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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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An unexpected benefit of inactivated poliovirus vaccine

The polio eradication and endgame strategic plan announced by the World Health Organization in 2014 includes at least one dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). Since 1988, when WHO announced the polio eradication plan, it had relied exclusively on the use of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)... Read More

Researchers Link Vaccine Effectiveness to Gut Bacteria

U.S. researchers have found a link between intestinal bacteria and the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. And the finding could have important implications for how vaccines are given.

Our intestines are full of bacteria; they help us digest our food. But scientists are starting to learn how im... Read More

Bacteria May Remain Dormant After UV Disinfection

Many drinking water treatment facilities worldwide disinfect water with ultraviolet light because it’s quick and efficient, kills protozoa such as Giardia, and doesn’t introduce potentially harmful disinfection by-products. But a new study shows that UV treatment alone can push bacteria into a d... Read More

Researchers eliminate HIV from cultured human cells for first time

HIV-1, the most common type of the virus that causes AIDS, has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of researchers has designed a way to snip o... Read More

TWiP 82 letters


Allan writes:


Dear Vincent, Dickson and Daniel,


I like your idea of a TWIP coffee mug prize (or maybe a mug discount).


In this second case study you presented, the present symptoms are pretty vague, but his history is interesting. Also since with ... Read More

What we are not afraid to say about Ebola virus

In a recent New York Times OpEd entitled What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, Michaeal Osterholm wonders whether Ebola virus could go airborne:

You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one... Read More

Human trial of experimental Ebola vaccine begins this week

A highly anticipated test of an experimental Ebola vaccine will begin this week at the National Institutes of Health, amid mounting anxiety about the spread of the deadly virus in West Africa.

After an expedited review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, researchers were given the green... Read More

New Research Suggests Saharan Dust is Key to the Formation of Bahamas’ Great Bank

A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More

TWiV 324: Viruses in the miR may appear more numerous

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

'Breath test' shows promise for diagnosing fungal pneumonia

Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the infecting microbe—may help detect invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infecti... Read More

Ebola experts say 16 other bat viruses could infect man

Scientists looking for Ebola in bats have identified 16 other viruses in the animal which could jump to humans and potentially cause a disease outbreak on a similar scale to the West African crisis, a health security expert said on Friday.

Humans can contract Ebola from bats, which are carrie... Read More

How U.S. Hospitals Keep Deadly Germs Like Ebola Virus Contained

On Friday afternoon, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a guide explaining how hospitals should manage Ebola patients. Hospital workers entering a patient's room should wear:

- Gloves
- Gown (fluid resistant or impermeable)
- Eye protection (goggles or face shield... Read More

New antibiotic in mushroom that grows on horse dung

Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zurich have discovered a new protein with antibiotic properties in a mushroom that grows on horse dung. Researchers are now exploring the various potential applications.

Microbiologists and molecular biologists at ETH Zurich and the Univer... Read More

Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit its infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal U... Read More

Visiting biosafety level-4 laboratories

Experiments with the most dangerous human viruses, such as Ebola virus and Lassa virus, are carried out in biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories. Since visiting the Northeast Infectious Diseases Laboratory BSL-4 and releasing the documentary video Threading the NEIDL, I was given the opportunit... Read More

Soil bacteria may provide clues to curbing antibiotic resistance

Drug-resistant bacteria annually sicken 2 million Americans and kill at least 23,000. A driving force behind this growing public health threat is the ability of bacteria to share genes that provide antibiotic resistance.

Bacteria that naturally live in the soil have a vast collection of gene... Read More

TWiV 325: Wildcats go viral

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Rollie Clem and Lorena Passarelli


{audio... Read More

Transmission of Ebola virus

As the West African epidemic of Ebola virus grows, so does misinformation about the virus, particularly how it is transmitted from person to person. Ebola virus is transmitted from human to human by close contact with infected patients and virus-containing body fluids. It does not spread among h... Read More

Cell Discovery Could Lead to Strep Throat Vaccine

A new study clarifies how Group A Streptococcus (strep) bacteria resist the human immune system.

The research could eventually lead to the development of a safe vaccine against strep throat, necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), and rheumatic heart disease.

Previous efforts to deve... Read More

Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified

Common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to allergens in a mouse model for peanut allergy, paving the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies.

The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds. By inducing immun... Read More
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