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Conserved amino acid markers from past influenza pandemic strains

A recent paper published on Biomedcenteral by Jonathan E Allen , Shea N Gardner , Elizabeth A Vitalis, and Tom R Slezak discovers that new genetic markers for human host-specificity and high lethality in influenza viruses were identified by considering combinations of amino acids conserved amon... Read More

David and Goliath: How one cytokine may take down influenza

Recent research has suggested a new method of flu prevention and treatment: the administration of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the lungs of mice significantly reduced flu symptoms and prevented mortality after a lethal dose of influenza virus. GM-CSF helps the bod... Read More

Automating the survey of protein locations: the trials and tribulations

An article by Alan Derman, Project Scientist in Joe Pogliano’s lab at the University of California at San Diego, published on the Small Things Considered blog presents a point-by-point analysis of a paper "Quantitative genome-scale analysis of protein localization in an asymmetric bacterium" pub... Read More

TWiV 140 Letters

from @Lafrenchfille on Twitter:


French listen to your very cool podcast. So I can confirm, "Mimi" is french !


Peter writes:


Regarding the podcasting advice from the fellow in Israel.


Explain st... 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

TWiV 159 Letters

Jenny writes:


Hi Vince and the rest of the TWIV-cast!


You might have come across this news already, but it would be interesting to hear the TWIV gang's take on this study done by Fouchier's group from the Netherlands.


Read More

Bacteria Galore by Sunday at Four

This is a great online children's book about the role of bacteria in our lives by Dr. Mel Rosenberg for ages 3+. Read More

Cryptic Life in the Antarctic Dry Valleys

Small Things Considered co-blogger Merry Youle has a post about the diversity of life in McKelvey Valley, a broad, glacially-carved pass just west of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. Her writing is inspired in part by a recent paper from the University of Hong Kong (See Read More

Is Vilyuisk encephalitis a viral disease?

A type of human encephalitis – an infection of the brain – has been known to affect the indigenous people living in the Sakha Republic of Russia since the mid-1800s. The available clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that the disease is caused by a pathogen, but proving this has been d... Read More

TWiV 120 Letters

Ashley writes:


Vincent, I am a huge fan of TWIV and thank you and the others for taking time out of your busy schedule to do the program. I have my B.S. in Biology and Chemistry and would love to go back to school. I read textbooks, listen to podcasts from itunesU and... Read More

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 110 Letters



Jay writes:


Looks like the polio outbreak in the Congo is pretty bad.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jpSHvrTg3sqCZs9hPXwYsuwAjXNA?docId=CNG.29d0fd00722f6f7964062dad40b4f107.ca1


http://www.unicef.org/me... Read More

Are there viruses of arsenic-utilizing bacteria?

A salt-loving (halophilic) bacterium which can grow in medium containing arsenic instead of phosphorus has been selected from the microbial community of Mono Lake in California. Arsenic (As) is a chemical analog of phosphorus and is usually toxic because it can enter metabolic pathways in the pl... Read More

TWiV 87 Letters

James writes:


Dear TWIV,


I've really enjoyed hearing about the paths you and your guests took to enter the fields of virology and parasitology.


I was wondering if Dr. Dove could talk for a few minutes about how and why he decided to transition into sci... Read More

TWiV 101 Letters

Russ writes:


I think this image from www.3d4medical.com is great!


This is a cool app for the iPad. This would make a great pick of the week


Russ


Julian writes:<... 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 122 Letters

Luke writes:


Hello TWiV hosts,


I'm currently working as a technician in the biochemistry and molecular biophysics department at Columbia, having just received my BA from here in the Spring. First of all, I'd like to join the chorus of praises ... Read More

TWiV 166 Letters

Eric writes:


Hello Professors,


Thanks again for all the effort and care you invest into your podcasts. I'm writing today to suggest a pick of the week: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Suzuki, one of Canada's scientist/rock-stars, hosts... Read More

TWiV 163 Letters

Ronnie writes:


Hello Professor Vincent,


First of all, thank you for your wonderful podcasts! I'm a CFS sufferer and also a student Applied Science so I'm interested in many of the topics discussed for those two reasons and always learning new things.


I... 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
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