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Retroviruses and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal disorder of unknown etiology. The disease involves degeneration of motor neurons, leading to paralysis, respiratory failure, and death within five years. A viral etiology for ALS has been ... Read More

TWiV 144: HIV gets the (zinc) finger

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, R... Read More

TWiP 17 Letters

Bjorn writes:

Hi Vincent and Dickson,

I want to correct a statement you made in the trypanosomes episode. Apolipoprotein L-I in human blood kills only the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei brucei, whereas the East African subspecies Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and the... 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

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

Preparing for the Flu: A Childcare Communications Toolkit

The CDC has just published "Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs." A .pdf document that provides information and communication resources to help center-based and home-based child care programs, Head Start programs, and other early childhood p... 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

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

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 146 Letters

Jonathan writes:

First and foremost, this and the podcast of the virology course lectures available on iTunes is a gift to the public. I am applying to medical school and I appreciate the material on a topic I did not have time to take but have had a long standing int... 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

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

10 Genes, Furiously Evolving

This is a great article by Carl Zimmer in the NY Times (@carlzimmer on Twitter) about the evolution process of viruses.

"Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolk... Read More

The Rise of Genomic Superspreaders

One hundred million years ago the earth’s climate was much warmer than today and vast inland seas stretched across entire continents. The land was dominated by charismatic megafauna that would one day serve as inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World. This period is commonly... Read More

Microbial Movers - A Small Things Considered Post

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered has authored an interesting post today about the motility of bacteria, specifically Paenibacillus, although he does highlight several other strains that swarm, glide or twitch.

"Microbes get around. They can be carried by the wind, by insects, or by ... Read More

Virology at the Deutsches Museum

I just returned from a 17-day, 3,000 km road trip with my family in Europe. When I travel I’m always on the lookout for virus-related information and I found some at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. This museum showcases science and technology – it has over 100,000 objects illustrating t... Read More

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

World Tuberculosis Day 2009

Today is World Tuberculosis Day.

"World TB Day, 24 March 2009, is about celebrating the lives and stories of people affected by TB: women, men and children who have taken TB treatment; nurses; doctors; researchers; community workers--anyone who has contributed towards the global fight agains... Read More

Genes, malevolent and beneficial pathogens and autoantibodies in HIV-1/AIDS

Certain viral infections are known to increase or decrease HIV-1 replication or viral load, perhaps by competing with the same receptors, or via immune and other effects.Many autoantibodies in HIV-1 infection also target the immune network and this may well contribute to pathology. 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
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