Before I established this site, I posted a number of guest blogs to do with viruses on Alan Cann’s very wonderful MicrobiologyBytes site. Here are links to all the virus-related ones.
Posted on January 15, 2008
Review of a paper describing the receptor for the H5N1 HA protein
Given the current scare over H5N1 influenza virus in swans in the UK, it is possibly timely to recall that I wrote a little while ago in MicrobiologyBytes about how easy it appeared to be for […]
Posted on November 30, 2007
Description of a unique newly-described virus that looks like a chimaera of a papillomavirus and a polyomavirus
Now that the dust has begun to settle after the launch of Merck’s much-hyped Gardasil genital papillomavirus vaccine – discussed in MicrobiologyBytes here and here – people are turning again to looking at the natural history […]
Posted on November 21, 2007
Some news on the failure of the Merck Adenovirus 5-vectored HIV vaccine
It should not have escaped the eye of the interested bystander that there has been a most unfortunate and premature end to a HIV vaccine trial recently – and that something that had been tested as […]
Posted on November 10, 2007
Some microbiology-related poetry….
I inadvertently became a published literary critic a little while ago. A long-time English Department colleague asked me for some help interpreting the collected works of possibly the most important modern poet from South Africa, and […]
Posted on September 14, 2007
Description of natural insertions of virus gene fragments into a variety of organisms and how they elicit pathogen-derived resistance
And they’re protecting you! If you’re an insect, that is. Or possibly a plant.
In a remarkable convergence of news, an Israeli group led by Ilan Sela described how Israeli acute paralysis virus, which is implicated in […]
Posted on September 11, 2007
News of how a single virus is suspected in the causation of “colony collapse disorder” of bee hives in the USA
A major recent mystery in US agriculture has been the phenomenon of “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) in honey bees. […]
Posted on August 29, 2007
H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus mutates…
This is the End. Or the beginning of the end. Or possibly, the end of the beginning?
To misquote the immortal Bill Shankly: “It’s not a matter of life and death: it’s much more important than that”.
Posted on August 27, 2007
Musings on rolling circle replication in viruses
In my idle moments (alas, too few these days!) I often try to think up lists of rock songs with a virus theme: you know, like “Cucumo” by the Beech Boys… “I got them ol’ burnin’, […]
Posted on August 3, 2007
News on inferring “ancestor sequences” for HIV to help make broadly effective vaccines
While fossilized viruses have never been found, we can often infer probable lines of evolutionary descent by analysis of extant genomic sequences. This sort of molecular phylogenetic approach has thrown up all sorts of interesting […]
Posted on July 24, 2007
Exploring what it means to be “alive”
Which could well apply to viruses, my very own favourite organisms – after all, they don’t respire, grow, excrete or any of those other good things […]
Posted on June 26, 2007
Musings on what viruses are.
I think it’s permissible, after working on your favourite virus for over 20 years, to develop some sort of feeling for it: you know, the kind of insight that isn’t […]
Posted on June 8, 2007
A personal history of teaching Virology via the Web.
My, how things do change… I found myself reflecting, while I was looking over the detritus on our Web server of some 13 years of posting pages on the Web. “Orphan” pages, unconnected […]