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Building the perfect bug

This past February I was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Company on the topic of the Fouchier and Kawaoka experiments on avian influenza virus H5N1. The video, Building the Perfect Bug, has been released by Journeyman Pictures and includes interviews with S.T. Lai, Laurie Garrett, Mic... Read More

Propose a Topic for asm2012 - 112th General Meeting of ASM

Are you interested in proposing an interdisciplinary topic with maximum appeal? Do you have an idea for a core colloquium or symposium of scientific significance? ASM's General Meeting Program Committee is soliciting suggestions to help build the program for asm2012 in San Francisco, June 16-1... Read More

PLoS Journals Projected to be 100% Self-Sufficient by 2010

The Public Library of Science's open access journals just release its 2009 June Progress Report in which they project "a publishing business model projected to be 100% self-sufficient in 2010."

"PLoS journals use a business model that recovers expenses — including administration of peer revie... Read More

Alzheimer''s disease plaques and tangles: Repositories of a herpes simplex/immune system battle leading to neuronal destruction

The protein components of the plaques and tangles seen in the Alzheimer's disease brain offer a clue to the origins of the disease: It turns out that they are heavily enriched in human proteins used by herpes simplex during its life cycle: Many immune system related proteins are also found in th... Read More

10 Genes, Furiously Evolving

This is a great article by Carl Zimmer in the NY Times (@carlzimmer on Twitter) about the evolution process of viruses.

"Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolk... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 174 y 175. La Historia de Alice Catherine Evans. /The Story of Alice Catherine Evans)

El podcast del Microbio Nº174 and 175 are dedicated to Alice Catherine Evans, one of the first women microbiologists. Los ... Read More

The Rise of Genomic Superspreaders

One hundred million years ago the earth’s climate was much warmer than today and vast inland seas stretched across entire continents. The land was dominated by charismatic megafauna that would one day serve as inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World. This period is commonly... Read More

TWiV 152 Letters

Atila writes:

Dear TWiVers,

I have heard recently that some types of herpes virus may protect us from bacterial infections. This made me remember of myxomavirus, viral oncotherapy and how tumor cells have a compromised immune response. Do you think it is possi... Read More

Genome Wide Manipulation of the Bacterial Chromosome in Vivo

On the Small Things Considered blog, Michael Schmidt, Professor and Vice Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, reviews a recent paper entitled "Precise Manipulation of Chromosomes in Vivo Enables Genome-Wide Codon Replacement" by Church and colleagu... Read More

What Happened to Our Friendly Enterococci?

Enterococci had been generally regarded as benign commensals, a part of our healthy intestinal microbiota. They were even invited in, being used as probiotics. But then, in the late 1970s, the first multiple drug-resistant strains appeared, and vancomycin-resistant strains followed in 1981. In r... Read More

TWiV 155 Letters

Kim writes:

To the TWiVerati Intelligencia,

Each week you begin your show with the tagline, "This Week in Virology: The podcast about viruses, the kind that make you sick."

I recognize that viruses have been responsible for some of the biggest epidemic... Read More

TWiV 139 Letters

Norma writes:

Some time ago I emailed you about transcribing an episode of TWiV and have finally finished episode 60. Let me join the chorus of appreciative listeners in praise for your podcast! I've learned a lot from it I was inspired by your generosity... Read More

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

Podcast del Microbio Nº190 y 191. El Cuarto Dominio (The Fourth Domain)

El podcast del Microbio Nº190 and 191 describes the recent metagenomic results that point towards the existence of a 4th do... Read More

TWiV 98 Letters

James writes:

I'm just writing to clarify my question about the production of the flu vaccine if one of the other seasonal strains was removed as there seemed to be a bit of confusion about the point of it.

As I understand it one of the biggest holdups in seas... Read More

Palese: Don’t censor live-saving science

Renowned influenza virologist Peter Palese has penned an opinion column for the science journal Nature in which he uses his experience in reconstructing the 1918 pandemic influenza virus strain to question the censoring of H5N1 results by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSAB... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 109: Derrames de petróleo

The Nº 109 of the "El podcast del microbio" deals with the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the accident in the Deepwater Hor... Read More

The Three Faces of Thiomargarita

Merry Youle of Small Things Considered has authored a post that looks at Thiomargarita spp.

"Non-motile Thiomargarita was first discovered in 1999 off the Namibian coast, thus was named T. namibiensis. Its cells are large spheres, arranged in chains, each chain enclosed in a mucous sheath. Av... Read More

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Trust science, not scientists

Whether or not the retrovirus XMRV is a human pathogen has been debated since the virus was first described in 2006. The answer is now clear: the results of Blood XMRV Scientific Research Group, along with a partial retraction of the 2009 Science paper describing identification of the retrovirus... Read More
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