TWiV 110: CSI virology

December 5, 2010

Alan DoveHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Rich Condit

Vincent, Alan, Rich, and Dickson discuss bacteria that can utilize arsenic in place of phosphorus, the passing of Frank Fenner, polio outbreak in The Congo, solving criminal cases of HIV transmission, and classifying viruses by capsid structure.

Click the arrow to play, or right-click to download TWiV #110 (68 MB .mp3, 93 minutes).

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson – CDC’s West Nile virus case count for 2010
Rich –
The red bees of Red Hook
Alan – Arsenic-based life at XKCD
Vincent –
PLoS iPad app

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4 comments on “TWiV 110: CSI virology

  1. This may be the line of the year by Alan:

    “No one likes their Taxons raised!”

  2. ME/CFS patient Dec 20, 2010

    The problem is referring to CFS (the disease) as “chronic fatigue” (a symptom). CFS =/= chronic fatigue.

    CFS was always thought to be a viral disease which is why it is housed in the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch at the CDC. Yet the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch spends its money on psychosomatic research.

    While it is true that there was a payback period to compensate for the misappropriation of funds, once it finally began spending that money in the right department, it still went to psychological studies. From the beginning, the CDC has ACTIVELY harmed sufferers of the disease and sabotaged research into its biology, and this continues to this day.

    Once scientists realize that the group of patients defined by the CDC’s criteria for “CFS” really are sick with a serious medical condition with a biological pathogenesis, the CDC changes the meaning of the word and comes up with a new definition and research criteria. Rather than study patients and attempt to describe the disease they are suffering from, the CDC makes up an illness out of thin air and then finds patients that fit their description by random telephone dialing. Millions of dollars then go toward discovering the various psychological disorders that this fantasy cohort suffers from.

    It is circular logic; no only a logical fallacy, but also scientific fraud.