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A spike for piercing the cell membrane

Some viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) deliver their DNA into the host cell with an amazing injection machine. The tailed bacteriophages (such as T4, illustrated) store their DNA in a capsid attached to a long tail tube that is surrounded by a sheath. At the bottom of the tube is a b... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 58 - Baculovirus Blocks Bug Behavior

This episode: Viruses take over caterpillars' behavior!


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Download ... Read More

TWiV 89: Where do viruses vacation?

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On episode #89 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Alan review recent findings on the association of the retrovirus XMRV with ME/CFS, reassortment of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus... Read More

The New Scientist's Swine Flu Resources Page

The New Scientist has put together a nice collection of articles and information about the swine flu on it's site. Read More

Interview with Kim Lewis of Northeastern University

Jeff Fox of Microbe magazine interviews Kim Lewis of Northeastern University--
Missing siderophores may account for why microbiologists can culture only about 1% of the microorganisms that they collect from diverse environments, according to Kim Lewis of Northeastern University and his collabor... Read More

Baruch S. Blumberg, MD, 1925-2011

Glenn Rall, a virologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, sent me the following note:

Baruch S. Blumberg, Nobel Laureate in 1976 for discovery of Hepatitis B (and the eventual development of the vaccine, which probably has saved hundreds of thousands of lives since its introduction), died this pas... Read More

TWiP 33 Letters

Howie writes:



Twivers,


Great podcast!!!


A while ago, Dick made a comment along the lines that Sir... Read More

XMRV is a recombinant virus from mice

The novel human retrovirus XMRV has been associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. The nucleotide sequence of XMRV isolated from humans indicates that the virus is nearly identical with XMRV produced from a human prostate tumor cell line called 22Rv1. This cell line was deriv... Read More

XMRV, prostate cancer, and chronic fatigue syndrome

Robert H. Silverman, one of the authors on the study implicating the new human retrovirus XMRV as an etiologic agent of chronic fatigue syndrome, has written an excellent review article on the current status of research on the virus. The article is behind a paywall at Nature Reviews Urology, so ... Read More

NEJM: The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine

At first glance, the inaugural 1812 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of Science seems reassuringly familiar: a review of angina pectoris, articles on infant diarrhea and burns. The apparent similarity to today's Journal, however, obscures a fu... Read More

TWiM 11 Letters

Steve writes:


As a microbiologist I enjoy listening to your broadcasts.  However, I was very disappointed on the one about Salomonella in cantaloupe and E. coli O157:H7 in Lebanon bologna.  Many incorrect statements were made, such as "Salmonella enteritidis is th... Read More

The Rise of Community-Associated MRSA

This teleconference is sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and will review the history and importance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with a primary focus on the emergence of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). The phenotypic and molecular identification of ... Read More

A viral mashup in snakes

If you know anything about snakes you might be familiar with snake inclusion body disease, or IBD. This transmissible and fatal disease affects snakes of a variety of species but has been best studied in boas. The name comes from the presence of large masses (inclusions) in the cytoplasm of cell... Read More

TWiV 120: Ed Niles, a Km Vmax kind of guy

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Hosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit, and... Read More

TWiV 100 Letters

Damon writes:


I've been having an enjoyable time on my commute lately catching up with TWiV. Today I listened to #26 (Poxviruses), which included a discussion of Tysabri and PML. I work at Millipore which sells many products that go into a MAb production train, includ... Read More

TWiM 36 Letters

Todd writes:

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoy TWiM, and in particular, how much I enjoyed episode 32 featuring Rosie Redfield. I don't know how you find time to do this, but I'm gl... Read More

Preparing for the Flu: A Childcare Communications Toolkit

The CDC has just published "Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs." A .pdf document that provides information and communication resources to help center-based and home-based child care programs, Head Start programs, and other early childhood p... Read More

The Human Lake

Science writer Carl Zimmer writes a masterful blog piece tracing the history of the study of ecosystems, from lakes to the human microbiome. Just one interesting fact: In their lifetimes, individual humans will produce about five elephants worth of microbes. Read More

Virophage, the virus eater

A second virophage has been identified. The name does not signify a virus that infects another virus – it means virus eater.
Read More

TWiV 177 Letters

John writes:


Dear TWIVvers,


In TWIV 173, you talked about a study on antibody levels to bird flu (H5N1) in various populations, and related this to infections that don't cause serious enough illness to send someone to the hospital, or perhaps to get them teste... Read More

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