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TWiM 31 Letters

Peter writes:

Dear TWiM Team


A fascinating article from New Scientist this week.


Standard medical teaching is that the foetus is sterile and that the microbiome only begins to develop post natal.


New research from Spain indicates that the microbiome s... Read More

TWiV 177: Live in Dublin

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Connor Bamford, ... Read More

TWiV 182 Letters

Joe writes:


Vince, here is the text of my post on Peter S site. I was disappointed in the quality of his article as I have much previous experience with his work and see him as the "David Baltimore of Risk Communication". If you could get him on as a guest you would e... Read More

TWiV 132: Virology 911

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Hosts: Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Read More

KEGG pathway analysis of 1443 HIV-1/host interactions

There are 1443 host viral interactions in the NCBI database. These were pumped through a KEGG pathway analsis, providing a useful insight into the multiple processes affected by HIV-1 infection. These include life cycle pathways , endocytosis and the like, but also many immune-related pathways a... Read More

TWiV 138: RISCy business with Raul Andino

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Raul Andino


Vincent ... Read More

TWiV 183 Letters

Joe writes:


How cool is that to be listening to you all reading my emails with Peter Sandman while I am stuck in traffic.


I loved the discussion and want to send a big thank you to Michael for joining in and giving us the missing perspective of what the NSABB ... Read More

TWiM 36 Letters

Todd writes:

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoy TWiM, and in particular, how much I enjoyed episode 32 featuring Rosie Redfield. I don't know how you find time to do this, but I'm gl... Read More

NEJM: The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine

At first glance, the inaugural 1812 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of Science seems reassuringly familiar: a review of angina pectoris, articles on infant diarrhea and burns. The apparent similarity to today's Journal, however, obscures a fu... Read More

Baruch S. Blumberg, MD, 1925-2011

Glenn Rall, a virologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, sent me the following note:

Baruch S. Blumberg, Nobel Laureate in 1976 for discovery of Hepatitis B (and the eventual development of the vaccine, which probably has saved hundreds of thousands of lives since its introduction), died this pas... Read More

New Elsevier Slogan: “It’s All about The Benjamins”

Rich Condit found an article highly critical of the original Wakefield study (claiming a link between MMR vaccine and autism) which was published in the same issue of Lancet. He asked the publisher, Elsevier, to open up the article to non-subscribers so he could recommend it as a pick of the wee... Read More

My virology course at Columbia University

The third annual installment of my virology course at Columbia University, Biology W3310, has begun, and all the lectures will be available online. Read More

Norton Zinder, 1928-2012

Norton Zinder made two important discoveries in the field of virology. While a Ph.D. student with Joshua Lederberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he found that viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages) could move genes from one host to another, a process called transduction. Later in his own ... 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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments on the “Synthetic Cell”

"The now famous announcement by the Venter group is based on their paper in Science entitled Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. We applaud this work for its impressive technical achievement and we acknowledge its future potential. However, we find the ter... Read More
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