TWiV 212: Apocalypse TWiV 122112 212

On episode #212 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVerers answer listener email about genetically modified chickens, a hendra vaccine for horses, online education, curing color blindness, Roosevelt and polio, Th cells, and much more.

You can find TWiV #212 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 183: Bats out of hell

On episode #183 of the science show This Week in Virology, Connor Bamford joins the TWiV team to discuss bats as hosts for major mammalian paramyxoviruses.

You can find TWiV #183 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 167: It starts with a cough

Lipkin in ContagionHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierRich Condit, and Alan Dove

The complete TWiVome deconstructs the movie Contagion.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 167 (53 MB .mp3, 88  minutes).

Subscribe to TWiV (free) in iTunes , at the Zune Marketplace, by the RSS feed, by email, or listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app.

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

DicksonGuinea Pig Doctors by Jon Franklin
RichLearn to appreciate technology and Everythings amazing and nobodys happy (YouTube)
Alan – JD Hooker slide collection
VincentiTunes U app and iBooks Author

Listener Pick of the Week

JudiMakers of Many Things by Eva March Tappan

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twiv.

TWiV 144: HIV gets the (zinc) finger

zinc finger nucleaseHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, and Alan Dove

Vincent, Rich, and Alan discuss live blogging of scientific meetings, the current outbreak of Hendra virus is Australia, and using zinc finger nucleases to make HIV-resistant CD4 cells.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 144 (75 MB .mp3, 104 minutes).

Subscribe to TWiV (free) in iTunes , at the Zune Marketplace, by the RSS feed, by email, or listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app.

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Alan – Bugscope
Rich –
Vaccine adverse events: Causal or coincidental? (Lancet)
Vincent – West Nile Story by Dickson Despommier (Kindle edition)

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twiv.

Contagion, the movie

Contagion (2001)Contagion is the name of a new action-thriller movie about a global outbreak of a deadly viral disease. Slated to be released in 2011, it is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lawrence Fishburne. That’s certainly an outstanding crew, but will they get the science right?

According to Beyond Hollywood, “the film will have most of the big names playing doctors who are called to duty by the Centers for Disease Control when a major viral outbreak starts killing people around the world. The cast will then be split up and jet off to different continents.” Dread Central calls it ‘the deadly viral outbreak film of the decade’. Apparently Jude Law will play “a kind of unbridled blogger who’s a sort of scaremonger. Basically, it’s about a deadly virus unleashed and you see it from many different points of view, whether it be the public, medical care, politicians.”

The particular virus involved in Contagion has not been identified, but I have a good source which tells me that it’s a paramyxovirus. That’s not too hard to believe since the lethal Hendra and Nipah viruses are both members of the same family.

We’ll have to wait for more information to determine if the science in the film is credible. I do know that a prominent virologist, for whom I have a great deal of respect, has been hired as a script consultant. Whether or not the director and writer actually listen to that virologist is another question.

Moviegoers may know about the eponymous 2001 sci-fi movie (pictured) in which a group of terrorists concocted a seemingly unstoppable strain of Ebola. The first target is the President of the United States. Scientific reality just isn’t exciting enough for the movies.

TWiV #24: Viroids

twiv_aa_2001In episode #24 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Hamish Young discuss bacteriophages in viral vaccines, enteroviruses and diabetes, inhibition of Hendra and Nipah virus replication by the malaria drug chloroquine, and viroids.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #24 or subscribe in iTunes or by email.