TWiV 146: Draco’s potion

August 28, 2011

dracoHosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit, and Abbie Smith

Vincent, Rich, and Abbie review a broad spectrum antiviral protein, and selective pressure applied by a failed HIV-1 vaccine.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 146 (78 MB .mp3, 107 minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Vincent – Hypothetical Risk: Cambridge City Council’s Hearings on Recombinant DNA Research
Rich –
Z Corporation 3-D printer (YouTube)

Listener Pick of the Week

JimDo-it-yourself DNA extraction (Citizen Scientist Quarterly)

Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to, or call them in to 908-312-0760. You can also post articles that you would like us to discuss at and tag them with twiv.

  • Remi


    I just discovered your podcasts, ideal for endless TCID50.

    Thank you and your firends for your excellent analyses, it is a great pleasure to listen to you.

    Remi, french Virologist from Belfast.

  • newprof

    On the topic of virus textbooks, there aren’t any basic ones.  While not a textbook, Carl Zimmer’s “A Planet of Viruses” give some very cool stories and insight into viral evolution, pathogenesis and infection.

  • Mark Tomishima

    Great TWIV as usual. A quick note on the protein transduction from the PLoS ONE paper: there is an old literature on this stuff, going back to a 1999 Science paper (Schwarze, Ho, Vocero-Akbani and Dowdy, 285: 1569-1572). Steven Dowdy’s group said that beta-gal protein fused to TAT went into “all tissues in mice, including the brain” after an IP injection of protein. Now, I don’t know how well this has held up over time – it’s not my field – but there continues to be fairly widespread use of this technique suggesting it actually works. A quick Goggle search shows that Dowdy is HHMI and continues to publish on this ad nauseum, as one might expect based on this discovery. So while it sounds seriously crazy, the largest perceived hurdle of this paper might have already been cleared. Keep up the great work: it helps me survive my commute and feeds my lost passion for virology.

  • PhageGUY

    Abbie Smith  was great on this TWIV.  Her enthusiasm and ability to articulate  complex ideas really added a lot to the show plus, you know, she was fun.  I think Vince should try to add her as a semi-regular host.  Maybe when Dr. Despommier is gone.

  • Mark Tomishima

    Totally agree.

  • Henry R

    I would suggest Principles of Molecular Virology by Alan Cann which has a fifth edition coming out this month. I am a PhD student so maybe I am wrong, but I thought it had a great “for dummies” approach. Moreover, the CD has exercises and flash videos about the important topics. I read half of the forth edition from the library, but stopped when I found out about the fifth edition.