Category Archives: Microbiology

The Ins and Outs of Multipartite Plant Viruses

Viruses possessing a non-segmented genome require a specific recognition of their nucleic acid to ensure its protection in a capsid. A similar feature exists for viruses having a segmented genome, usually consisting of viral genomic segments joined together into one … Continue reading

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The Buzz about Honey Bee Viruses

This short review presents current understanding of the role of viruses on honey bee health and address some overarching questions in honey bee virology. Why Should I Be Concerned about Honey Bee Colony Losses and What Is Colony Collapse Disorder … Continue reading

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Assessing the global threat from Zika virus

First discovered in 1947, Zika virus (ZIKV) infection remained a little-known tropical disease until 2015, when its apparent association with a considerable increase in the incidence of microcephaly in Brazil raised alarms worldwide. There is limited information on the key … Continue reading

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Where are things inside a bacterial cell?

Bacterial cells are intricately organized, despite the lack of membrane-bounded organelles. The extremely crowded cytoplasm promotes macromolecular self-assembly and formation of distinct subcellular structures, which perform specialized functions. For example, the cell poles act as hubs for signal transduction complexes, … Continue reading

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Common Human Mutations That Protect against Infectious Disease

For millennia, pathogens and human hosts have engaged in a perpetual struggle for supremacy. From the earliest recorded smallpox epidemics around 1350 B.C.E to the Black Death due to Yersinia pestis in the Middle Ages and continuing to modern times … Continue reading

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How many bacteria?

I’ve asked the question How many different bacterial species are there on this blog before. It seems that we may be approaching an answer. A census of species of Archaea and Bacteria published recently showed that, despite ever-increasing sequencing efforts, … Continue reading

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Emerging Paramyxoviruses – Receptor Tropism and Zoonotic Potential

Emerging infectious disease events are dominated by zoonoses: infections that are naturally transmissible from animals to humans or vice versa. A worldwide survey of ~5,000 bat specimens identified 66 novel paramyxovirus species – more than double the existing total within … Continue reading

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HTLV-1 Replication: An Update

I spent more than 10 years working on HTLV, the first human retrovirus to be discovered, but it was a long time ago (propably before most of the people reading this now were born :-) It’s good to get an … Continue reading

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Towards a cure for herpesvirus infection with CRISPR/Cas9

Most adults carry multiple herpesviruses. Following the initial acute infection, these viruses establish life-long infections in their hosts and cause cold sores, keratitis, genital herpes, shingles, infectious mononucleosis, and other diseases. Some herpesviruses can cause cancer in man. During the … Continue reading

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