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The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) announces the availability of two new resources designed to support pneumococcal disease prevention efforts

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)has announced the availability of two new resources designed to support pneumococcal disease prevention efforts on NFID’s website, Adultvaccination.org:

• a professional practice toolkit for healthcare professionals (HCPs)

Th... 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

Influenza H5N1 virus versus ferrets, round two

The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More

TWiV 165 Letters

Justin writes:


Are you, Alan Dove and Prof. Racaniello, saying you think Mikovits and/or others on the Lombardi paper lied about the results or blinding? I think circumspection is a natural human reaction to the allegations of theft that have been made against Dr. Mik... Read More

Norton Zinder, 1928-2012

Norton Zinder made two important discoveries in the field of virology. While a Ph.D. student with Joshua Lederberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he found that viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages) could move genes from one host to another, a process called transduction. Later in his own ... 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 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

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... 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

A Giant Among Giants

Merry Youle from the Small Things Considered blog ponders the potential size a virus can be:

"With such fascinating stories being told by Mimivirus and the other giants, people are now looking for them in more environments. Modified techniques are called for, as those used previously to spot ... Read More

Palese: Don’t censor live-saving science

Renowned influenza virologist Peter Palese has penned an opinion column for the science journal Nature in which he uses his experience in reconstructing the 1918 pandemic influenza virus strain to question the censoring of H5N1 results by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSAB... Read More

The Three Faces of Thiomargarita

Merry Youle of Small Things Considered has authored a post that looks at Thiomargarita spp.

"Non-motile Thiomargarita was first discovered in 1999 off the Namibian coast, thus was named T. namibiensis. Its cells are large spheres, arranged in chains, each chain enclosed in a mucous sheath. Av... 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

CDC: Key Facts About Swine Influenza

Good basic info on Swine Flu in humans and pigs. 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

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Genome of arsenic bacterium sequenced

The genome nucleotide sequence has been determined of the bacterium GFAJ-1, which has been suggested to survive in high levels of arsenic and in fact incorporate arsenic into macromolecules. The sequence does not address the controversy over whether the bacterium can utilize arsenic. I suppose t... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 230: Pequeña Micro-Pila de Energía (New Micro-Fuel Cell)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 230 summarize the work by Li et al. and published in Biotechnology Bioengineering about Microbial el... Read More

It's Raining Viruses

It’s true! Each year it rains viruses, more than a trillion of them per acre over thousands of forested acres in the USA. This is the work of the airborne arm of the USDA Forest Service, part of their efforts to reduce the devastation to hardwood forests caused by the imported gypsy moth, Lymant... Read More

Trust science, not scientists

Whether or not the retrovirus XMRV is a human pathogen has been debated since the virus was first described in 2006. The answer is now clear: the results of Blood XMRV Scientific Research Group, along with a partial retraction of the 2009 Science paper describing identification of the retrovirus... Read More

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