany, the UK and Spain have developed a multiplexed screening approach to study and model cancer development in mice. The scientists mutated genes in the adult mouse liver uncovering their ca... Read More

Zika virus in Brazilian non-human primates

Zika virus RNA has been detected in New World monkeys from the Northeast region of Brazil. This finding suggests that primates may serve as a reservoir host for the virus, as occurs in Africa. Read More

E. coli, Salmonella, and Norovirus - oh my!

This upcoming Monday, Chipotle restaurants across the country will close as its employees discuss food safety and safe food handling. The restaurant was in the news throughout the last half of 2015, beginning with an outbreak of E. coli in Seattle (which was kept secret!), followed by another E.... Read More

Congenital Zika Syndrome

Data from several clinical studies in Brazil establish a strong link between infection of pregnant women with Zika virus and a variety of birth defects collectively called congenital Zika syndrome.

In the latest study conducted in Rio de Janeiro, the authors enrolled 88 pregnant women who had... Read More

Diagram captures microbes’ influence across animal kingdom

One finding from a study published September 15 in Scientific Data that matched animals with their known microbes and drew connections between species with similar microbial crews found at least 233 species of bacteria, viruses and more live on or inside both humans and dogs. The diagram publish... Read More

TWiV 382: Everyone's a little bit viral

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

Zika virus infects human neural stem cells

The Zika virus infects a type of neural stem cell that gives rise to the brain's cerebral cortex, Johns Hopkins and Florida State researchers report March 4 in Cell Stem Cell. On laboratory dishes, these stem cells were found to be havens for viral reproduction, resulting in cell death and/or di... Read More
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