viruses

If you're going to create a new life form (even if it's only digital), Sunday Saturday seems like the best day to give it a try.

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Reposted from an earlier year. Build-A-Virus is a quick, fun, and simple game that was created and put on-line by Bioreliance, now owned by Invitrogen. ... Read more
but the red berries are RNA. Picture below the fold.

 

Over 55,000 people die each year from rabies, a disease that is 100% preventable, according to Dr. Guy Palmer, who spoke last night at the University of Washington. Dr. Palmer is from the School for Global Animal Health, a group that works towards improving global health through advancing preventative care for both humans and animals. One of the preventative measures is through rabies vaccination.

HealthMap is a great site that could be an excellent resource when teaching a biology, microbiology, or health class. Not to mention, I can picture people using it before they travel somewhere or even just for fun. I learned about HealthMap awhile ago from Mike the Mad Biologist, but I didn't get time to play with the site until today. Here's an example to see how it works. How do I use HealthMap? ... Read more
One of the holy grails of modern medicine is the development of a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDs. An obstacle to attaining this goal has been the difficulty in stimulating the immune system to make it produce the right kinds of antibodies. A recent finding in Science describes a gene that controls production of these antibodies and may provide insights to the development of an effective vaccine. (1). Antibodies are special kinds of proteins that bind to things, often very tightly. If they bind to the right molecules, they can prevent viruses from infecting ... Read more
Let's play anomaly! Most of this week, I've written about the fun time I had playing around with NCBI's Blink database and finding evidence that at least one mosquito, Aedes aegypti, seems to have been infected at some point with a plant paramyxovirus and that the paramyxovirus left one of its genes behind, stuck in the mosquito genome. During this process, I realized that the method I used works with other viruses, too. I tried it with a few random viruses and sure enough, I found some interesting things. You've got a week to give it a try. Let's see ... Read more
Do mosquitoes get the mumps? Part V. A general method for finding interesting things in GenBank This is the last in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes and a general method for finding other interesting things. In this last part, I discuss a general method for finding novel things in GenBank and how this kind of project could be a good sort of discovery, inquiry-based project for biology, microbiology, or bioinformatics students. I. The back story ... Read more
Part IV. Assembling the details and making the case for a novel paramyxovirus This is the fourth in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in a mosquito. In this part, we take a look at all the evidence we can find and try to figure out how a gene from a virus came to be part of the Aedes aegypti genome.
Part III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink In which we find an unexpected result when we Blink while looking at the mumps polymerase. This is the third in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes. And yes, this is where the discovery happens. I. The back story from the genome record II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out? III. ... Read more
Part II. What do mumps proteins do? And how do we find out? This is the second in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes, and a general method for finding interesting things. I. The back story from the genome record II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out? III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink. IV. ... Read more

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