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Influenza H5N1 virus versus ferrets, round two

The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

TWiV 166 Letters

Eric writes:


Hello Professors,


Thanks again for all the effort and care you invest into your podcasts. I'm writing today to suggest a pick of the week: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Suzuki, one of Canada's scientist/rock-stars, hosts... Read More

The Three Faces of Thiomargarita

Merry Youle of Small Things Considered has authored a post that looks at Thiomargarita spp.

"Non-motile Thiomargarita was first discovered in 1999 off the Namibian coast, thus was named T. namibiensis. Its cells are large spheres, arranged in chains, each chain enclosed in a mucous sheath. Av... Read More

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Collection of microbe-themed blogs and podcasts

A collection of links to blogs and podcasts that either focus entirely on microbes or partially on microbes. Other suggestions wanted. Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº241: Probioticos y salud (probiotics and health)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 241 summarize the article published in Science Translational Medicine about the impact of probiotics ... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 256 y 257: Falso culpable (false guilty)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº256 and 257 summarize the recent findings about that shows no link between XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Sy... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 247. El viaje de la levadura. The travel of the yeast



























Following the results from Libkind et al paper in PNAS, "El podcast del microbio" Nº 247 discuss the different hypothesis about ... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 260: Ensayo clínico de la vacuna contra la malaria (Clinical trial of malaria vaccine)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº260 summarize the NEJM paper about the clinical trial of a malaria vaccine, that was selected by Scien... Read More

TWiM #33: Tuning the immune organ

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiM 35: Ohne hauch

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiV 186: From Buda to stump grinding



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

TWiP 38 Letters

Carlos writes:


Dear Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


I am an avid listener of TWIP since its start, have been following TWIV for at least two years and, surprise, also follow TWIM.


My field is Computer Science, but I crave for... Read More

TWiM 31 Letters

Peter writes:

Dear TWiM Team


A fascinating article from New Scientist this week.


Standard medical teaching is that the foetus is sterile and that the microbiome only begins to develop post natal.


New research from Spain indicates that the microbiome s... Read More

Capturing viruses with bacteria

When my laboratory discovered the cell receptor for poliovirus in 1989, many new research directions were suddenly revealed – such as creating a mouse model for poliomyelitis. One application we did not think of was to use the receptor to screen samples of drinking water for the presence of viru... Read More

My virology course at Columbia University

The third annual installment of my virology course at Columbia University, Biology W3310, has begun, and all the lectures will be available online. Read More

MicroRNAs and Retroviral Integrity

Jamie Henzy, a postdoctoral researcher at Boston College, has authored a post on Small Things Considered that explores the shady world of the deltaretrovirus genus.

"Among retroviruses, the deltaretrovirus genus is something of a shady bunch, its members lurking in the shadows, causing troubl... Read More

Aaron J. Shatkin, 77

Aaron J. Shatkin was well known for his work on reoviruses beginning in the 1960s in his laboratory at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ and then at Rutgers University. He was among the first to appreciate that virus particles contained many different enzymes, such as RNA po... Read More

It's Raining Viruses

It’s true! Each year it rains viruses, more than a trillion of them per acre over thousands of forested acres in the USA. This is the work of the airborne arm of the USDA Forest Service, part of their efforts to reduce the devastation to hardwood forests caused by the imported gypsy moth, Lymant... Read More

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