TWiV 476: In ACOD1 we trust

Nels joins the TWiV team to talk about his work on genomic accordions in vaccinia virus, hepatitis B virus in a 439 year old mummy, and viral induction of energy synthesis by a long noncoding RNA.

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A virus and a paradox in a 439 year old mummy

HBV mummy

Vesicopustular rash on face (C) and arm (D) of 439 year old mummy. Image credit.

A study done in 1985 on a 16th century Italian mummy suggested that the two year old child had smallpox. Recent sequence analysis of tissues from the mummy now reveal the presence of hepatitis B virus, not smallpox virus. The sequence of the viral genome suggests that HBV entered the human population well before 1500.

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TWiV 475: Everything is viral

In the first episode for 2018, the TWiV team reviews the amazing virology stories of 2017.

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TWiV 474: Call me fish meal

The TWiVanguardians take on Bodo saltans virus, a leviathan which infects an abundant flagellated eukaryote in Earth’s waters.

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Bodo saltans virus, an abundant giant aquatic Mimivirus

Bodo saltans

Bodo saltans

The discovery of Mimivirus in a French cooling tower amazed virologists and changed our view of the biology and evolution of giant viruses. Since then, many other giant viruses have been identified, and with three exceptions, they all appear to infect species of Acanthamoeba. Now a new member of the Mimivirus family has been discovered that infects the flagellated eukaryote Bodo saltans (pictured: image credit).

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TWiV 473: Assessing a risk and infecting you twice

The Fellowship of the Virus discuss enhancement of dengue disease in humans: the contribution of antibody concentration and increased binding to Fc receptors.

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Antibodies mediate severe dengue in humans

Antibody dependent enhancementSevere dengue virus disease, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), is most likely to occur in previously infected individuals experiencing a second encounter with a different serotype. A specific range of serum antibody titers has been shown to enhance viral replication in cell culture and in animal models, and now in humans.

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TWiV 472: The riddle of the skinks

The TWiV team reveal the origin of the poxvirus membrane, and how a retrovirus drove the development of the placenta of a lizard.

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Retroviruses turned egg-layers into live-bearers

Mabuya mabouyaThe protein syncytin, which is essential for formation of the placenta, originally came to the genome of our ancestors, and those of other mammals, via a retrovirus infection. Placental structures have also developed in non-mammalian vertebrates. The Mabuya lizard (pictured: image credit), which emerged 25 million years ago, has a placenta very much like those in mammals, and its development was likely driven by capture of a retroviral gene.

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TWiV 471: Songs of innocence and experience

The TWiVerinos discuss restriction of dengue virus vaccine by Sanofi, and data which suggest that Dengvaxia causes enhanced disease in previously uninfected recipients.

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