by Elio | I recently returned from the ASM yearly general meeting in San Francisco. It happens to be 61 years, no less, since I attended my first such event, that one in Chicago. In those days, many members attended a giant banquet as part of the event, I well remember. As a poor graduate student… Read more →
by Lucas Brouwers | Animals were wilder then. Horns were longer, temperaments fiercer. These wild things had forever been free when humans took control of their flocks and herds, 10.000 years ago. Through careful breeding and rearing, the first pastoralists of the Near East moulded the beasts into more docile versions of their former… Read more →
by Merry | The very word infection brings to mind the arrival of a nasty pathogen countered by a host immune response, a battleground strewn with the carcasses of the losers. But how do you define infection? Is not the beginning of an endosymbiosis, even a mutually beneficial one, also an infection? Corals… Read more →
by S. Marvin Friedman | Plastids and mitochondria are organelles in eukaryotic cells that originated from bacterial endosymbionts via invasion or enslavement or a synergistic amalgamation, depending on your viewpoint.Since these events occurred more than one billion years ago, it has not been possible to trace the evolutionary steps in the transition from endosymbiont to… Read more →
by Elio | What fun, unless you are the one being preyed upon. Two predators, a phage and a “bacteriophagous” bacterium, simultaneously dine and reproduce in one host cell. Doesn't this open a whole lot of questions, such as: How often does co-infection take place in the wild? Do the two predators “talk”… Read more →
by Marcia Stone | “Cancer cells are ancient alternative organisms, living protozoan-like fossils, foreign to their hosts because of deep origins elsewhere,” says oncologist Mark D. Vincent from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. They are, he asserts “In the body but no longer of the body,” and therefore deserve a radically different… Read more →
We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of featured blog postings since our December, 2011, Retrospective. Source. Viruses It’s Raining Viruses! (Merry) Metabolic genes acquired from their hosts are one strategy used by baculoviruses to convert one caterpillar host into more than 109 progeny viruses. The Immunological... Read more →
The purpose of this blog is to share my appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this planet. I will emphasize the unusual and the unexpected phenomena for which I have a special fascination... (more)
For the memoirs of my first 21 years of life, click here.
This Week in Virology, the podcast about viruses, celebrates its 300th episode on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 with a live recording at the Washington, DC headquarters of the American Society for Microbiology.