In the two days since the second U.S. Ebola patient was diagnosed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled a new team to battle the threat of Ebola. This team has no steady lineup, but it will be deployed anywhere in the country that sees a new case of Ebola, CDC ... Read More
Cornell researchers have uncovered details of how the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enters host cells, findings that help explain how it can infect many cell types – a hallmark of viral pathogenicity. The results also offer possible new avenues for treatment.
... Read More
Should scientific journals publish gain-of-function (GOF) studies, especially those involving pathogens with pandemic potential? While journal editors at the American Society for Microbiology have done so after careful consideration, some scientists expressed concern over that decision. A series... Read More
High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy has now revealed in unprecedented detail the structural changes in the bacterial ribosome which results in resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin.
Click "source" to read more. Read More
The people of Guinea have been locked in a life-and-death struggle with Ebola virus since last December. Nearly 60 percent of Guineans infected with the virus since then have died. To cope with the unprecedented disease, the government went so far as to ban soup made from bats.
Why bats? Bec... Read More
Whether they admit it or not, many (if not most) scientists secretly hope to get a call in October informing them they've won a Nobel Prize.
But I've talked to a lot of Nobel laureates, and they are unanimous on one point: None of them pursued a research topic with the intention of winning th... Read More
Extreme adaptations of species often cause such significant changes that their evolutionary history is difficult to reconstruct. Zoologists have now discovered a new parasite species that represents the missing link between fungi and an extreme group of parasites. Researchers are now able to und... Read More
Humans are not the only primates ravaged by the deadly Ebola virus. Chimps and gorillas are also susceptible to the disease. The current Ebola epidemic, the biggest in human history, may have started with the butchering of an infected fruit bat. But it just as easily could have come from a chimp... Read More
Fecal transplants can be life-saving for people with stubborn bacterial infections, but they're not for the faint of heart. So doctors have come up with a way to make them more palatable – the frozen poop pill.
People infected with Clostridium difficile suffer debilitating diarrhea, but the b... Read More
From joint replacements to cardiac implants and dialysis machines, medical devices enhance or save lives on a daily basis. However, any device implanted in the body or in contact with flowing blood faces two critical challenges that can threaten the life of the patient the device is meant to hel... Read More
The Epstein–Barr virus and its relatives in the herpesvirus family are known for their longevity. They persist in host tissues for years, causing diseases like mononucleosis, Kaposi's sarcoma and herpes, and are notoriously difficult to kill. University of California, Los Angeles, biophysicist Z... Read More
Studying chromosome organization in bacteria. Over the last twenty years, molecular biologists developed and refined a downright cute method to study bacterial chromosome organization in live cells. Briefly, a cluster of binding sites for a DNA-binding protein is introduced at a chosen locus of ... Read More
This episode: Gut microbes can be different even in genetically identical mice in similar conditions!
(7.4 MB, 8 minutes)
The Grand Masters of the TWiV discuss Ebola virus transmission, air travel from West Africa, Ebola virus infectivity on surfaces, the Dallas Ebola virus patient, and Ebola virus in dogs.
Hosts: Read More
The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More
The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g.... Read More
In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More
Two randomized trials in the October 8 issue of JAMA examine new vaccination strategies for the prevention and control of avian influenza, often referred to as “bird flu.” This is a theme issue on infectious disease.
In one study, Mark J. Mulligan, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medi... Read More
Viruses can convert their DNA from solid to fluid form, which explains how viruses manage to eject DNA into the cells of their victims. This has been shown in two new studies carried out by Lund University in Sweden.
Both research studies are about the same discovery made for two different vi... Read More
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an electrical disorder, or rather one of impaired myelin, a fatty, insulating substance that better allows electric current to bolt down our neurons and release the neurotransmitters that help run our bodies and brains. Researchers have speculated for some time that th... Read More