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The Lazarus virus

There is an excellent question in the comments to “Are all virus particles infectious?“: if the particle-to-PFU ratio for a virus stock is 10,000:1, and I infect 1,000,000 cells with 10,000 particles, how many plaques would I expect to observe? Answering this question provides insight into the p... 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

TWiV 159 Letters

Jenny writes:


Hi Vince and the rest of the TWIV-cast!


You might have come across this news already, but it would be interesting to hear the TWIV gang's take on this study done by Fouchier's group from the Netherlands.


Read More

Influenza H5N1 virus versus ferrets, round two

The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) announces the availability of two new resources designed to support pneumococcal disease prevention efforts

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)has announced the availability of two new resources designed to support pneumococcal disease prevention efforts on NFID’s website, Adultvaccination.org:

• a professional practice toolkit for healthcare professionals (HCPs)

Th... Read More

TWiV 165 Letters

Justin writes:


Are you, Alan Dove and Prof. Racaniello, saying you think Mikovits and/or others on the Lombardi paper lied about the results or blinding? I think circumspection is a natural human reaction to the allegations of theft that have been made against Dr. Mik... Read More

TWiV 115 Letters

Vinayaka writes:


Some additional info that I gathered on viruses on the verge of elimination (may or may not be new to you):


It appears that the next virus on the list of FAO to eradicate is PPR virus ( 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

TWiV 172 Letters

Greg writes:


Dear TWiV,


The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More

TWiV 101 Letters

Russ writes:


I think this image from www.3d4medical.com is great!


This is a cool app for the iPad. This would make a great pick of the week


Russ


Julian writes:<... Read More

Tree of Life Blog: Overselling the microbiome award #2: The Marshall Protocol

A discussion of the "Marshall Protocol" which is a claimed treatment for all sorts of ailments. The article discusses how the MP backers suggests not only that microbes cause a wide diversity of ailments, but that a specific protocol can cure these ailments. The article discusses the lack of e... Read More

A Giant Among Giants

Merry Youle from the Small Things Considered blog ponders the potential size a virus can be:

"With such fascinating stories being told by Mimivirus and the other giants, people are now looking for them in more environments. Modified techniques are called for, as those used previously to spot ... Read More

TWiV 166 Letters

Eric writes:


Hello Professors,


Thanks again for all the effort and care you invest into your podcasts. I'm writing today to suggest a pick of the week: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Suzuki, one of Canada's scientist/rock-stars, hosts... 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

Genome of arsenic bacterium sequenced

The genome nucleotide sequence has been determined of the bacterium GFAJ-1, which has been suggested to survive in high levels of arsenic and in fact incorporate arsenic into macromolecules. The sequence does not address the controversy over whether the bacterium can utilize arsenic. I suppose t... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 230: Pequeña Micro-Pila de Energía (New Micro-Fuel Cell)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 230 summarize the work by Li et al. and published in Biotechnology Bioengineering about Microbial el... Read More

It's Raining Viruses

It’s true! Each year it rains viruses, more than a trillion of them per acre over thousands of forested acres in the USA. This is the work of the airborne arm of the USDA Forest Service, part of their efforts to reduce the devastation to hardwood forests caused by the imported gypsy moth, Lymant... 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

El podcast del Microbio Nº 233. Bacterias come-sushi (sushi-eater bacteria)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 233 summarize the findings by Handeman et al (Nature, 464: 908-912.) on the transfer of carbohydrate-... Read More

World Tuberculosis Day 2009

Today is World Tuberculosis Day.

"World TB Day, 24 March 2009, is about celebrating the lives and stories of people affected by TB: women, men and children who have taken TB treatment; nurses; doctors; researchers; community workers--anyone who has contributed towards the global fight agains... Read More

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