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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

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

Going viral on Science Sunday Hangout on Air

I joined Buddhini Samarasinghe and Scott Lewis on a Science Sunday Hangout on Air to talk about my career in virology: how I came to be interested in viruses, and what goes on in my laboratory. You can find hangouts and more at the ScienceSunday community.


{youtube}WpLH4gRk9gc{/youtub... Read More

TWiP 65 letters

 


Perry writes:


Greetings Vincent and Dick,


Hooray for finally mentioning G. pulchrum in episode 62, my most favorite parasite and one worthy of further discussion. As a diagnostic veterinary pathologist, I encounter this spirurid in approximately... Read More

TWiP 66 letters

 


Andre writes:


Dear Vincent,


To my great delight, I just discovered your podcasts twiv, twim and twip.


The first twip I heard, about Strongyloides stercoralis, although informative and interesting, seemed to have several inaccuracies. I w... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among gram negative bacteria in sewage and lake water and influence of some physico-chemical parameters of water on conjugation process

Transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among gram negative bacteria in sewage and lake water and easy access of these
bacteria to the community are major environmental and public health concern. The aim of this study was to determine transfer of the
antimicrobial resistance genes from resista... 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

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

Programmed Cell Death Activates Latent Herpesviruses

Researchers have found that apoptosis, a natural process of programmed cell death, can reactivate latent herpesviruses in the dying cell. The results of their research, which could have broad clinical significance since many cancer chemotherapies cause apoptosis, was published ahead of print in ... Read More

Discover Your Inner Scientist: Wolbachia In Nashville 2013

A CNN iReport about an integrative lab series known as the Wolbachia in Nashville includes area high school students from School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt with the purpose of bringing real-world scientific research on microbes into high school biology classes. Angela Eeds, director with... Read More

TWiM 76 Letters

Geoffrey writes:


Doctors:

I just got around to listening to episode 12 “Photothermal Nanoblades and Genome Engineering”. Your comment that it would need to be scaled up before it was practical for some of you to use intrigued me. I did a quick Google sear... 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

A few reminiscences on Hilary Koprowski

Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April 2013 at the age of 96. His main accomplishments are nicely summarized in the New York Times, but for a more comprehensive overview of his life, I highly recommend his biography Listen to the Music by Roger Vaughan. I did not have many opportunities to... Read More

Interview of Dr. Tim Sandle

Q) Dr. Tim Sandle, the well known researcher, professor, author and science communicator. It is much interesting for me to take an interview of an eminent person who is well known for the communicating science. Starting from your early childhood life, how you used to take science as that time?
... 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

Stop Action Videos, Animation, and Bdellovibrio

My wife, who is a mathematician and artist, made a stop motion video using Play-Doh that represents the life cycle of the bacterial predator, Bdellovibrio. This brings together interesting microbes, animation, and thoughts about what students might do to understand processes in microbiology! Read More

Treating hepatitis C by blocking a cellular microRNA

Miravirsen is a drug that binds to and blocks the function of a cellular microRNA called miR-122 that is required for the replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Treatment of chimpanzees chronically infected with HCV with this drug leads to suppression of viral replication. The results of a phas... 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

TWiP 70 letters


Robin writes:


Cysticercosis.


While it is true that Taenia saginata tends to be benign as helminthic infestations go in humans, the same cannot be said for Taenia solium.


In both cases, ingestion of (encysted) larvae leads to enteric infestation wi... Read More

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