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XMRV, Chronic Fatigue and prostate cancer

The XMRV retrovirus has been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer. A homology search comparing retroviral with human proteins revealed short contiguous amino acid strings (typically 5-8 aa) matching human proteins whose dysfunction might be expected to cause fatigue, includ... Read More

NASA Research Announcement Issued (includes Microbiology topics)

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, "Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions" (NRA NNJ10ZSA003N), has been released and is available through the NASA Research Opportunities ... Read More

An Inactive Mine Provides Active Opportunities

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered describes the work by members of Jill Banfield’s lab at Berkeley on a unique set of mine-dwelling microorganisms dubbed ARMAN (for Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms). These microbes illustrate many surprising characteristics such as "thei... Read More

Robert M. Chanock, MD, 1924-2010

Chanock received his MD in 1947 from the University of Chicago, and after clinical training in pediatrics (note the bowtie), joined Albert Sabin at the University of Cincinnati where he studied arthropod-borne viruses. After a stint in the US Army, he rejoined Sabin’s laboratory in 1954 as an in... Read More

Important Considerations for a Career in Biotech

When I was in graduate school, it seemed that almost no one aspired to work in industry or be part of a company. But times are changing. Now, when I go to conferences and talk to scientists in training, I am asked, ”how do I get a job in a company?” and “How did you get your job?”

This is not... Read More

The MO-Bio Blog

From MO BIO Labs, a cool blog of life sciences sites and lings. Thanks for the MicrobeWorld shout-out, MO BIO!

"I spend a lot of time reading internet news and blogs to stay on top of current research. In the course of my web surfing, I have found some really great scientific sites for microb... Read More

TWiV 93: Our infectious inbox

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On episode #93 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich answer listener questions about lab procedures, prokaryotes, endogenous retroviruses, the iPad and teaching, prions, mimi... Read More

TWiV 93 Letters

Joyce writes:


Love the pod cast!


I once went into a very large bookstore and asked the clerk if they had any books on parasitology. She said that they did and pointed in the direction of a large case of colorful books which on closer examination turned out to ... Read More

Event-based biosurveillance of respiratory disease in Mexico, 2007–2009: Connection to the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic?

The emergence of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus in North America and its subsequent global spread highlights the public health need for early warning of infectious disease outbreaks. Event-based biosurveillance, based on local- and regional-level Internet media reports, is one approac... Read More

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
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