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A mad cow in America

A dairy cow in California is the fourth known American case of mad cow disease, which is caused by prions, infectious agents composed only of protein (the story hit the press the day after my lecture on this type of illness). Unlike viruses, prions have no nucleic acid and no protective coat. Bu... Read More

TWiV 88 Letters

Sharon writes:


Hello fellow virus lovers,


I first want to comment about Vincent's pick of the week a few weeks back, the book "Polio" by David Oshinsky. I am currently studying poliovirus in Julie Pfeiffer's lab (as you revealed many moons ago with a previous ... Read More

Propose a Topic for asm2012 - 112th General Meeting of ASM

Are you interested in proposing an interdisciplinary topic with maximum appeal? Do you have an idea for a core colloquium or symposium of scientific significance? ASM's General Meeting Program Committee is soliciting suggestions to help build the program for asm2012 in San Francisco, June 16-1... Read More

TWiV 150: Contaminated



Hosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit... Read More

Interesting Rhinovirus Study + Bonus Chicken Soup Recipe

This 2000 paper, published in Chest, shows that chicken soup is capable of inhibiting neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro, thus providing some evidence for the soup's traditional role as a home cure for respiratory infections.

Helpfully, the soup recipe used in the study is also included. And it ... Read More

Ferreting out influenza H5N1

A laboratory in the Netherlands has identified a lethal influenza H5N1 virus strain that is transmitted among ferrets. These findings are under review by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to ensure that they do not constitute a threat to human health. Meanwhile both the... Read More

Finding the key to strengthening the immune response to chronic infections

A team of researchers from The Wistar Institute has identified a protein that could serve as a target for reprogramming immune system cells exhausted by exposure to chronic viral infection into more effective "soldiers" against certain viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B, as well as s... Read More

TWiV 142 Letters

TWiV 142


Marshall writes:


Dear TWiV hosts,


I'm sure you've already heard about this, but I was curious what your take on this study is.


Read More

TWiV 143 Letters



Judi writes:


Hello People of TWIV!


Thanks for all the information you give and how you make me think. I really liked your discussions on TWIV 136 - exit XMRV, not as much for the science ( which was cool) but for the discussio... Read More

Alzheimer''s disease plaques and tangles: Repositories of a herpes simplex/immune system battle leading to neuronal destruction

The protein components of the plaques and tangles seen in the Alzheimer's disease brain offer a clue to the origins of the disease: It turns out that they are heavily enriched in human proteins used by herpes simplex during its life cycle: Many immune system related proteins are also found in th... Read More

Health Alert Map Mash-up with Infectious Disease

This is a really cool Google Maps mash up that geo-locates breaking health news on a map. You can sort by official government announcements, news wires, infectious disease types, zoom to countries, local areas and more. Great for looking at Swine Flu reporting as it happens. Read More

TWiV 149 Letters

John writes:


Re the letter you got about a Spanish version of TWIV: ASM already has a nice Spanish microbiology podcast, called Mundos de los Microbios. Your TWIM co-host Elio has been on that podcast at least once that I’ve heard. Perhaps you could p... Read More

MicroRNAs and Retroviral Integrity

Jamie Henzy, a postdoctoral researcher at Boston College, has authored a post on Small Things Considered that explores the shady world of the deltaretrovirus genus.

"Among retroviruses, the deltaretrovirus genus is something of a shady bunch, its members lurking in the shadows, causing troubl... Read More

Aaron J. Shatkin, 77

Aaron J. Shatkin was well known for his work on reoviruses beginning in the 1960s in his laboratory at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ and then at Rutgers University. He was among the first to appreciate that virus particles contained many different enzymes, such as RNA po... Read More

TWiV 173 Letters

Judi writes:


A listener pick - since I know you all really enjoy the visualization of science!


http:... Read More

The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings

Julian Davies, Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society, has authored a humorous post on the Small Things Considered blog on the various methods an attendee of a scientific meeting can employ to enhance "maximum satisfaction and poise" one gets o... Read More

TWiV 112 Letters

Jennie writes:


I love your show very much and this is not my first comment. I load firewood and paint as I listen to you guys, thanks so much for the inspiration over what is becoming years. I'm not an audio learner, though my mind is quite stimulated by what I hear. ... Read More

Small fragments of viral nucleic acid cross borders in monkey meat

The finding of viral nucleic acid sequences in illegally imported wildlife products has attracted the attention of the New York Times, which published an article entitled From the jungle to J.F.K., viruses cross borders in monkey meat. Read More

Viral bioinformatics: Introduction + Homology

First, you may be asking yourself – Why viral bioinformatics? Good question! Although it’s true that much in the world of bioinformatics can be applied to all manner of protein and DNA sequences, there are a number of resources that are specific for viruses and there are a number of analyses tha... Read More

Frank Fenner, MD, 1914-2010

Australian virologist Frank Fenner, MD was born in Ballarat, Victoria in 1914. He earned a Doctor of Medicine in 1942 at the University of Adelaide, and from 1940 – 1946 he worked on the malaria parasite in Egypt and Papua New Guinea as an officer in the Australian Army Medical Corps. He subsequ... Read More

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