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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

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

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

India polio-free for one year

A year has passed since the last reported case of poliomyelitis in India, which occurred on 13 January 2011 in a two year old girl in Howrah, West Bengal. 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

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

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

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

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

TWiV 115 Letters

Vinayaka writes:

Some additional info that I gathered on viruses on the verge of elimination (may or may not be new to you):

It appears that the next virus on the list of FAO to eradicate is PPR virus ( 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


Julian writes:<... 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

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

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

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

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 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

New Elsevier Slogan: “It’s All about The Benjamins”

Rich Condit found an article highly critical of the original Wakefield study (claiming a link between MMR vaccine and autism) which was published in the same issue of Lancet. He asked the publisher, Elsevier, to open up the article to non-subscribers so he could recommend it as a pick of the wee... 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
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