As you know, we keep food in refrigerators so it will last longer. But still, sometimes you open a bag of bread or a jar of spaghetti sauce and what do you find? Mold!!
Ever wonder exactly what mold is? And how did it get there? And why sometimes it’s green and other times black or wh... Read More
As the “humongous fungus” shows, fungi can grow to enormous mass if unimpeded.
Hyphae grow by adding cells at the tip. Hyphae are very tiny, measuring only a few microns in diameter in some cases. But they can also be incredibly strong, punching through not only the soft membranes of animal ... Read More
Hello Men (and sometimes women) of TWiV!
I have read before that the human genome contains the genetic code of several thousand retroviruses. These retroviruses are in an inactive state, and are believed to be the product of infec... Read More
Don’t Get Caught Dirty Handed (2003)
(Click here for most recent findings)
Does it take an outbre... Read More
Global fish farming may be the solution to the impending collapse of the commercial fishing industry, but penned fish are susceptible to infectious diseases. Infection with salmon infectious anemia virus, an orthomyxovirus, lead Wal-Mart to stop buying farmed salmon from Chile, the world’s secon... Read More
Microbes require nutrients to grow. These are supplied by either solid or liquid culture media. The standard solid medium is nutrient agar, a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. The basic liquid medium is nutrient broth, typically a mix of water, meat extract peptone, and sodium chlori... Read More
Influenza researcher Peter Palese visited yesterday and spoke about “Pandemic influenza: Past and Future”. A key part of his talk was a review of his efforts to produce a universal influenza vaccine which protects against all strains. He used the following graph to make the point that when influ... Read More
In addition to working as a scientist, and well before his discovery of antibiotics, Alexander Fleming painted. He was a member of the Chelsea Arts Club, where he created amateurish watercolors. Less well known is that he also painted in another medium, living organisms. Fleming painted ballerin... Read More
On episode #69 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich review recent outbreaks of mumps in the UK, US, and Israel, protection of mice against 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus by 1918-like and... Read More
A paper published in PubMed that appeared in the July 1967 edition of Applied Microbiology reports that men with beards who work in microbiology labs may be a public health hazard. The authors conclude that although lab personnel who wash their beards reduced the amount of virus or toxin, a suff... Read More
Xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because XMRV is a retrovirus, it might be susceptible to antiviral drugs that are licensed for the treatment of AIDS. AZT (azidothymidine) was previously found to bloc... Read More
Collaborations on a Minute Scale
Over millions of years of evolution, we humans have worked out a mutually beneficial partnership with the microbes that came to inhabit our guts. In ... Read More
Chris Upton, a contributor to the virology toolbox, has raised an important point about multiplicity of infection:
Perhaps this is a place to bring up particle to pfu ratio? The above is great for when talking about phage, for example, when the ratio approaches 1. But with something like poli... Read More