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Common Sense Advice for People Concerned About H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The New York Times has published a nice FAQ ,if you will, about H1N1 and what the general public should keep in mind in terms of worry, protection and symptoms. The article also talks about what public health response is feasible and should be expected. Read More

Spread of koala retrovirus in Australia

The Koala retrovirus (KoRV) continues to spread within Australia, according to results of a new analysis of a larger sample size from a wider geographical range than was previously studied. Read More

Paleovirology—Modern Consequences of Ancient Viruses

Here's an interesting essay published in PLoS Biology by Michael Emerman and Harmit S. Malik on paleovirology, a topic recently discussed by Welkin Johnson, on the Small Things Considered blog.


<... Read More

TWiM 60 Letters

Kelly writes:


I’m reeling from this episode!! The symbiosis, the web of life, the energies, chemicals, organisms of
evolutionary progression shaping our world naturally and by human intervention with unknown consequences, then you all tie it to the brain microbio... Read More

TWiP 74 letters


voxsciurorum writes:


Dear water-based life forms:


It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.


I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More

Building Community through Public Toilets

The Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations in the water and sanitation sector. In this video GWC finalist David Kuria of Ecotact Limited, a Kenyan company dedicated to bringing public toilets to an area where there were only two for 60,000 people, discusses the need... Read More

TWiP 57 letters

Anne writes:


I found TWIP just a week ago and feel I've found a home. I'm a pharmacist, usually on the night shift, and stay excited all night listening to you. Parasites have always been my hobby. In fact, I recently divorced one. His life cycle is unique. I get oddl... Read More

Evolution of a DNA Sequence Over Time

One of the basic requirements of evolution is variation in a population upon which selection can act. One of the sources of variation is mutation in DNA. These changes may or may not be reflected in the ensuing amino acid sequence of a protein. This exercise explores the additive effects of m... Read More

Microbial Warfare in the Underworld: Searching for New Antibiotics

This month we talked with Dr. Christine Salomon, Assistant Professor at the Center for Drug Design in the University of Minnesota. Dr. Salomon’s work intersects chemistry and microbial ecology in the hunt for interesting new natural products with far reaching potential applications. While much... Read More

Using Bacteria to Turn Sand Dunes into Architecture

Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself. Read More

Koch’s postulates in the 21st century

For thousands of years, epidemics of contagious diseases were believed to be caused by the wrath of the gods, configuration of stars, or miasma. The association of specific microorganisms with disease came about as a consequence of the work of the German physician Robert Koch. He formulated a se... Read More

Whooping cough predicted to double in 20 years, new vaccination strategies will be needed

A new paper in PLoS recommends two vaccination strategies to better prevent whooping cough.

"In the absence of adolescent or adult vaccination, pertussis incidence among adults is predicted to more than double in 20 years. Implementing an adult program in addition to childhood and adolescent... Read More

TWiV 245: Writing Principles of Virology

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Host: Vincent Racaniello


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The Arctic fresh water virome

Although we now understand that viruses are the most abundant organisms on Earth, there are gaps in our knowledge about their distribution in different environments. Results of a new study reveal the diversity and distribution of viruses in Arctic fresh waters. Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 27 - Ingenious Influenza Immunizations

This episode: Flu vaccine made by bacteria!


Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

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XMRV not detected in seminal plasma

How XMRV, the new human retrovirus associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, might be transmitted among humans is unknown. The finding that the virus can be detected in prostate cancer cells, and in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer suggests that it could be se... Read More

The risks and benefits of influenza H5N1 research

Both Nature and the New York Times have weighed in on the resumption of influenza H5N1 research. In an editorial from 23 January 2013, Nature opines that “Experiments that make deadly pathogens more dangerous demand the utmost scrutiny”. They call for a quantitative risk-benefit analysis of H5N1... Read More

UCLA Pioneering Microbiology Educator and Author Discusses Innovative Teaching Methods

In this monthly interview series, meet Erin Sanders-Lorenz, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA , co-author of the new book, "I, Microbiologist: A Discovery-based Course in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution" and a lea... Read More

BacterioFiles 205 - Colon Community Counterattacks Cholera

This episode: Microbes in the human gut seem to prevent/inhibit cholera!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper

... Read More

Sanctuary chimps show high rates of drug-resistant staph

Chimpanzees from African sanctuaries carry drug-resistant, human-associated strains of the bacteria Staphlyococcus aureus, a pathogen that the infected chimpanzees could spread to endangered wild ape populations if they were reintroduced to their natural habitat, a new study shows.

The study ... Read More
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