TWiV 219: Fauci pharmacy

Fauci PharmacyOn episode #219 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent and Rich meet up with Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

You can find TWiV #219 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 194: Five postdocs in North America

On episode #194 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent returns to Madison, Wisconsin and meets with postdocs to discuss their science and their careers.

You can find TWiV #194 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 189: Five postdocs in Glasgow

On episode #189 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent returns to the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow and meets with postdocs to discuss their science and their careers.

You can find TWiV #189 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 188: Haggis, single malt, and viruses

On episode #188 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent travels to Scotland to meet with members of the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow to discuss their work on hepatitis C virus and jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus.

You can find TWiV #188 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.

TWiV 166: Breaking and entering

npc1 ebolaHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierRich Condit, and Alan Dove

Vincent, Dickson, Rich, and Alan review cell proteins essential for entry of hepatitis C, Ebola, and measles viruses.

Please help us by taking our listener survey.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 166 (59 MB .mp3,  98 minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson – What are you swimming with?
Rich –
Twelve monkeys
AlanKindle Touch
Vincent – Microbe news (thanks to Dave Winer)

Listener Pick of the Week

EricThe Nature of Things with David Suzuki
LanceTrials and Errors (Wired)

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 164: Six steps forward, four steps back

xmrvHosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit, and Alan Dove

Vincent, Alan, and Rich review ten compelling virology stories of 2011.

Please help us by taking our listener survey.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 164 (60 MB .mp3, 99 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.

Ten virology stories of 2011:

  1. XMRV, CFS, and prostate cancer (TWiV 119, 123, 136, 150)
  2. Influenza H5N1, ferrets, and the NSABB (TWiV 159)
  3. The Panic Virus (TWiV 117)
  4. Polio eradication (TWiV 127, 149)
  5. Viral oncotherapy (TWiV 124, 131, 142, 156)
  6. Hepatitis C virus (TWiV 130, 137, 141)
  7. Zinc finger nuclease and HIV therapy (TWiV 144)
  8. Bacteria help viruses (TWiV 154)
  9. Human papillomaviruses (TWiV 126)
  10. Combating dengue with Wolbachia (TWiV 115, 147)

Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Rich – Fundamentals of Molecular Virology by Nicholas H. Acheson
AlanFetch, with Ruff Ruffman
Vincent – Year end reviews at Rule of 6ix and Contagions

Listener Pick of the Week

GarrenTrillion-frame-per-second video
Judi – iBioMagazine
Ricardo –
Brain Picking’s 11 best science books of 2011

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 148: Retreating into Harvard virology

harvard virology retreatHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Philip Kranzusch, David Knipe, and Priscilla Yang

Vincent, Philip, David, and Priscilla recorded this episode before an audience at the Harvard Virology Program Annual Retreat, where they discussed negative strand RNA viruses, a vaccine against herpes simplex virus type 2, lipidomics of viral infection, and science communication.

The Keynote Speaker at the Harvard Virology retreat is usually an individual, but this year the honor went to TWiV as an example of science communication to the public. Many thanks to members of the Virology Program for a terrific retreat!

Artwork by Silvia Piccinotti, G4

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 148 (56 MB .mp3, 77 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

Philip – AntWeb
David –
Herpes-like viruses in corals (PNAS and LiveScience)
Priscilla –
Science museums (Boston, Durham)
Vincent –
Contagion

Listener Pick of the Week

JennyEmerman’s review of Planet of Viruses (PLoS Biology)

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 141: Mickey gets HCV

hcv miceHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich ConditDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Matt Evans

Matt Evans joins Vincent, Rich, Dickson, and Alan to deconstruct a mouse model for hepatitis C virus infection.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #141 (117 MB .mp3, 97 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

Matt – Benezra letter to NIH (pdf); (NIH response and Nature commentary)
Dickson –
The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman
Alan –
Earth’s First Steps by Jerry MacDonald
Rich – Final space shuttle launch and NIAID paylines
Vincent – Hertog Global Strategy Initiative

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 137: Look what the dog dragged in

dog_humanHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, Dickson Despommier, Amit Kapoor, and Ian Lipkin

The TWiV team speaks with Amit Kapoor and Ian Lipkin about how they discovered canine hepacivirus, and its implications for the origin and evolution of hepatitis C virus.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #137 (69 MB .mp3, 96 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 – What do marine mammals eat? (YouTube)
Rich
NIH rocket boys
Dickson – Cytomegalovirus needs an antiviral protein (Science)
Vincent – All pdfs free at National Academy of Science Press

Listener Pick of the Week

Adriana and Ye Jung  – The man who was cured of AIDS (article one and two)

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.

Canine hepacivirus, a relative of hepatitis C virus

yellow labradorContemporary human viruses most likely originated by cross-species transmission from non-human animals. Examples include HIV-1, which crossed from chimpanzees to humans, and SARS coronavirus, which originated in bats. Since the 1989 discovery of hepatitis C virus (classified as a hepacivirus in the family Flaviviridae) the origin of the virus been obscure. During the characterization of respiratory infections of domestic dogs, a virus was discovered that is the most genetically similar animal virus homolog of HCV.

HCV is a substantial human pathogen: 200 million people worldwide are chronically infected and are at risk for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. The source of HCV is unknown because there are no closely related animal virus homologs, but the hunt for related viruses has focused mainly on nonhuman primates. The identification of a related virus was fortuitous, and came about during a study of respiratory viruses that infect dogs. Nasal swabs were obtained from dogs with respiratory illness in shelters in Texas, Utah, and Pennsylvania. Sequence analysis of viral nucleic acids revealed the presence of a virus related to HCV, which was named canine hepacivirus (CHV). The virus was found in respiratory samples from 6 of 9 and 3 of 5 dogs in two separate outbreaks of respiratory disease, but not in 60 healthy pet dogs.

CHV was present in liver, but not lung, of 5 dogs that had died from unexplained gastrointestinal illness. The amount of CHV RNA in respiratory samples was substantially higher than in liver. Viral RNA was detected in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes in canine liver, but whether CHV is hepatotropic (replicates in liver cells) in dogs is not known. In humans, the amount of HCV in respiratory samples is typically very low. CHV may therefore infect different cells and tissues in dogs than does HCV in humans.

Bioinformatic analysis of CHV revealed that it is the genetically more related to HCV than any other known virus. HCV and CHV probably shared a common ancestor that circulated between 500 and 1,000 years ago – many years after dogs were domesticated. It is possible that hepaciviruses are mainly dog viruses, and that HCV arose by transmission of the virus from a dog to a human. An alternative scenario that cannot be excluded is that hepaciviruses infect many animal species. Screening of other animals for the presence of hepaciviruses must be done to determine which hypothesis is correct.

It was not possible to infect canine cultured cells with CHV, using clinical specimens from dogs.  The reason for this failure is not known, but could mean that the cells used are not susceptible and/or permissive for viral replication. Furthermore, a full-length DNA copy of the viral genome, which could be used to produce infectious viral RNA, was not reported. Propagation of the virus in cell cultures will be essential for enabling research on CHV replication and pathogenesis.

The discovery of CHV is exciting because the virus provides clues about the origins of HCV and will likely stimulate a search for related viruses in other animals. It is possible that CHV infection of dogs might be a model for understanding the pathogenesis of HCV, which currently is only possible in chimpanzees. A convenient animal model would be valuable for devising new ways to prevent and treat HCV infections.

A. Kapoor, P. Simmonds, G. Gerold, N. Qaisar, K. Jain, J.A. Henriquez, C. Firth, D.L. Hirschberg, C. Rice, S. Shields, & W.I. Lipkin. (2011). Characterization of a canine homolog of hepatitis C virus Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA