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Influenza H5N1 x H1N1 reassortants: ignore the headlines, it’s good science

Those of you with an interest in virology, or perhaps simply sensationalism, have probably seen the recent headlines proclaiming another laboratory-made killer influenza virus. From The Independent: ‘Appalling irresponsibility: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strain... Read More

Prominent Virologist Defends The Chinese Hybrid H5N1-H1N1 Research, Calls It ‘Good Science’

There was much written concerning the research published earlier this month in Science, where researchers from China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute reported creating an avian H5N1 (highly pathogenic) and pandemic 2009 H1N1 (easily transmissible) hybrid, that according to them, achieved ... Read More

TWiM 83 Letters

Matt writes:


Hello TWiM team,

It was great seeing some of you at ASM last week in Boston either in passing between sessions or at the live TWiV episode. I have a few questions about the ASM meeting:
What was something that you all took away from ASM th... Read More

How many viruses on Earth?

How many different viruses are there on planet Earth? Twenty years ago Stephen Morse suggested that there were about one million viruses of vertebrates (he arrived at this calculation by assuming ~20 different viruses in each of the 50,000 vertebrates on the planet). The results of a new study s... 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

TWiP 71 letters


Heather writes:


Hi Dr.s R&D,


I thought you might be interested in this news article about aquaculture in Hong Kong. Perhaps it's time for another fish parasite episode? I love the podcast, keep up the great work.


Heather


Bill writes: 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

El podcast del microbio Nº 366: Bioinformática contra el VIH. (Bioinformatics against HIV)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 366 summarize a recent article published in PNAS on the characterization of the critical step in HIV-1 protease maturation by using bioinformatics tools. El podcast del microb... Read More

Marine Microbiology, Twitter Friends, and Shrunken Coffee Cups

In this blog entry, I discuss how marine microbiology is fascinating to students, as well as the topic leading me (via social media) to other marine microbiologists. One of those marine microbiologists made me a "shrunken coffee cup" (shrunken due to being carried below a kilometer of depth on ... Read More

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More

TWiM 80 Letters

Bob writes:


Dear TWIM hosts,


I enjoyed episode 76, "Genetic biopixels and a pathogenic sweet tooth". I really enjoyed hearing about the course that Dr. Schaechter teaches and in particular the work his students did in developing the biosensor. I would like to ... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº261. Terapia antiretroviral y prevención del VIH (Antiretroviral therapy and HIV prevention)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº261 summarizes the NEJM paper about the use of antiretroviral therapy for prevention of HIV infection,... Read More

Continuous Sustainable Power Supply: Benthic Microbial Fuel Cell

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed the benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) as a persistent power supply for marine-deployed applications. The BMFC operates on the bottom of marine environments where it oxidizes organic matter residing in sediment with oxygen in overlying water. The... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 259: Gazapos microbiológicos (microbial goofs)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº259 describes some funny microbiological goofs in Spanish newspapers. El podcast del Microbio Nº 259 d... Read More

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

Blastocystis Parasite Blog

Our bodies are made up by cells containing our own DNA. Plus 10 times as many with foreign DNA. The bacteria found on our skin, and inside our organs (intestine, vagina, mouth, nose, etc.) are referred to as our “microbiome”, outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1, and make up a vital organ with ind... Read More

TWiV 289: Vinny and the capsids

Vinny and the capsids answer listener questions about the definition of life, state vaccination laws, the basic science funding problem, viral ecology, inactivation of viruses by pressure, and much more.


Hosts:  Read More

Student Centered Learning, Part I: Nanobiographies

Students learn in many different ways than simply taking tests. In my Microbiology course, I have students write a length term paper (a "Microbiography"). As part of this process, students create one page "summaries" of their microbial topic, which I call "Nanobiographies." In this blog post,... Read More

Antimicrobial peptides induced by herpesvirus enhance HIV-1 infection

The risk of being infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is substantially enhanced in individuals with other sexually transmitted diseases. For example, infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) increases the risk ratio of acquiring HIV from 2 to 4. Explanations for t... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 273: Diabetes y microbiota intestinal (Diabetes and intestinal microbiota)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº273 summarize the paper by Wei et al ( Cell Host & Microbe, 2012) about the possible link betwween dia... Read More

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