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Creative "Extra Credit" Projects in Microbiology!

In this blog entry, I explore how students can use their creativity to learn microbiology in innovative and often artistic ways. It makes learning more personal! Read More

Fouchier vs the Dutch government on influenza H5N1 research

Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More

Hepatitis B viruses in bats

Hepatitis B virus (HBV, illustrated) is a substantial human pathogen. WHO estimates that there are now 240,000,000 individuals chronically infected with HBV worldwide, of which 25% will die from chronic liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma. The hepatitis B virus vaccine is highly effective ... Read More

Pandoravirus, bigger and unlike anything seen before

The discovery of the giant Mimivirus and Megavirus amazed virologists (and also many others). Their virions (750 nanometers) and DNA genomes (1,259,000 base pairs) were the biggest ever discovered, shattering the notions that viruses could not be seen with a light microscope, and that viral geno... Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.

In this study we attemp... Read More

TWiV 282: Tamiflu and tenure too




Hosts:  Read More

The Walking Dead offers teachable moment about antivirals vs antibacterials

If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More

TWiP 75: Parasite wonders with Bobbi Pritt

Bobbi Pritt joins Vincent and Dickson to talk about directing a clinical parasitology laboratory and her weekly case reports at Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and  Read More

"Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy" Infographic

The American Academy of Microbiology has just released a new report, "Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy," and along with it, an infographic, that summarizes the main points of the report. The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1lk346I, and a link t... Read More

Reducing antibiotic requests from patients with viral infections

For anyone interested in Antibiotic Awareness Week, a big part of the story is that patients (or their parents) demand antibacterials even for viral infections. And doctors often comply, just to get rid of them (the patients, that is). This high-resolution PDF can be printed out for waiting ro... Read More

Cyanine dyes - Non-sulfonated and Sulfonated cyanines Lumiprobe explains

Sulfonated and non-sulfonated cyanines exhibit very similar fluorescent properties. Non-sulfonated cyanines must be dissolved in organic co-solvent (DMF or DMSO) prior to use, and added to a solution of target molecule in aqueous buffers. Recommended volume of co-solvent should be 10% for Cy3, C... Read More

Why do viruses cause disease?

Virulence, the capacity to cause disease, varies markedly among viruses. Some viruses cause lethal disease while others do not. For example, nearly all humans infected with rabies virus develop a disease of the central nervous system which ultimately leads to death. In contrast, most humans are ... Read More

TWiV 270: Homeland virology



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

A saga of HeLa cells

We have been using HeLa cells in my laboratory since 1982, when I arrived at Columbia University Medical Center fresh from postdoctoral work with David Baltimore at MIT. I brought with me a line of HeLa cells and used them for 30 years for our research on viruses. Here is a story of how we lost ... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 108 - Grace Robiou

Nuevas guías de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (USEPA) para las aguas recreacionales:  éste es el tópico que discutiremos hoy con Grace Robiou, quien ha trabajado durante los últimos años buscando nuevos indicadores de riesgo que protejan mejor a los bañistas.


Aunque en el mu... Read More

Viral fiber art

Viruses inspire many different types of art, but I was unaware of the number of people who make viruses out of fiber! Keep reading for some photographs of what I have found. Read More

TWiM #83: Illuminating tuberculosis and cryptococcosis

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

TWiV 291: Ft. Collins abuzz with virologists

Vincent, Rich, and Kathy and their guests Clodagh and Ron recorded this episode at the 33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Virology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.


Hosts: ... Read More

Virologists plan influenza H7N9 gain of function experiments

A group of virologists lead by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier have sent a letter to Nature and Science outlining the experiments they propose to carry out with influenza H7N9 virus. Avian influenza H7N9 virus has caused over 130 human infections in China with 43 fatalities. The source of the... Read More

Incidence of asymptomatic human influenza A(H5N1) virus infection

When virologists Fouchier and Kawaoka were isolating avian influenza H5N1 viruses that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol, there was consternation from some quarters that such viruses might escape from the laboratory and cause a pandemic in humans. Part of the fear came from the fact that t... Read More

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