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The Walking Dead offers teachable moment about antivirals vs antibacterials

If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More

"Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy" Infographic

The American Academy of Microbiology has just released a new report, "Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy," and along with it, an infographic, that summarizes the main points of the report. The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1lk346I, and a link t... Read More

TWiV 270: Homeland virology

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

TWiV 283: No Reston for the weary

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 Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove Read More

Why do viruses cause disease?

Virulence, the capacity to cause disease, varies markedly among viruses. Some viruses cause lethal disease while others do not. For example, nearly all humans infected with rabies virus develop a disease of the central nervous system which ultimately leads to death. In contrast, most humans are ... Read More

TWiV 298: MV-NIS de myelo

The TWiV gang answers follow-up questions about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, then discuss treatment of  disseminated multiple myeloma with oncolytic measles virus.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello... Read More

Viral fiber art

Viruses inspire many different types of art, but I was unaware of the number of people who make viruses out of fiber! Keep reading for some photographs of what I have found. Read More

BacterioFiles 182 - Chloroplast Colonizers' Contradictory Conflicts

This episode: BacterioFiles teams up with The Plant Pathology Podcast to talk about how microbes living in plants sometimes team up with the plants, sometimes with plant pathogens!


(17.7 MB, 19.25 minutes) Read More

TWiV 299: Rocky Mountain virology

Vincent visits the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana and speaks with Marshall, Sonja, and Byron about their work on tick-born flaviviruses, innate immunity, and prion diseases.


Host: Vincent ... Read More

BacterioFiles 175 - Bacteria Build Better Biofilms

This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1/ Read More

Reducing antibiotic requests from patients with viral infections

For anyone interested in Antibiotic Awareness Week, a big part of the story is that patients (or their parents) demand antibacterials even for viral infections. And doctors often comply, just to get rid of them (the patients, that is). This high-resolution PDF can be printed out for waiting ro... Read More

Polio-like paralysis in California

Recently a number of children in California have developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. The cause of this paralysis is not yet known, and information about the outbreak is scarce. However, acute-flaccid paralysis is not uncommon (California would be expected to report about 75 cases a year, b... Read More

TWiV 302: The sky is falling

The TWiVers discuss the growing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, and an epidemic of respiratory disease in the US caused by enterovirus D68.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Interview of Cave Microbiologist, Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham (aka Ann)

Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham, is a famous cave microbiologist. Dr. Cheeptham has been fascinated with the world of biology since she was out catching butterflies as a child with her father in her native country, Thailand. Her interest in microbiology developed while studying at Chiang Mai University ... Read More

Retroviruses R us

About eight percent of human DNA is viral ā€“ remnants of ancestral infections with retroviruses. These endogenous retroviral sequences do not produce infectious viruses, and most are considered to be junk DNA. But some of them provide important functions. The protein called syncytin, which is ess... Read More

The neuraminidase of influenza virus

The influenza virus particle is made up of the viral RNA genome wrapped in a lipid membrane (illustrated). The membrane, or envelope, contains three different kinds of viral proteins. The hemagglutinin molecule (HA, blue) attaches to cell receptors and initiates the process of virus entry into c... Read More

Chemistry: A festive ferment

Rare is the holiday meal that does not owe many of its pleasures to invisible cooks with tongue-twisting names. Do you enjoy charcuterie and pickles? Bread with cultured butter? A drizzle of vinaigrette on this or that? A bit of cheese? Some chocolates? Wine, beer or cider? Then raise a glass to... Read More

TWiP 75 letters


David writes (re lice and iron):


All I remember that I know is that one time I let my cat endure a heavy flea infestation for an unconscionably long time. I redeemed myself, if at all, by the knowledge that I slept with her a lot, and so endured a share myself (b... Read More

Top chefs, artisanal food producers, and microbiologists join forces to explore new tastes and textures

Chefs from top-notch restaurants are reaching out to microbiologists, seeking advice that goes beyond traditional food safety or conventional food-processing concerns. With or without professional scientific advice, some chefs and food producers are doing their own microbiological experiments, s... Read More

Bacteriophage T4 (video)

This is an accurate visualization of the Bacteriophage T4 based on Cryo-EM datasets of the virus. The scope of the animation is to show the infection process of the T4 into an E. coli cell. All scientific data sets and motion based off of research from Michael Rossmann Laboratory (Purdue Univers... Read More

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