A link between zika and microcephaly in the US?

The CDC published an update this week from the US Zika Pregnancy Registry 2016 (USZPR), describing all zika-associated birth defects from US-born infants with lab evidence of possible recent zika virus infection. The publication highlights that birth defects were noted in some 5% of completed pregnancies. The USZPR does not collect similar statistics on newborns … More A link between zika and microcephaly in the US?

After things get heated this virus capsid breathes a sigh of relief

Many viruses ball up their genomes into tiny icosahedral capsids, less than a hundred nanometers in diameter. Though tightly packed, the icosahedral virus capsids are in constant motion. The shells expand and contract, opening up pores and cracks that allow the virus’ innards to momentarily slip through and sample their immediate surroundings. These ‘breathing’ motions … More After things get heated this virus capsid breathes a sigh of relief

Freezing the biological clock of cyanobacteria in time

The world today would look very different without cyanobacteria. Some 2.5 billion years ago these photosynthetic organisms started producing oxygen on an unprecedented scale, while most life was still poorly adapted to high concentrations of the very reactive gas. The rise in oxygen levels caused many organisms to die off in great numbers, resulting in … More Freezing the biological clock of cyanobacteria in time

The mindless chatter of a bacteriophage

Temperate phages are viruses that infect bacteria and can switch between two different replication cycles. In one cycle, the phage genome is replicated and packaged into new phage particles that eventually burst out of the infected bacterial cell. Instead of replicating on its own, the phage genome can also integrate in the genome of its … More The mindless chatter of a bacteriophage

Phage makes compartments like a nucleus in bacterial cells

A bacteriophage that infects Pseudomonas bacteria can assemble a nucleus-like compartment in infected cells. A team of researchers at University of California San Diego, led by Joe Pogliano, used microscopy to show this in a recent publication in the journal Science. The researchers observed how phage DNA is replicated and transcribed inside the compartment, while … More Phage makes compartments like a nucleus in bacterial cells