TWiV 198: Pox has got a squeeze-box, seals are gonna sneeze all night

September 2, 2012

Red QueenHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Vincent, Alan, Rich, and Kathy review fatal avian influenza virus in harbor seals, and poxvirus deployment of genomic accordions to counter antiviral defenses.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV 198 (71 MB .mp3, 99 minutes).

There once was a virus named pox
Whose genome contained a squeeze-box
When placed under pressure
It expanded its measure
Overcoming the new cellular blocks

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Links for this episode:

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Alan – Getting Better: 200 Years of Medicine
Rich – Khan Academy
Kathy – Vi Hart
Vincent
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  • http://twitter.com/mindE_M Mindaugas Morkūnas

    I listen till the end!

  • Ayesha Islam

    Me too!

  • bdhubbard

    Hi Dr. Racaniello,

    I was listening to TWIV 75 and noted the surprising comment
    that influenza apparently does not evolve rapidly in domestic pigs. First, can
    the domestic pig be an efficient influenza “mixing vessel” if it is
    infrequently infected and produces little reassortment? Second, there is a
    theory that the rapid movement of troops returning from WW1 in 1918 selected
    for increased virulence of the Spanish Flu. (Virulent variants don’t need to
    survive their hosts to propagate.) Wouldn’t the same concept apply to pigs, with
    human handlers, high population densities, and agricultural fairs efficiently
    transporting virus from pig to pig? I would expect selection for variants, or are my assumptions wrong?

    Best,

    Bruce

  • Ajdellaering

    thank you for going over the red queen