TWiV 91: You’re an ERVous wreck

July 18, 2010

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, Rich Condit, and Welkin Johnson

Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of endogenous filovirus genomes in mammals.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #91 (64 MB .mp3, 89 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

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Welkin – Advice for a Young Investigator by Santiago Ramon y Cajal
Rich –
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Alan –
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Vincent – Antibodies and the quest for an AIDS vaccine

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  • ErikCarter

    I almost laughed up a lung at the rap provided in the show notes. “Herp-herp-herpes-herpes”. haha, so random!!! And Dickson's laugh after his intro in the rap was great!

    As for ERV's, they're my favorite argument for evolution (I occasionally debate with creationists (which is unhealthy for me, I'm sure)). They essentially >prove< evolution. I never use the word “prove” least of all in science, but statistically it is just impossible for all of the thousands of ERV sequences to exist in exactly the same loci, organized in a perfect nested hierarchy across the tree of life. Though I do get the occasional response to the ERV argument and it typically involves the cramped quarters on Noah's arc…….yeah, it's quite a strange argument that fails miserably.

    Great episode. I look forward, as always, to the next.

  • http://twitter.com/tarwin Tarwin Stroh-Spijer

    I think what you were thinking of is actually called Monotremes. This includes echidnas and platypuses which are mammals that lay eggs.

  • http://twitter.com/tarwin Tarwin Stroh-Spijer

    Oh, sorry, too early – you got it, sorry!

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