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Poliovirus on Time

Poliovirus has made the cover of Time magazine. The Time cover image for the 14 January 2013 issue is a model of poliovirus bound to a soluble form of its cellular receptor, CD155. I was part of the team that solved the structure of this complex in 2000, together with the laboratories of Jim Hog... Read More

Millennium Network - Facebook Cause to Support AIDS/HIV, Malaria, Global Warming, etc.

Inspired by President Clinton’s vision to encourage the next generation of leaders and philanthropists to address the challenges of global interdependence, the William J. Clinton Foundation Millennium Network seeks to engage individuals, age 45 and younger, in the work of the Clinton Foundation.... Read More

Viruses on Time

Poliovirus recently made the cover of Time magazine. Prompted by a reader question, I searched the Time archive to find out if there have been other virology-themed covers. I found fifteen in all, depicting poliovirus (3), herpesvirus (1), HIV/AIDS (4), influenza (5), and SARS coronavirus (2) (I... Read More

Illustrating Some Simple Microbiological Concepts: Transformation, Antibiotic Resistance, and GFP.

In this blog post, I describe a simple "colony transformation" experiment I have done with my freshman students, illustrating transformation, antibiotic resistance, and GFP. The visual aspects help drive home the points effectivel. Read More

WHO will switch to type 2 inactivated poliovirus vaccine

The World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate poliomyelitis made impressive inroads in 2012: only 212 cases were reported, compared with 620 the previous year; moreover, India remained polio-free. The dark side of this story is that as wild polio is eliminated, vaccine-associated poliomy... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 258. Buscando a la Muerte Negra. (Searching for the Black Death)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº258 deals with the sequencing of the Yersinia pestis strain that causes the Black Death. El podcast de... Read More

TWiM #6 transcript

Here is a transcript of TWiM episode #6, "Antibacterial therapy with bacteriophage: Fact or fiction?". Thanks to Steve Stokowski for transcription.


The transcript is also available as a pdf file - click here to download Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº150. El dúo asesino de las abejas (The Bee Dual Killer)



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 150 is dedicated to the microsporidia and the virus that causes Colony Collapse Disorder. El p... Read More

TWiP 67 letters


CN writes:


Greetings Profs,


After having listened to your discussions on Plasmodium (TWiP 64), I explored papers on treatment options that are actually available. After having read some papers, I realized that one of the main roadblocks are the hypnozoite... Read More

TWiP 58 letters

Trudy writes:


Dear Vincent and Dickson,


Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº170, 171 y 172. Historia de la Penicilina (History of Penicillin)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº 170, 171 and 172 are dedicated to the history of the development of Penicillin as a therapeutic... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº177 "Osmosis Jones" y la regla de los 5 segundos (Osmosis Jones and the 5 seconds rule)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº178 is about the %-seconds rule depicted in the animated motion picture "Osmosis Jones". El podca... 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 242: I want my MMTV



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

Harvard University: Great virology, bad science writing

Harvard University is home to some of the world’s finest virologists. But apparently they do not communicate with the writers at Harvard Magazine, where a botched story on the avian H5N1 influenza virus has just been published. Read More

How Small Can You Get

parvovirus_B19 Read More

Where They’re Found


Archaea comes from the Greek word meaning “ancient.” An appropriate name, because many archaea thrive in conditions mimicking those found more than 3.5 billion years ago. Back then, the earth was still covered by oceans that regularly reached the boiling point ... Read More

Friday flu shot

Yesterday many US newspapers carried front-page stories on the severity of influenza so far this season. The New York Times story began with “It is not your imagination — more people you know are sick this winter, even people who have had flu shots.” Is this really a bad flu season? 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

TWiP 69 letters


Richard writes:


Hi Vincent and Dickson,


I enjoy TWIP, and often recommend it to my students. I'm a parasitologist, primarily a Leishmaniac, but I have learnt a lot from TWIP. I find it both more educational and entertaining than Car Talk.


The disc... Read More

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