The first whispers of ebola virus in West Africa – episode 4 of the podcast

I recorded episode 4 of the uncoating podcast. You can listen to it on the podcast page on the website, on soundcloud, iTunes or YouTube. This episode we discuss the history of ebola virus in West Africa. A closer look at the first human case of a unique ebola virus, twenty years before the outbreak… More The first whispers of ebola virus in West Africa – episode 4 of the podcast

A whiff of polyamines in viruses

Compared to other biomolecules like chromosomal DNA or even proteins, polyamines are simple organic compounds. Their short and saturated chains of carbon atoms are interspersed with nitrogens in groups that resemble ammonia. Like ammonia they stink, literally producing the smell of death. This is how the polyamines putrescine and cadaverine get their names. They arise… More A whiff of polyamines in viruses

Measuring the mass of a bacteriophage one particle at a time

I recorded episode 3 of the uncoating podcast. You can listen to it on the podcast page on the website, on soundcloud, iTunes or YouTube. In this episode we look at a recent paper from the lab of Martin Jarrold at Indiana University in Bloomington, describing a single-particle mass spectrometry experiment in which they measure… More Measuring the mass of a bacteriophage one particle at a time

The bacterial cytoskeleton that never was – episode 2 of the uncoating podcast

I recorded episode 2 of the uncoating podcast. You can listen to it on the podcast page on the website, on soundcloud, iTunes or YouTube. I discuss experiments by Errington and Jensen that try to figure out whether or not bacteria have a cytoskeleton. Below you can find links to the papers that are discussed… More The bacterial cytoskeleton that never was – episode 2 of the uncoating podcast

The first episode of the uncoating podcast

I recorded the first episode of the uncoating podcast. You can listen to it directly from the website on the podcast page, or on soundcloud, iTunes and YouTube. In this episode you can hear me ramble about how neutralizing antibodies bind to ebola virus glycoproteins, the ecological niche of ebola virus species, a synthetic nanoreactor… More The first episode of the uncoating podcast

How do enveloped viruses attach with sugars to cells?

  Almost all enveloped viruses attach to cells via chains of sugars. The sugars become attached to viral proteins as they travel outward from deep inside an infected cell on their way to the plasma membrane, where new virus particles are budding. The chains of carbohydrates that branch out from a viral protein often contain… More How do enveloped viruses attach with sugars to cells?

No convincing evidence for BVDV in zika virus infected brains with microcephaly

The public health campaign surrounding the zika virus epidemic in the Americas is sending out a clear and unambiguous message that infection during early pregnancy causes microcephaly. However, as Declan Butler reported recently for Nature News, the situation is really still rather unclear and far more complex, and many are still considering alternative explanations for… More No convincing evidence for BVDV in zika virus infected brains with microcephaly