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It’s Funnier When You’re Right

The mystery of alcoholic fermentations was uncovered in the first half of the 19th century by Cagniard-Latour (1837) in France, and Schwann (1837) and Kützing (1837) in Germany, based on microscopic studies but not without controversy. The great German organic chemist Justus Liebig did not like ... Read More

The typhoid fever pathogen uses a cloaking mechanism to evade neutrophil neutralization

Typhoid fever is caused by systemic infection with Salmonella enterica Typhi. In contrast, infection with the closely related bacterium Salmonella enterica Thyphimurium is usually limited to the gut and causes less serious diarrheal disease. Research comparing the two pathogens reveals how S. Ty... Read More

From bite site to brain: How rabies virus hijacks and speeds up transport in nerve cells

Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal into muscle tissue of the new host. From there, the virus travels all the way to the brain where it multiplies and causes the usually fatal disease. A new article sheds light on how the virus hijacks the transport system in ner... Read More

TWiP 76: Herpesvirus worms its way out

Vincent and Dickson discuss how infection of mice with helminths induces cytokines that reactivate a latent gamma-herpesvirus.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and  Read More

Self-Assembly For Me

I have the grating feeling that the subject of self-assembly of complex biological structures may not always amass the level of respect it deserves. I reckon that its importance is generally appreciated but, as topics go, it tends at times to be set aside. Yet, this is one of the most magnificen... Read More

Zombie bacteria are nothing to be afraid of

Recently identified cell-cycle controls are targets for new drugs that fight infections by shutting down division.

A cell is not a soap bubble that can simply pinch in two to reproduce. The ability to faithfully copy genetic material and distribute it equally to daughter cells is fundamental ... Read More

TWiV 300: So happy together

Recording together for the first time, the TWiV team celebrates their 300th recording at the American Society for Microbiology headquarters in Washington, DC, where Vincent  speaks with Dickson, Alan, Rich, and Kathy about their careers in science.


Hosts:  Read More

Zaire ebolavirus in West Africa

Dr. Tom Solomon is Director of the Institute for Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool. In this video he speaks with Vincent Racaniello about the 2014 outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus in West Africa. Dr. Solomon discusses why the epidemic has spread, how it might be curtailed, t... Read More

‘Wormy’ Pills Might Fend Off Autoimmune Diseases

Scientists have identified peptides from parasitic hookworms that can calm the body’s immune response and perhaps pave the way to treat autoimmune diseases.

Experts believe the peptide molecules could help explain why worm infections can effectively treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ... Read More

Progress in the fight against harmful fungi

A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida glabrata fungus mutations led to the discovery of 28 new genes that are partly respon... Read More

Ebola genomes sequenced

Speedy analysis reveals mutations, insights into outbreak, along with clues to origin, spread.

Responding rapidly to the deadly outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, working with the Sierra Leone Ministry o... Read More

Catching Up, Part I: Meeting with Former Research Students at ASM in Boston in May.

In this post, I meet up with six of my former undergraduate students at the General Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in Boston last May. We had a great dinner where we could catch up on challenges and cheer each other on. I am very proud of the great students in this post, who a... Read More

Should experimental drugs be used in the Ebola outbreak?

Risks and benefits of unproven treatments, as World Health Organization approves use in crisis.

Two Liberian doctors are set to become the first Africans to receive an experimental drug against the Ebola virus. The news comes as the World Health Organization concludes that it is ethical to us... Read More

Human trial of experimental Ebola vaccine begins this week

A highly anticipated test of an experimental Ebola vaccine will begin this week at the National Institutes of Health, amid mounting anxiety about the spread of the deadly virus in West Africa.

After an expedited review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, researchers were given the green... Read More

HIV Lessons from the Mississippi Baby

The news in July that HIV had returned in a Mississippi toddler after a two-year treatment-free remission dashed the hopes of clinicians, HIV researchers and the public at large tantalized by the possibility of a cure.

But a new commentary by two leading HIV experts at Johns Hopkins argues th... Read More

TWiP 76 letters


Daniel writes:


Dear Vincent and Dickson,


I just returned from the annual meeting of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) where I enjoyed many fantastic lectures and caught more Cutthroat Trout fly fishing the upper Snake River during one ev... Read More

MERS: Low transmissibility, dangerous illness

Research led by the University of Bonn Virologists reveals transmission rate of the MERS virus

The MERS coronavirus has caused disease outbreaks across the Arabian Peninsula and spread to Europe several times. The severe pneumonia virus has claimed the lives of several hundred people since it... Read More

Dandruff-Causing Skin Fungi Discovered Unexpectedly in Deep Sea Vents, Antarctica

Until relatively recently, the fungus Malassezia was thought to have one favorite home: us. As the dominant fungus on human skin and sometimes-cause of dandruff, the yeast Malassezia was thought to live a simple if sometimes irritating domestic existence humbly mooching off the oils we exude.

... Read More

Poliovirus escapes antibodies

Antigenic variation is a hallmark of influenza virus that allows the virus to evade host defenses. Consequently influenza vaccines need to be reformulated frequently to keep up with changing viruses. In contrast, antigenic variation is not a hallmark of poliovirus – the same poliovirus vaccines ... Read More

Scientists Call for Investigation of Mysterious Cloud-like Collections in Cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a c... Read More
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