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Painting With Penicillin: Alexander Fleming's Germ Art

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

Signaling and quorum sensing video

Andrew Dopheide has created an animation that illustrates signaling and quorum sensing.

"A solitary bacterium cannot form a biofilm by itself - it must wait until a group of bacteria has gathered. With no fingers to count on, how do bacteria know when there are enough others nearby? Bacteria ... Read More

Foodsafe video

Food-handling safety risks at home are more common than you may think. The 4 easy lessons of this Be Foodsafe video are clean, separate, cook and chill. Read More

A Global Metabolic Shift Is Linked to Salmonella Multicellular Development

Bacteria can elaborate complex patterns of development that are dictated by temporally ordered patterns of gene expression, typically under the control of a master regulatory pathway. For some processes, such as biofilm development, regulators that initiate the process have been identified but s... Read More

The Global Atlas of Helminth Infection: Mapping the Way Forward in Neglected Tropical Disease Control

To take full advantage of recent increased financial commitments from some governments, international agencies, and philanthropies, accurate and up-to-date mapping of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) needs to be implemented to help improve the precision of decision-making in NTD control and el... Read More

Microbiology in the Andes: Ancient and Unexpected

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered highlights some of the scientific development that took place centuries ago in Quito, the present-day capital of Ecuador.

Snippet:

"In 1589 a smallpox epidemic killed 37.5% of Quito’s inhabitants. A description of the disease in a letter by one of... 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

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

TWiV 92 Letters

Destainie writes:


Hi Vincent et Al :)


I am an avid listener of both Twiv and Twip and am very grateful that you all take the time each week to create these wonderful podcasts, they are a great learning tool! I did have several questions I’d li... Read More

TWiV 92: Live at ASV in Bozeman

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Vincent, Rich, Karla, and Marilyn recorded TWiV at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology in Bozeman, where they discussed plant viruses and how they make plants resistant to adverse co... Read More

The virus and the virion

The illustration at left depicts a virion – the infectious particle that is designed for transmission of the nucleic acid genome among hosts or host cells. A virion is not the same as a virus. I define virus as a distinct biological entity with five distinct characteristics. Others believe that ... Read More

Audio interview by Microbe magazine Current Topics and Features editor Jeff Fox with Douglas Theobald of Brandeis University.

Microbe magazine Current Topics and Features Editor Jeff Fox talks with Douglas Theobald of Brandeis University about Theobald's work testing the he notion of a universal common ancestry (UCA) for all species.
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TWiV 91 Letters

Darrick and Scott write:


Hello Professor Racaniello,


We are two graduate students from the University of Guelph in Canada studying oncogenic sheep betaretroviruses and we are big fans of the show. Part of the reason we like the show so much is that we can use ... Read More

TWiV 91; You're an ERVous wreck

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On episode #91 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of en... Read More

Next Generation Sequencing Data Analysis Made Easier with PANGEA

Next generation sequencing is a powerful method increasing in popularity for use in metagenomic and transcriptomic analysis in environmental microbiology. Compared to Sanger sequencing, next generation allows for sequencing of the complete genomic content of a sample without the need to make clo... Read More

Reovirus infection of farmed salmon

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

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

TWiV 90: Guano happens

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On episode #90 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich and Eric discuss identification of viruses in Northeastern American bats, vaccinia virus infection after sexual contact with ... Read More

Comments on the “Synthetic Cell”

"The now famous announcement by the Venter group is based on their paper in Science entitled Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. We applaud this work for its impressive technical achievement and we acknowledge its future potential. However, we find the ter... Read More

Virology toolbox: the western blot

Readers of virology blog often request explanations of specific experimental techniques. Methods such as complement fixation, deep sequencing, ELISA, PCR and many others are frequently mentioned on this blog without discussion. To do so would interrupt the scientific discourse and make for lengt... Read More

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