Paul Has Measles is a children's book about viruses and vaccines available in English (download link) Spanish (download link) French (download link) and German (download link).

A portal for RNA exit

Calicivirus-portal

Top view of calicivirus portal. VP1 is green, VP2 is red.

Virus particles are metastable: they must be highly stable, to protect the nucleic acid while traveling from host to host or cell to cell, and then come apart to liberate the genome into the cell. New insight into this uncoating process comes from beautiful images of feline calicivirus showing formation of a portal on the capsid upon receptor engagement.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Because of various developments in the UK and elsewhere, I’ve neglected goings-on back home. I’m working on a couple of things now but in the meantime I decided to post something typically insightful that Jennie Spotila published last week on her blog, Occupy M.E.

It’s a frustration with this project that I don’t have the time to look into every aspect I’d like to. So it’s great that people like Jennie are poking around and digging into documents and trying to understand what’s going on. I’m glad to be able to re-post this here (with her permission, of course).

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I thought it might be helpful to re-post a list of questions I wanted to ask Professor White and his PACE colleagues in September, 2015–more than a month before Virology Blog posted the first installment of “Trial By Error: The Troubling Case of the PACE Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study.” I originally posted this list on January 4, 2016.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Added Feb 12:

I realized today that I wanted to add a couple of details. The new version of the BMJ article about the Health Research Authority analysis of PACE includes this sentence at the bottom: “Correction notice: On 8 February 2019 a new version of this article was posted with clarifications added.”

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The TWiV crew reveal a unique portal on the calcivirus capsid formed upon receptor engagement, and the regulation of interferon responses in virus-infected cells by methylation of mRNA.

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Show notes at microbe.tv/twiv

Biting mosquitoThe gut tracts of many animals are inhabited by a microbial community composed of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. The interplay among these inhabitants can have an impact on health and disease. Mosquitoes are no exception – replication of dengue virus in the gut tract is modulated by a fungus and a bacterium.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week, I reported that Bristol University had launched an independent investigation of research led by Professor Esther Crawley, at the request of the UK’s Health Research Authority. Today, the HRA released a report on the PACE trial that has portrayed it as a well-conducted study. GET/CBT supporters are framing this report as a vindication.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Update: Since posting this several hours ago, I have learned that the story I’ve been “prebutting” is not in fact likely to appear imminently; I suppose that means it could be weeks before publication. I’m not sure whether I misinterpreted the reporter’s statement that obtaining my response to the “harassment” claims was the final outstanding issue or whether plans have shifted around for this or that reason. Hard to know.

So I guess for now I have expressed my thoughts about this matter and will make no further predictions about possible content or timing of the piece–unless or until I feel that I need to. In journalism, as in life, nothing happens until it happens. Time for me to focus on other posts that I have been meaning to get to.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week I broke the news that Bristol University is conducting an independent investigation of a number of studies that were exempted from ethical review on the grounds that they qualified as “service evaluation.” Because the issues involved are confusing and complex, I thought it would be helpful to repost here part of my initial investigation of one of those exempted studies–the 2011 school absence paper published in BMJ Open.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Yesterday I reported that Bristol University, at the request of the UK Health Research Authority, is investigating a number of studies conducted by Professor Esther Crawley. The results of this investigation are expected in two months or so.

Today I can disclose that the scrutiny involves papers linked to a specific research ethics committee (REC) reference: 07/Q2006/48. That is the number of a 2007 REC opinion issued for a study titled “What happens to children with CFS/ME? The study of a longitudinal cohort of children who access a paediatric CFS/ME service. Version 2.” The investigators were seeking permission to add some more questionnaires to those already being filled out by (or about) pediatric patients at the specialized Bath clinic run by Professor Crawley.

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