TWiV 70: Hacking aphid behavior

February 21, 2010

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Alan Dove

Vincent, Dickson, and Alan consider a broad spectrum antiviral against enveloped viruses, how a plant virus induces chemical signals in the host to maximize its spread, a new way to preserve viral vaccines at tropical temperatures, and the continuing story of XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome.

This episode is sponsored by Data Robotics Inc. Use the promotion code VINCENT to receive $50 off a Drobo or $100 off a Drobo S.

Win a free Drobo S! Contest rules here.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #70 (56 MB .mp3, 77 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson Chemical Ecology – edited by Thomas Eisner and Jerrold Meinwald
Alan Scripps Center for Mass Spectrometry
Vincent Folding@home (thanks Jesper!)

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  • Wang-Shick Ryu

    Regarding changing behavior of host by viruses, at least at cell level, analogy can be found in 'superinfection interference', which is a phenomena found in many viruses including retroviruses. Superinfection interference refers to a process, where cells that are infected by virus become resistant to subsequent infection by the same virus.

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  • Kevin Bohannon

    Regarding altering aphid behavior by infection of a plant:

    Isn't rabies virus a virus that alters the behavior of its host to facilitate transmission?
    An increase in aggression coupled with copious salivation aids the transmission of the virus by bites.

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  • Mary

    Did you end up making a TWiV team on Folding@home? I’d love to join!