The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More
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
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
Small Things Considered
Ron Fouchier has discussed his influenza H5N1 transmission experiments in ferrets at an ASM Biodefense Conference, clarifying several assumptions about the transmissibility of the virus in this animal model. Read More
Nearly four months ago I stood at the front of a crowded classroom at Columbia University and began teaching the third year of my undergraduate virology course. Twice a week we discussed the basic principles of virology, including how virions are built, how they replicate, and how they cause dis... Read More
Why is there such widespread fear of avian H5N1 influenza virus?
Why did Paul Keim, chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) say “I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one”. What lead Donald McNeil, writing about H5N1 in the New Yor... Read More
The fatality rate for human infections with avian influenza H5N1 is widely quoted at >50%, based on the number of deaths among the fewer than 600 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization. Wang, Parides, and Palese suggest that this number is an overestimate. Read More
Hello Men (and sometimes women) of TWiV!
I have read before that the human genome contains the genetic code of several thousand retroviruses. These retroviruses are in an inactive state, and are believed to be the product of infec... Read More
The mantle of world’s biggest virus has passed from Mimivirus to Megavirus. But in this case, size doesn’t matter. It’s the genes that these viruses share and do not share that make this story important. Read More
Did you know that your body is home to 10 times more microbes than human cells? Learn about the human microbiome and its fascinating practical applications. Speakers include Dr. Lita Proctor, Human Microbiome Project at NIH, Dr. Liliana Losada, J Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, Dr. Jac... Read More
This episode: A virus influences the competition between two species of parasitoid wasp!