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Kawaoka paper published on aerosol transmission of H5 influenza virus in ferrets

One of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past six months was published today in the journal Nature. I have read it, and I can assure you that the results do not enable the construction of a deadly biological weapon. Instead, they illuminate important requir... 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

Publication of XMRV papers should not be blocked

The findings by the NIH and FDA that XMRV is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome has been accepted for publication by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Release of the article has been blocked by PNAS due to work carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and... Read More

TWiV 172 Letters

Greg writes:


Dear TWiV,


The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More

TWiV 180 Letters

Rohit writes:


Hi Dr Racaniello,


I am a long time listener of TWIV and really enjoy the informal scientific discussions. I listen to TWIV while working in the lab and am trying to catch up on TWIM and TWIP episodes too.


I have been dill... Read More

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

TWiV 124 Letters

Norm writes:


First, I love your podcasts.


You guys are constantly grousing about the lack of research funding.


I was curious.


NIH, funding has risen every year since 2000, from $17B to the current $31B (supports 325,000 researchers)


NSF... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 217. La sepia y la bacteria (the squid and the bacteria)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº217 describes the symbiosis between the squid Euprymna scolopes and the bacteria Vibrio fischeri.... 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

TWiV 152: Viromes in the effluence of society

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Al... Read More

TWiV 90 Letters

Eric writes:


Hi Vincent,


After 86 episodes of TWiV, I am still loving every minute of the podcast and I am constantly impressed with how much I learn. For example, I have been mentoring an undergraduate student in the lab and we have had a rough two week stret... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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