Paul Has Measles is a children's book about viruses and vaccines available in English (download pdf) Spanish (download pdf) French (download pdf) German (download link) Portuguese (download pdf) Romanian (download pdf), Italian (download pdf), Croatian (download pdf) Mixtec (download pdf) Hindi (download pdf) and Russian (download pdf). Kindle and paperback versions also available at Amazon in English, Spanish, French.

Team TWiV reveals DNA polymerases that do not require a primer, and packaging of hepatitis delta virus by the envelope glycoproteins of diverse viruses.

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Download TWiV 552 (70 MB .mp3, 116 min)
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Show notes at microbe.tv/twiv

No primer needed

Each year I inform the students in my Columbia University virology course that all known DNA polymerases – viral or cellular – require a primer to initiate DNA synthesis (it’s even stated in our textbook, Principles of Virology). This statement is no longer true, as shown by the discovery of two different DNA polymerases that can initiate DNA synthesis in the absence of any primer.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

UPDATE: Within an hour or two of writing to Bristol, I received a response from the university’s director of legal services. Here’s what she wrote:

Dear Dr Tuller

Thank you for your email. The Information Rights team is making good progress on clearing the back log, your FOI request is currently being processed and I hope it will not be too long before you receive a response.

Kind regards
Sue Paterson

END OF UPDATE

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Today I received an e-mail from Professor Roger Jones, editor of British Journal of General Practice. I’ve been nudging him to correct a false statement in a 2017 editorial about the cost of so-called “medically unexplained symptoms” to the UK National Health Service. The false statement involved a misquotation of a key statistic from a seminal 2010 paper. Professor Jones had promised to make the correction two weeks ago, so I sent him a reminder on Sunday.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Earlier today (Sunday, June 9th, in San Francisco), I sent the following e-mail to Professor Roger Jones, the editor of the British Journal of General Practice. I first wrote to Professor Jones in early May, seeking a correction to a 2017 editorial about the cost of so-called “medically unexplained symptoms” to the National Health Service. After some back and forth, Professor Jones sent me a message on May 29th that the journal was correcting the error “now.”

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At Retroviruses 2019 in Cold Spring Harbor, Vincent speaks with virologist Bryan Cullen about his work and his career, together with former associates Ann Skalka, Paul Bieniasz, and Michael Malim.

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Download TWiV 551 (37 MB .mp3, 60 min)
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By Gertrud U. Rey

Every year approximately 1800 high school students from more than 80 different countries gather at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), where they display their independent research and compete for more than $5 million worth of prizes. Last month, I had the honor of serving as a Grand Awards Judge at this prestigious affair in Phoenix, Arizona.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Alan Montgomery is a professor of medical statistics and clinical trials at the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine. He is also the senior author of the Lightning Process study, which was published in 2017 in Archives of Disease in Childhood, a BMJ journal. I wrote him a letter in January of this year, alerting him to my concerns about the study, but did not hear back. Because a recent review cited this problematic trial in highlighting the Lightning Process as an “effective” treatment for children, I decided it was time to send Professor Montgomery a second letter reminding him about my first.

I sent the following earlier today.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Fans of Bristol University’s team of pediatric ME/CFS researchers could be forgiven if they hoped a recent citation of one of the group’s most high-profile studies would help bolster its wobbling reputation. Yet the suggestion that the Lightning Process is an “effective” treatment for kids–highlighted in the abstract of a pediatric review of “CFS/ME”–has focused renewed attention on the illegitimacy of both the claim and the study on which it is based.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

The recent publication of a review of pediatric “CFS/ME” that promoted the Lightning Process as “effective” has triggered renewed concern–well, ok, I’ve triggered much of that renewed concern–about the 2017 study on which this specious claim is based. That study, from an experienced team from Bristol University, was published by Archives of Disease in Childhood, a BMJ journal, even though the investigators violated multiple ethical and methodological principles of scientific research.

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