TWiV 130: Rhino tracking, wrestling pox, and HCV in the crosshairs

organ culture hrv cHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

Vincent, Alan, and Rich discuss growth in culture of newly identified rhinovirus C, vaccinia transmission among wrestlers and martial artists, and results of phase III clinical trial of boceprevir, a new inhibitor of hepatitis C virus replication.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #130 (45 MB .mp3, 93 minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Rich – Rock-paper-scissors vs computer (thanks, Megan!)
Alan –
WebCite
Vincent – Edward Jenner Museum (EID)

Listener Pick of the Week

Derek Tolly  – A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America (IMDb)

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TWiV 118: The virus always rings twice

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

On episode #118 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich answer listener questions about vaccinia virus, fungal viruses, synthetic viruses, influenza vaccine, HeLa cells, multiplicity of infection, and much more.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #118 (68 MB .mp3, 94  minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Alan – What you need to know about infectious disease
Rich – Bad Project (YouTube)
Vincent – Federal research center will help develop medicines

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Rich Condit reminisces

infectious polio rnaOn my recent trip to record TWiV #111 at Florida Gulf Coast University, I visited Rich Condit in Gainesville. There he told me a story about how the bacteriophage T7 polymerase/promoter system was developed. It’s an interesting tale that demonstrates how important scientific advances often have convoluted roots. You can watch the video below or download a high-definition (720p) version (585 MB .mov).

The combination of bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase and its cognate promoter sequence allows the production of specific RNAs either in vitro or in cells. In many laboratories this system is used to synthesize infectious viral RNA from cloned DNAs. In the example shown, a DNA copy of of the poliovirus RNA genome has been cloned into a bacterial plasmid. The promoter sequence for T7 RNA polymerase is inserted at the 5′-end of the viral sequence (not shown). When placed within any double-stranded DNA, this 19 nucleotide promoter sequence (TAATAGGACTCACTATAGG) will lead to the production of RNA. The plasmid is incubated with purified T7 RNA polymerase (commercially available) and ATP, GTP, UTP and CTP, and the viral RNAs that are produced are then transfected into cells. A viral replication cycle begins, resulting in the production of infectious virus particles.

As described by Rich in the video below, this expression system was conceived by Ed Niles and brought to practice by Bernard Moss. The first paper published described the insertion of the gene encoding T7 RNA polymerase into the genome of vaccinia virus. When cells are infected with the recombinant virus, they produce T7 RNA polymerase. To express a protein using this system, a gene is cloned into a plasmid next to the T7 RNA polymerase promoter. When this plasmid is introduced into cells producing T7 RNA polymerase, RNAs are made which are then translated into protein.

This method was subsequently modified by Wimmer and colleagues to synthesize infectious poliovirus RNA in vitro.

Werf, S. (1986). Synthesis of Infectious Poliovirus RNA by Purified T7 RNA Polymerase Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 83 (8), 2330-2334 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.83.8.2330

Fuerst, T. (1986). Eukaryotic Transient-Expression System Based on Recombinant Vaccinia Virus that Synthesizes Bacteriophage T7 RNA Polymerase Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 83 (21), 8122-8126 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.83.21.8122

TWiV 112: Creating a killer poxvirus

dickson despommierHosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

On episode #112 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich review the making of a virulent poxvirus by insertion of the gene encoding IL-4, and severe 2009 H1N1 influenza due to pathogenic immune complexes.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #112(71 MB .mp3, 98 minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Rich – The Scientist’s Top 10 Innovations 2010
Alan – Avian Vocalizations Center
Vincent – Microbial soap from Cleaner Science (thanks, Nadia!)

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TWiV 95: Does a virus shift in the woods?

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

On episode #95 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich consider the end of the influenza H1N1 pandemic, dengue in Florida, vaccinia virus infection in Brazilian monkeys, and viruses in the faecal microbiota.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #95 (68 MB .mp3, 94 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Alan – Families Fighting Flu
Rich –
Food, Inc.
Dickson –  Fuel
Vincent – MIT Open Courseware
Michael –  Waiting for Superman and Can Science Feed the World? (Nature)

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TWiV 90: Guano happens

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, Rich Condit, and Eric F. Donaldson

On episode #90 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich and Eric discuss identification of viruses in Northeastern American bats, vaccinia virus infection after sexual contact with a military vaccinee, and identification of a new flavivirus from an Old World bat in Bangladesh.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #90 (64 MB .mp3, 89 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Eric – Year of Darwin by Sean Carroll
Rich –
March of the Penguins
Alan –
Standing-height desks
Vincent – DengueWatch (thanks Richard!)

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TWiV 68: Ode to a plaque

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

Vincent, Alan, and Rich are enthralled by movies of vaccinia virus plaque formation, then consider how repulsion of superinfection virions leads to rapid virus spread, and a therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine.

This episode is sponsored by Data Robotics Inc. Use the promotion code VINCENT to receive $50 off a Drobo or $100 off a Drobo S.

Win a free Drobo S! Contest rules here.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #68 (58 MB .mp3, 80 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Rich Foundations of Virology – PowerPoint by Frederick A. Murphy (bio/interview pdf)
Alan Spoonful of Medicine – Nature Medicine blog
Vincent The Feynman Lectures (thanks Ilya!)

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv or leave voicemail at Skype: twivpodcast. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at microbeworld.org and tag them with twiv.

TWiV 59: Dog bites virus

TWiV_AA_200Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, Gustavo Palacios, and Mady Hornig

A TWiV panel of five considers the finding of Streptococcus pneumoniae in fatal H1N1 cases in Argentina, hysteria in the Ukraine over pandemic influenza, and human vaccinia infection after contact with a raccoon rabies vaccine bait.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #59 (58 MB .mp3, 80 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks
Rich Longitude by Dava Sobel
Alan Heil Pro Set Media Headset (for a good price, order from a ham radio store)
Vincent
MicrobeWorld app for iPhone and iTouch (iTunes or MicrobeWorld)

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TWiV 48: Outbreaks near you

twiv_aa_2001Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dick DespommierAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

On episode 48 of the podcast “This Week in Virology”, Vincent, Dick, Alan and Rich revisit a vaccinia virus lab accident and viral vaccines produced in plants, then talk about an iPhone app to track infectious diseases, flying foxes, and an inhaled measles vaccine.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #48 (58 MB .mp3, 79 minutes)

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Links for this episode:
Laboratory acquired vaccinia infection
Medicago (investor presentation, pdf) and Fraunhofer produce vaccines in plants
iPhone app Outbreaks near me
No culling of flying foxes in Australia
Inhaled powdered measles virus vaccine
Herpesvirus latency confers symbiotic protection from bacterial infection (thanks Juliet!)
Porcine circovirus vaccine
Swine flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré (thanks Tom!)
The Great Flu and blog post (thanks Swiss compass and Allison!)
Building semiconductors with DNA (thanks Duncan!)
Email on viral classification (thanks Rodney and Eliot!)

Weekly Science Picks
Rich Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Dick Eliot Porter at the Carter Museum and bookstore at Amazon
Alan Dr. Clarke’s H1N1 rap at the HHS sponsored YouTube contest
Vincent Coast to Coast Bio Podcast

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twiv@microbe.tv or leave voicemail at Skype: twivpodcast. You can also send articles that you would like us to discuss to delicious and tagging them with to:twivpodcast.

TWiV #22: Viral Bioinformatics

twiv-200In episode #22 of This Week in Virology, Vincent and Chris Upton converse about hepatitis B in India, AIDS gene therapy with a ribozyme, antibodies that neutralize many influenza virus strains, killing tumors with vaccinia virus, myxoma virus of rabbits, and the Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #22 or subscribe in iTunes or by email.