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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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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

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

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

Bacteria Living Without Phages?

Are there environments where there are abundant bacteria and no phages? Sounds like one of our Talmudic Questions, but this one has a specific answer, and that answer is Yes. That environment was found within a cystic fibrosis (CF) lung.

This story comes from a pair of papers recently publish... Read More

ASM 2010 Posters: The results of fruitful collaborations with scientists all over the world

Most of you are probably back to work after the ASM conference in San Diego. It was a great conference with a lot of exciting talks and posters and we hope you enjoyed our beautiful city.

MO BIO Labs presented four posters at ASM and the PDFs are now available online for viewing. These were t... Read More

TWiM 91 Letters



Jacob writes:
Hello hosts of TWiM and TWiV,
I'm sending this to both podcasts because I'm interested in hearing what all of you have to say (I figure that I'm going to catch Dickson on TWiV, but if not feel free to ask him on TWiP).


I saw this que... Read More

TWiV 298: MV-NIS de myelo

The TWiV gang answers follow-up questions about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, then discuss treatment of  disseminated multiple myeloma with oncolytic measles virus.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 255: Hongos contra el picudo rojo (Fungi against the red palm weevil )



























El podcast del Microbio Nº255 explains the use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana as bioinsecticide for the control of the red pa... 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

Pandemics in Retrospective

Now that we have experienced several months of the H1N1 pandemic, what have we learned about how it was handled? Watch Dr. Nicole Lurie (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Dr. Kathryn Edwards (Vanderbilt University), discuss the public health responses to H1N1. Participants compar... Read More

Robert A. Weisberg, 1937-2011

Robert A. Weisberg was a Scientist Emeritus at NCI until the time of his death on 1 September 2011. Previously he was Chief of Microbial Genetics at NICHHD, a position he retired from in 2008. He was a pioneer in the study of the bacteriophage lambda. His research lead to seminal contributions a... Read More

To combat the overuse of antibacterials, stop using the absolutely terrible word, "antibiotic"

There are many reasons why bacteria evolve resistance to antibacterials, but one of the preventable reasons is the over-prescription of antibacterials to patients who don't have bacterial infections. But how to get people to stop asking for antibacterials? My suggestion is to stop using the wor... Read More

Do Hand Sanitizer and Liquid Hand Soap Remove Viruses?

While reading my back issues of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM), I came across an interesting paper that detailed an in-depth study on the effectiveness of hand cleaners to remove Norwalk virus (NV) from intentionally contaminated hands.

Yes that’s right – intentionally contamina... Read More

TWiM 87 Letters

Varun writes:


Greetings TWiM Profz,


As a perso... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... 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

El podcast del microbio Nº250. Cómo hacer un virus letal en cinco pasos (How to make a lethal virus in five steps)



























"El podcast del microbio" Nº 250 summarize the article published in November by New Scientist about the controversial work on mu... Read More

Drivers of bacterial à-diversity depend on spatial scale

PDF of recent "Open Access" PNAS paper on bacterial biogeography. The paper (of which I am an author) made use of rRNA PCR to survey bacteria in salt marshes. The bacteria were surveyed broadly (using broadly targeted PCR primers) and narrowly (using primers that focused on specific taxonomic... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 152 and 153. El experimento de Tuskegee (The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment)



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 152 and 153 deals with the history of the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and its follow-... Read More

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
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