TWiV 497: Europic 2018

At Europic 2018, a meeting on picornaviruses in the Netherlands, Vincent speaks with Sasha Gorbalenya, Jim Hogle, Ann Palmenberg and Frank van Kuppeveld about their careers and their research.

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N-terminal myristoylation

N-terminal myristoylation. An amide bond links myristate to an N-terminal glycine in the myristoylation site consensus sequence.

The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract that may be caused by many different viruses, but most frequently by rhinoviruses. A compound that inhibits a cell enzyme and blocks rhinovirus replication has the potential to be developed into an antiviral drug (link to paper).

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I have sent the following e-mail to Edward Sykes, the head of mental health and neuroscience at the Science Media Centre. The e-mail concerns the Lightning Process study published last year in Archives of Disease in Childhood. The SMC promoted the findings, which received widespread media coverage.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I am not sure what is going on at BMJ and why editors there seem incapable of acknowledging their flawed decision-making when it comes to two papers that should never have been accepted for publication. One violated BMJ’s policy that all trials must be properly prospectively registered, with no participants recruited beforehand. The other violated official U.K. guidelines by exempting itself from ethical review on false grounds.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I have been trying to convince editors at two BMJ journals to take responsibility for poor decisions. Despite serious nudging and prodding, I have been unsuccessful. The two papers I have criticized as being fraught with methodological and/or ethical missteps are these: “Clinical and cost-effectiveness of the Lightning Process in addition to specialist medical care for paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome: randomised controlled trial,” published last year in Archives of Disease in Childhood; and “Unidentified Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a major cause of school absence: surveillance outcomes from school-based clinics,” published in 2011 in BMJ Open.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Two weeks ago I sent an e-mail to Sir Andrew Dillon and Professor Mark Baker alerting them of problems with the Lightning Process study published last year in Archives of Disease in Childhood. The two men are members of the NICE Guidance Executive and have a hand in the current process of developing what might be the agency’s first ME/CFS guidance. (The 2007 guidance is for CFS/ME, and NICE has recently taken to calling the illness ME/CFS, like U.S. government agencies.)

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Vincent and Rich recorded this episode at Vaccines in the 21st Century, a meeting held at the University of California, Irvine, where they spoke with Stacy Schultz-Cherry, Douglas Diekema, and Andrew Noymer about vaccine facts and fiction.

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Show notes at microbe.tv/twiv

All life forms on Earth harbor an array of genetic parasites, including viruses, plasmids, and transposons. Unfortunately, if cells could reduce their uptake of these elements, they would suffer as the entry of beneficial genes would be impaired (link to paper). In other words, genetic parasites are unavoidable.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

When the PACE trial was published in early 2011, my New York Times editor sent it to me, along with the press release. As a non-staff contributor to the Times, I had started covering the debate over the mouse retrovirus hypothesis and science, but I’d heard nothing about anything called PACE or graded exercise therapy. I got a few hours to whip something up for the next day’s news coverage. Knowing nothing, I reported the findings as best I could. Unfortunately, I took them more or less at face value.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Earlier this month, in advance of a stakeholder meeting, the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence released a draft scoping report. The document outlined the issues slated to be addressed by the committee selected to develop the new guidance for the illness NICE now calls ME/CFS. (The 2007 guidance referred to it as CFS/ME; the name switch represents, at least to me, a potentially positive albeit modest sign of shifting attitudes at NICE.)

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