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The Wall of Polio, version 3.0

Back in 2013 I built a Wall of Polio in my laboratory – a large stack of six-well cell culture plates that have been used to measure the concentration of polioviruses in various samples by plaque assay. It became a focal point of the lab at which many guests came to have their photographs taken.... Read More

TWiV 357: Mistletoe and the Tree of Life

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Stopping malaria in its tracks

A new drug acts as a roadblock for malaria, curing mice of established infection, according to a study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Treatment was not associated with obvious side effects, suggesting that the drug may also be safe and effective in humans. Read More

TWiP 81 letters

Allan writes:

Dear Vincent & Dickson… and Daniel,

I always enjoy listening to TWIP here in Kona, Hawaii.

Our weather today is 79ºF and clear but we have just experienced a record 25-year overnight low of 54ºF,
(FREEZING, as few of us hav... Read More

Why do we still use Sabin poliovirus vaccine?

The Sabin infectious, attenuated poliovirus vaccines are known to cause vaccine-associated paralysis in a small number of recipients. In contrast, the Salk inactivated vaccine does not cause poliomyelitis. Why are the Sabin vaccines still used globally? The answer to this question requires a bri... Read More

BacterioFiles 214 - Cable-Chlorophyte Coop Conducts Current

This episode: Cable bacteria and algae set up electric grid in sediments!

(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)

Show notes: 
Journal Paper

Read More

TWiP 85 letters


Jan writes:

Dear Sirs

This is fun, and although I'm sure someone will gripe about Dicksons enthusiastic response to the crayfish, it made my life easier. I think it's Paragonimus kellicoti. As for eating raw crayfish; how drunk... Read More

Honoring the Memory of Another

The late Edward Leadbetter had a huge impact on my life as an academic, and a microbiologist. In this post, I try to give some appreciation to what he meant to me. Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Prion contamination in the emergency room

Here is a follow-up to last week’s article that described a case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in a Texas resident caused by ingestion of BSE-contaminated beef 14 years ago.

A 59 year old male patient was admitted to the trauma unit in Lancaster, PA with a self-inflicted gunshot wound ... Read More

BacterioFiles 237 - Proving Protist Predation Parentage

This episode: Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, a predatory bacterium that feeds on Chlorella algae, is currently lost from science, but its genome has been sequenced and interpreted anyway, to reveal a surprising family history!

(9.4 MB, 10.25 minutes)

Read More

BacterioFiles 210 - Archaea Acquired Alternative Abilities

This episode: Genes taken from bacteria may have been important for the evolution of distinct groups of archaea!

(7.4 MB, 8 minutes)

Show notes: 
Read More

TWiV 361: Zombie viruses on the loose

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

BacterioFiles 218 - Parasitoids Pass Protective Prokaryotes

This episode: Parasitoid wasps spread helpful bacterial symbionts between their whitefly prey!

(10.9 MB, 11.9 minutes)

Show notes: 
Read More

Transgenic pigs resistant to foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and many wild species. The disease caused by this virus is a substantial problem for farmers because infected animals cannot be sold. Transgenic pigs have now been produced which express a short... Read More

A Green Thumb for Ocean Microbes

MIT-WHOI Graduate student Kristen Hunter-Cevera describes the challenges and obstacles involved with growing marine microbes (in her case, Synechococcus) in a laboratory setting, and outlines the value of her research in understanding marine biogeochemistry. Read More

Permissive vaccines and viral virulence

A permissive vaccine prevents disease in the immunized host, but does not block virus infection. Would a permissive vaccine lead to the emergence of more virulent viruses?

This hypothesis is based on the notion that viruses which kill their hosts too quickly are not efficiently transmitted, a... Read More

BacterioFiles 235 - Dust DNA Detectives with Dr. Dunn

This episode: I talk with Dr. Rob Dunn about his team's research into determining where a dust sample comes from based on the microbes present in it!

(12.6 MB, 13.7 minutes)

Show notes: 
Read More

TWiV 320: Retroviruses and cranberries

Vincent speaks with John Coffin about his career studying retroviruses, including working with Howard Temin, endogenous retroviruses, XMRV, chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and his interest in growing cranberries.

Host:  Read More

TWiV 360: From Southeastern Michigan

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler

Guests:  Read More

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