When cells are attacked by bacteria they use all means at their disposal to defend themselves. But cellular defence systems can damage the cells themselves and so need to be kept tightly in check. Recent results help us to understand how this is done and give pointers to new ways of combating di... Read More
Public health officials have been working for months to understand whether the XMRV virus poses a risk to the nation’s blood supply. The concern was sparked by a paper published last year in Science that detected the virus in the blood of 67% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients, compared to ju... Read More
Like a burglar with a universal lock pick, many deadly pathogens use the same protein to gain access to the cells of a potential host, researchers have discovered. The new findings could have implications for blocking infections by agents ranging from wheat rust to malaria.
Pathogenic fungi, ... Read More
In a laboratory where almost all the test tubes look green, the tools of modern biotechnology are being applied to lowly pond scum.
Foreign genes are being spliced into algae and native genes are being tweaked.
Different strains of algae are pitted against one another in survival-of-the-f... Read More
As if rows of serrated teeth and an uncanny ability to smell blood weren't deadly enough, sharks now have a new way to harm unsuspecting swimmers: drug-resistance bacteria.
According to recent research in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, sharks and redfish from shores off of Massachu... Read More
Over the last year, there has been a question on the minds of thousands of people that continues to be for the most part unanswered: Why do disinfectants and hand sanitizers kill only 99.9% of germs and not the full 100%? Or, more succinctly, why is there always 0.1% survival? Read More
Scientists have successfully tracked the progression of influenza virus infections within the lungs of mice. Influenza A virus, the type of flu that causes most seasonal and pandemic outbreaks, has been studied extensively in animal models and tissue cultures. However, the way it moves through t... Read More
This episode: Possibly friendly viruses in our intestines!
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How a retrovirus, like HIV, reproduces and assembles new viruses is different than previously thought, according to researchers.
The team studied a chicken virus called Rous sarcoma virus that causes cancer in chickens and is similar to HIV.
“The question is, how do retroviruses build new ... Read More
The best defense against a deadly superbug might be a virtual offense.
Duke University researchers are expanding upon a computer program they invented last year to predict how a rapidly mutating, infectious bacterium will evolve to evade the drugs used against it. Getting a glimpse into what ... Read More
A woman planning a Florida vacation in Key West called the health department there last week to ask if it were true that the city was being evacuated because of an epidemic of dengue fever.
“No!” Chris Tittel, a spokesman for the Monroe County Health Department, says he told her. “No, no, no... Read More
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
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
In describing a case of gastrointestinal anthrax linked to a drumming event in New Hampshire last December, federal health officials said the anthrax risk related to such events is very low and that the patient may have had an unusual susceptibility to the disease.
The report from the Centers... Read More
With 60 cases of Cryptococcus gattii infection reported through July 1 in the northwestern U.S., the fungus has become enough of a danger that clinicians should be alert for it, according to the CDC.
A report and accompanying editorial in the July 23 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report call... Read More
Oregon State University engineers have applied new coatings on anodes of microbial electrochemical cells, which heightens their electricity production by 20 times, and is another step closer to producing electricity from sewage.
The graphite anodes were coated with palladium at one point in ... Read More
For years, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) researchers have shied away from the whole notion of a cure, largely because evidence showed the virus can persist even under intensive treatment.
But now, they are -- tentatively -- expressing a renewed interest in the idea.
That interest is ... Read More
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
Mothers who drink milk containing 'friendly bacteria' (probiotics) while pregnant and breastfeeding may reduce their child's risk of developing eczema, reports a new study. And if their child does develop eczema, it may be less severe.
What do we know already?
Probiotics are tiny organisms... Read More
The push for a vaccine against the potentially serious dengue fever gained urgency on Thursday as health officials in Miami Beach and Ocala reported the first suspected cases there.
With an apparent 5 percent of Key West residents now infected via mosquitoes, which are abundant throughout Sou... Read More