Archives for September, 2010

Why does HIV-1 have to integrate?

Awesome reader question time! Hi ERV, I’ve got a question about retroviruses that is probably simple, but none of my virology/micro lecturers have been able to answer it (they aren’t HIV researchers) – why is integration of the retroviral genome necessary for productive infection? It’s got the LTR promoter and all of the genes still,…

Hepatitis B is my favorite non-retrovirus. Why? Because its a retrovirus Heres another reason for me to love it– Its viral family, Hepadnaviridae, inserted themselves into bird genomes 19 million years ago. Genomic Fossils Calibrate the Long-Term Evolution of Hepadnaviruses *happy-prospector-dance* Okay, this is like, the billionth time this has happened in the past few…

This is a post on ERV

In the first paragraph, I provide some anecdote about my life, family, dog, school, whatever. Sometimes its just an observation. This is really just filler I hope will draw you in so you humor the bitching part of my post and read the science part. These are titles of some sensational news articles. They either…

Food is not medicine: Vitamin D

I dont understand people who view food as medicine. Well, I mean, I guess I do. Theyre terrified of disease X/Y/Z (even if X/Y/Z is treatable/preventable with modern medicine), and they think a component of food helps treat/prevent disease X/Y/Z, so they religiously eat said food. So I guess I mean to say “People who…

The internet is all abuzz on some stats just released by the CDC: Prevalence and Awareness of HIV Infection Among Men Who Have Sex With Men — 21 Cities, United States, 2008 These are Google News stories on that report: 1 in 5 gay, bisexual men in US cities has HIV The Checkup: CDC —…

Revenge of teh Chubby Virus! I know you all have seen the headlines. Again. More evidence links a virus to obesity, this time in children‎ Study: Children Exposed to Adenovirus-36 Likely to Get Obese‎ Virus Is Linked To Obesity Can a Cold Lead to Childhood Obesity? Adenovirus 36 and Obesity in Children and Adolescents Adenoviruses…

In 2009, the results of an anti-HIV microbicide containing the drug PRO 2000 were released. It did jack shit. Rather than dumping a product that worked in the lab and in non-human primates, but not in humans, they tried again. At a higher dose– Study 1 had the drug at 0.5%. So this study had…

A sick juxtaposition

Story A on Yahoo! News: FDA to consider approval of modified salmon “This is perhaps the most studied fish in history,” he said. “Environmentally this is a very sustainable technology.” Stotish says the fish would be bred in better conditions than many of the world’s farmed salmon, and could be located closer to population centers…

Oklahoma = Grandpa Simpson

A Star is Burns: Kent Brockman: [on TV] Tonight, we’ll visit Springfield’s answer to the Benidictine monks: the Rappin’ Rabbis. Rabbi: Don’t eat pork, not even with a fork. [motions to cooked pig] Can’t touch this! Homer: Marge, are we Jewish? Marge: No, Homer. Homer: Woo hoo! [grabs a cooked pig, starts carving at it]…

Paleovirology– HIV-1s ancestors just got older

Lentiviruses, we think, are evolutionarily young. For example– you have retroviruses in your DNA (ERVs) from other genuses (genii?) genera of retrovirus that are millions and millions of years old. So we know those other genuses (genii?) genera are millions and millions of years old. Lentiviruses, on the other hand, havent left us many of…