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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

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

Health Alert Map Mash-up with Infectious Disease

This is a really cool Google Maps mash up that geo-locates breaking health news on a map. You can sort by official government announcements, news wires, infectious disease types, zoom to countries, local areas and more. Great for looking at Swine Flu reporting as it happens. Read More

Microbial Movers - A Small Things Considered Post

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered has authored an interesting post today about the motility of bacteria, specifically Paenibacillus, although he does highlight several other strains that swarm, glide or twitch.

"Microbes get around. They can be carried by the wind, by insects, or by ... Read More

Viral bioinformatics: Introduction + Homology

First, you may be asking yourself – Why viral bioinformatics? Good question! Although it’s true that much in the world of bioinformatics can be applied to all manner of protein and DNA sequences, there are a number of resources that are specific for viruses and there are a number of analyses tha... 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

Happy as a clam? Maybe not.

The expression “Happy as a Clam” comes with new meaning as hepatitis A virus has been detected in clams, mussels, and oysters in markets for human consumption. As bivalve shellfish are excellent bio-accumulators of contaminants and chemicals, it is no surprise that they also harbor waterborne vi... 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

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

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

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

El podcast del Microbio Nº194. Algas para limpiar un desastre (Algae for nuclear clean-up)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº194 is about the recent observation that the algae Closterium moniliferum could remove strontium... 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

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

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 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

Fighting Disease: Researching the History and Biology of Vaccines (resource for teachers)

What is a vaccine, and why do we need them? How do vaccines work, and how were they developed? In this lesson, students gauge their previous knowledge about vaccines. They then explore the history and biology of vaccines and create educational posters on the nature of vaccines and public opinion... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 169. DNA Ligasa de Mycobacterium cristalizada. (Mycobacterial DNA Ligase crystalized)



























El podcast del Microbio 169 resumes the recent Molecular Cell paper about the crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculo... 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

Virology at the Deutsches Museum

I just returned from a 17-day, 3,000 km road trip with my family in Europe. When I travel I’m always on the lookout for virus-related information and I found some at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. This museum showcases science and technology – it has over 100,000 objects illustrating t... Read More
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