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Inadvertent transfer of a mammalian retrovirus into birds

Reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REVs) are retroviruses that cause a rare disease of gamebirds and waterfowl that includes anemia, immunosuppression, neoplasia, runting, and abnormal feathering. Since the first isolation of REV from a turkey in 1957, REVs were believed to be strictly avian viruses... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 132 - Microbes Modify Mitochrondrial Material

This episode: Some bacterial DNA sequence seems to integrate into human cells, especially in cancerous tissue!




Download Episode (11... Read More

Part of MERS-CoV nucleotide sequence found in a bat

What is wrong with this paragraph from today’s New York Times that describes the origin of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus:

Health officials confirmed Wednesday that bats in Saudi Arabia were the source of the mysterious virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle ... Read More

TWiV 247: Today's weather in virology



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, ... Read More

Social Media, Course Syllabi, and Blowing Off Steam...

In this post from my blog, I discuss the recent interest in snarky-funny academic hashtags on Twitter, such as #overlyhonestsyllabi. Just like students, educators need to blow off some steam (especially as classes approach!). But it is also important to remember our educational goals, and matc... Read More

TWiM #62: Breaking bad and protein chain mail



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Michael Schmidt


Vincent a... Read More

TWiM 62 Letters

Robert writes:
In TWIM #60 @1:06:23 Michael Schmidt suggests that glucose for fermentation from biomass is a necessary step in production of fuel ethanol. Fuel ethanol and other low molecular weight compounds can also be produced by autotrophic anaerobic fermentation of ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 131 - Stacking Sucker Symbionts

This episode: Some insects have bacterial symbionts with super-small genomes inside their cells, and some of these symbionts have their own internal bacterial symbionts!


{joomp3_ext} Read More

A Whiff of Taxonomy – Archaeoglobus fulgidus

Pick an archaeon, any archaeon, and you will find it has a story to tell. Not all archaea are exotic but plenty of them are. These stalwarts live in environments we humans call extreme, where they carry out what to us seem extreme types of metabolic conversions. Most have come rather late into o... Read More

TWiV 246: Pandora, pandemics, and privacy



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 130 - Bacteriophages Bind Boogers

This episode: Phages hang out in mucus to ambush bacteria!




Download Episode (6.4 MB, 7 minutes)


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TWiV 245: Writing Principles of Virology



Host: Vincent Racaniello


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TWiP 58 letters

Trudy writes:


Dear Vincent and Dickson,


Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More

TWiP 58: People, parasites, and plowshares



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Guest: Cali Despommier

... 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

TWiM #61: The irony of probiotics



Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio Schaechter and  Read More

TWiM 61 Letters

Nate writes:


Hi my name is Nate. I am a senior in high school aspiring to become a microbiologist. I heard about this podcast through a class I took on biotechnology and have been listening for about 2 months. I really enjoy it and the other two shows... Read More

TWiV 244: Back in the CVVR



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

American Academy of Microbiology's new FAQ: West Nile Virus, July 2013

Where does the virus come from? How is it spread? Can we predict when and where outbreaks will occur? What factors determine how sick a person will become if they are infected with West Nile virus?

To help answer the many questions people have about this multi-faceted virus, the American Acad... 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

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