Two vaccines against Zika virus developed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have successfully conveyed immunity from female mice to pups conceived weeks after the mother's vaccination.
When challenged with Zika virus within a week of their birth, both vaccines protected the p... Read More
The first immortal human cell line ever produced, HeLa, originated from a cervical adenocarcinoma taken from Henrietta Lacks. The cell line grew so well that it was used in many laboratories and soon was found to contaminate other cell lines. Now HeLa RNA has made its way into human sequence dat... Read More
The thousands of survivors of the Ebolavirus outbreak in western Africa – more than at any other time – are fortunate to have survived the disease. However, their health problems are not behind them. A new study shows that the survivors of Ebolavirus have long-term sequelae more than 2 years aft... Read More
There are countless examples of plant, animal and bacterial viruses that cause severe symptoms of disease, sometimes with considerable socio-economic consequences. Viruses of fungi, otherwise known as ‘mycoviruses’, infect many medically and commercially important fungi, including the brewers an... Read More
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, and the southeast United States two days later, leaving tens of thousands without power, transportation, and in the worst cases, homes. Because of its extreme poverty, and its continuing recovery from previous natural disasters, Haiti is looking at... Read More
Follow the reconstruction and simulation of poliovirus using the BlueGene/Q supercomputer at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative. The poliovirus model is being used as a basis for understanding antiviral drugs, virus infection and helps us to learn how to model related viruses suc... Read More
In this blogpost, I celebrate the microbiological season with some microbial merriment: ice nucleation bacteria, drawing with reporter gene bacteria, and painting with bioluminescent microbes. Every day is Luxmas to me! Read More
In this blog post (and fourth "Mu-Tube" video), I explore the idea that all animals and plants have evolved as part of a microbial world, and thus microbes are a part of us. I do this by having my undergraduate students explore two recently publications by Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai,and recording... Read More
Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the... Read More
Many microbes live in extreme environments, encountering conditions that are very hot, very cold, highly acidic, or very salty. The viruses that infect such microbes must also be able to retain infectivity in extreme conditions. How do they do it?
Clues come from the observations that the gen... Read More
When Antonio Gonzalez began doctoral studies in Rob Knight’s laboratory, then at University of Colorado, Boulder, the computer scientist quickly learned about microbes and their connection to human health. He soon found a connection to his wife’s health jumping out of the literature at him.
H... Read More
As part of my freshman writing seminar in the Fall of 2014, I was fortunate to have a number of fascinating experts in symbioses and parasitism be willing to "televisit" my students. Here is Dr. Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University, discussing his laboratory's work with Demodex face mite... Read More
Segmented genomes abound in the RNA virus world. They are found in virus particles from different families, and can be double stranded (Reoviridae) or single stranded of (+) (Closteroviridae) or (-) (Orthomyxoviridae) polarity. Our recent discussion of the advantages of a segmented viral genome,... Read More
Virologist Richard Elliott passed away on 5 June 2015. I have known Richard since 1979 and I would like to provide some personal recollections of this outstanding virologist. A summary of his work can be found at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research science blog. Read More
I am a big believer that different pedagogical approaches can "reach" different students. In most of my classes, I give students an optional assignment: come up with a creative project that explores some aspect of class. This takes several steps. First, I make the students come up with an ide... Read More
A referenced interactome of host genes and proteins affected by the Bornavirus. KEGG pathways of the host arm of the interactome are also linked from the interactome page. If you have any data to add please use the email link on the page and I will update the various pathways. Read More
About eight percent of human DNA is viral: it consists of retroviral genomes produced by infections that occurred many years ago. These endogenous retroviruses are passed from parent to child in our DNA. Some of these viral genomes are activated for a brief time during human embryogenesis, sugge... Read More
I made this video in October of 2015, with my Biology 350 Microbiology students at the University of Puget Sound. A drop of Pseudomonas syringae expressing ice nucleation protein hits supercooled pure water, and fun results. This is the way that Snomax works to commercially generate snow, inci... Read More
Vincent Racaniello of the This Week in Virology podcast interviews David Baltimore, PhD, California Institute of Technology, about his career and professional experience in the field of virology. Baltimore received a 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine for work on the interaction betwe... Read More