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Squishy Science: Extract DNA from Smashed Strawberries

Fun science activity for kids!

Have you ever wondered how scientists extract DNA from an organism? All living organisms have DNA, which is short for deoxyribonucleic acid; it is basically the blueprint for everything that happens inside an organism’s cells. Overall, DNA tells an organism how ... Read More

Genetics researcher Francisco Ayala discusses his life, his work and creationism

Evolutionary geneticist Francisco Ayala wasn't always attracted to life in the laboratory. As a young man in Spain, Ayala was ordained as a Dominican priest. Within a year, though, he gave up it up to study genetics at Columbia University. Since then, Ayala's research has focused on parasitic pr... Read More

Digital Disease Detection — Harnessing the Web for Public Health Surveillance

Wow, the NEJM is really knocking out some great "perspectives" in their most recent issue.

The Internet has become a critical medium for clinicians, public health practitioners, and laypeople seeking health information. Data about diseases and outbreaks are disseminated not only through onli... Read More

TWiV 243: Live from ASV at Penn State



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, and Read More

TWiV 235: Live in Edmonton, eh?



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

What They Look Like


Some archaea look like little rods or tiny balls, and some even get around like bacteria, using long hair- or whip-like appendages called flagella that stick out of their cell walls and act like a microscopic outboard motor to get them where they are going.

... Read More

Everyone Rowing in the Same Direction

Is there such a thing as an obligatorily multicellular prokaryote? Merry Youle of the Small Things Considered blog reviews a recent paper published in the May issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology that announces the finding of a new subgroup within magnetotactic multicellular prokaryot... Read More

First West Nile virus infections confirmed in humans in Greece

Between early July and 22 August 2010, 81 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease were reported in the region of Central Macedonia, northern Greece. The median age of cases was 70 years. Encephalitis, meningoencephalitis or aseptic meningitis occurred mainly in patients aged 50 years or older. ... Read More

Audio interview with Michael Brennan of Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation

Jeff Fox of Microbe magazine interviews Michael Brennan of Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation on efforts to develop a tuberculosis vaccine. Aeras is focusing a substantial portion of its vaccine development strategy and efforts on the venerable but flawed Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine Read More

Ten years of virology blog

Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More

Clinical Trials for Beginners

Judy Stone, MD, an infectious disease specialist experienced in conducting clinical research, is the author of an upcoming series of blog posts about the ABC's of clinical trials. In the first post she tackles the origin of clinical trials in which she highlights the history of many famous micro... Read More

Foodsafe video

Food-handling safety risks at home are more common than you may think. The 4 easy lessons of this Be Foodsafe video are clean, separate, cook and chill. Read More

What is Dual Use Research? (Video)

Learn more about the issue of dual use research in the life sciences by watching the following educational video produced by the NIH. Read More

Aug. 31, 1909: First Chemotherapy Drug Treats Syphilis

After searching through hundreds of potential chemicals, German immunologist Paul Ehrlich discovers a compound that can selectively kill the parasitic spirochete that causes syphilis. The following year, he sends 65,000 free samples of the drug, now known as the first modern chemotherapy agent, ... Read More

Help Spread the Flu (and learn about viruses at the same time)

The Welcome Trust has funded an interactive Flash game that can be played on the web that teaches young people how the flu is spread. You start off as a flu virus and the goal is to infect others. Along the way, you get educational information about viruses. Here are some of the instructions: Y... Read More

Is XMRV a laboratory contaminant?

Since the first observations that the human retrovirus XMRV is associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), new studies have been carried out to determine the role of the virus in these diseases. The results have been conflicting: XMRV (and related retroviruses) have been ... Read More

What is Open Access Publishing in Scientific Research?

A slide-cast by Jonathan Eisen, Professor at UC Davis and Academic Editor in Chief of PLoS Biology, about open access publishing given at the Clinical and Translational Science Center at UC Davis (http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/ctsc). Read More

An hour on the life of Charles Darwin with E.O. Wilson and James Watson

An hour on the life and work of Charles Darwin with James Watson, chancellor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and E.O. Wilson, professor emeritus, Harvard University. This aired on the Charlie Rose show on PBS. Read More

Paul Offit, MD on Autism and Vaccine Safety

Virginia Campbell,MD, host of the Brain Science Podcast, has published a very interesting interview with Dr. Paul Offit, author of the book Autism’s False Prophets. In the interview, Campbell and Offit explore "the scientific evidence that vaccines DO NOT cause autism, but also examine why the c... Read More

TWiP 74 letters


voxsciurorum writes:


Dear water-based life forms:


It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.


I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More

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