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) Russian (download pdf) Japanese (download pdf) and Nahuatl (download pdf). Kindle and paperback versions also available at Amazon in English, Spanish, French.

Summer reading 2019

Nobel PrizesBy my estimation, here in the northeastern US we are right in the middle of summer – which I define as July and August. It’s as good a time as any to talk about summer reading lists.

As both a scientist and science communicator, I love reading how others explain the wonder of discovery. My summer reading list is replete with such titles, which I devour during my travels. But there is also a guilty pleasure or two.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

In the last few years, the Journal of Health Psychology has provided a valuable platform for researchers, academics, and other experts who have challenged the claims made in the discredited PACE trial and other research from the CBT/GET ideological brigades. Last month, the journal published a revealing and useful paper from four authors–three smart members of the patient/advocacy community, along with an academic psychologist.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Same-Day Update:

I forwarded our response to Dr Brown’s letter (see below) to Dr Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editorial director. I also cc-d others on my e-mail to Dr Godlee. Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Fiona–

Dr Brown, the editor-in-chief of Archives of Disease in Childhood, sent a message to Professor Racaniello and me last Thursday about the results of the in-depth investigation of the Lightning Process study. Professor Racaniello sent Dr Brown our response this morning. I am forwarding you a copy of that response.

As you know, the investigators of the Lightning Process study violated BMJ policy on prospective trial registration, selected their primary outcome after recruiting and collecting data from more than half their participants, and failed to mention these details in the published paper. So we applaud the journal’s acknowledgement of the study’s documented flaws. However, the decision to republish the paper with its original findings intact is unacceptable and potentially harmful to children, as we explain in our letter. [continue reading…]

TWiV minus one reveals delayed neurological deficits in children without microcephaly born to Zika virus infected mothers, and N-glycolyl-neuraminic acid as a receptor for influenza A viruses.

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FlavivirusChildren who are exposed to Zika virus in utero may develop structural defects of the cranium such as microcephaly. Now we understand that even children born to Zika virus infected mothers may develop neurodevelopmental and neurosensory deficiencies in the second year of life – in the absence of microcephaly.

During the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a cohort was established of 244 pregnant women who tested positive for the virus. There were 223 live births in this cohort, and 8 of 216 babies were identified with microcephaly. Between 7-32 months of age, these children had clinical (hearing and eye exam) and neurological evaluations, the latter using the Bayley scales of infant development (which assess cognitive, language, and motor skills).

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I have lately been focusing more time and posts on developments in the UK than in the US. I guess that’s not too surprising. After all, this whole project began as an investigation of the PACE trial, conducted by British experts in British health care centers and published in British journals. And there’s so much crap besides PACE to pursue, given the strength of the CBT/GET ideological brigades.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

In February, I wrote a post tracking how a core finding from Bermingham et al, a 2010 study, has been misrepresented repeatedly in claims about the costs to the National Health Service of so-called “medically unexplained symptoms.” The misrepresented finding has been cited by proponents of an NHS effort to divert people labeled as having MUS away from specialist medical care and toward psychological interventions. This approach to MUS is part of the expansion of an NHS program called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.

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From ASM Microbe 2019, Vincent, Brianne and Calvin meet up with Craig Cameron to discuss his career and his work exploring RNA-dependent RNA synthesis and single cell virology.

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hav entryby Gertrud U. Rey

Some viruses have a lipid envelope surrounding their protein capsid, which they get from the host cell membrane during the budding process. The envelope acts as an anchor for viral glycoproteins, which facilitate entry of the newly budded virus into a new cell by recognizing and binding host cell receptors. Such “enveloped” viruses are distinct from “naked” viruses, which lack this envelope because they exit the cell by lysing it.

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TWiM 199: PhD Balance

I don’t often post episodes of This Week in Microbiology here, but this one is different because it touches all fields of science.

We had two guests in this episode, recorded at ASM Microbe 2019. First, Susanna L. Harris talked about her bout with depression in graduate school, and her founding of PhD Balance to help academics with mental illness.

Our second guest Alex Politis from the NIH who spoke about the process of peer review.

Both important topics for all scientists! With video.

Right click to download TWiM#199 (36 MB .mp3, 75 minutes)

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