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Interview of Dr. Sikandar K Sherwani, Chairman of MAP

Mr. Sikandar K Sherwani, chairman of Microbiology Association of Pakistan (MAP).
He is a Lecturer of Microbiology (Sp. Immunology & Infectious Diseases) at the Department of Microbiology in Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST). He is also a research scholar at Immunol... Read More

Fighting viruses - amazing new 21st century lab

Looking out of the window isn’t something most office workers would consider a luxury. But then, most people don’t work in a maximum security, biosafety level 4 high-containment research facility, working to protect the UK’s multi-billion pound agricultural industry from dangerous and highly inf... Read More

Inspiration for 2015 via the Late, Great Randy Pausch!

The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More

Colors of Superbug !

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from animals. The organism was grown on seven different agar medium. On blood agar (Centre), it forms small to medium sized colonies surrounded by weak beta-hemolysis. It shows diverse types of color in different chromogenic medium- pin... Read More

TWiM 101 Letters

Eric writes:


Dear TWIMers,


I am a retired computer programmer and also a free market libertarian. I listened to a recent podcast where the subject of mandatory hand washing by food workers was tossed around. I would like to present a few more of the free marke... Read More

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... 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

Interview of Dr. Vincent Racaniello - Journey with Virus

Dr. Vincent Racaniello is the Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the college of Physicians and Surgions of Columbia University. Along with his academic research, he is known for expanding knowledge with great contributions through his virology blog virology.ws, and his wide podc... 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

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

The incubation period of a viral infection

The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g.... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Windshield Wiper Fluid: A Source of Legionnaires?

A form of bacteria responsible for respiratory illness, including the deadly pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease, may be able to grow in windshield washer fluid and was isolated from nearly 75% of school buses tested in one district in Arizona. The participant will discuss findings from ... Read More

Scientists prove key aspect of evolutionary theory

Evolutionary theory predicts that pairs of chromosomes within asexual organisms will evolve independently of each other and become increasingly different over time in a phenomenon called the 'Meselson effect.' Researchers from the University of Glasgow have demonstrated the Meselson effect for t... Read More

The Secret and the Solution: Michael Schmidt, Ph.D., on the Antimicrobial Properties of Copper at TEDxCharleston

Michael Schimdt, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology, Director, Office of Special Programs, Medical University of South Carolina, gives a TEDx talk in Charleston, SC, about the antimicrobial properties of copper and how this mineral may significantly reduce hospital... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Microbes and Cancer

Until recently cancers were seen as lifestyle and genetic diseases, brought on by exposure to carcinogens or a mutated gene. Recent studies are linking microbes to many diffe... Read More

Broad-spectrum antimicrobials: Considering ‘Holobiont’ welfare

The discovery of antibiotics (also referred to as antimicrobials) is perhaps the most revolutionary outcome in the medical sciences during the twentieth century, and has allowed medical practitioners to treat a wide range of bacterial infections; and therefore, antimicrobials are the most common... 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

"Never Really Alone" with Ed Yong!

Each Fall, I teach a freshman writing class about symbioses and parasitism. I was very lucky to get some pretty famous people to "Skype" or "Google Hang Out" in to visit my class. Last Fall, one of my "tele-speakers" was the fabulous science writer and very funny fellow Ed Yong. The students ... 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

The neuraminidase of influenza virus

The influenza virus particle is made up of the viral RNA genome wrapped in a lipid membrane (illustrated). The membrane, or envelope, contains three different kinds of viral proteins. The hemagglutinin molecule (HA, blue) attaches to cell receptors and initiates the process of virus entry into c... Read More
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