TWiV 541: Cloaking devices

March 31, 2019

The TWiVers present mitoviruses, which infect mitochondria, and how quasi-enveloped hepatitis A virus gets naked again.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

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Download TWiV 541 (54 MB .mp3, 89 min)
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Links for this episode

Weekly Science Picks 1:16:27

AlanWhere and when to see cherry blossoms
Dickson Nebraska floods
KathyPeeps fungal infection experiment
Vincent – Emergency declared in NY over measles, unvaccinated barred from public spaces

Listener Pick

SamSTLR conversations
JoshTree of Life

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees.

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4 comments on “TWiV 541: Cloaking devices

  1. Les Faby Mar 31, 2019

    Re:Weekly Science Picks -> Alan Dove cherry blossoms
    A biotech pioneer funded the Capitol’s Cherry Trees
    Takamine Jōkichi funded a gift of 2000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo to the city of Washington. I think it was his idea.
    He was a pioneer of American biotechnology in the 19th century. He discovered adrenaline and a critical diastatic enzyme. Yeast can’t digest starch in grains. The enzyme converts starches to sugars
    He had the first patent on a microbial enzyme in the United States.
    Being Japanese, despite living in the United States for over 20 years and marrying a citizen, he could not become a citizen himself.…/mdd/v04/i12/html/12timeline.html

  2. Rich Bradley Mar 31, 2019

    Guys, once again many thanks for a very interesting show which was thought provoking. It got me thinking as to the difference between a virus and a plasmid. Apologies in advance if I have missed something obvious, but both replicate using the host cell’s machinery. Viruses are normally separately packaged in a capsid but this does not apply to the mitoviruses in TWIV 541 (and Hep D relies on Hep B capsid proteins). Also neither exit the cell so the host killing virus rule does not apply. Is the different that Mitoviruses encode RNA polymerase so they are masters of their own destiny – or/and that plasmids do not exist in fungi (I have seen references to fungal plasmids)? So if a plasmid were to encode RNA Polymerase it would be classified as a virus?? Motiviruses appear similar to viroids and some viroids replicate in plant chloroplasts (per Wikipedia – the Avsunviroidae), so are mitoviruses really a type of viroid? A possible talmudic question perhaps…

  3. Angela Apr 6, 2019

    Really cool TWiV! I’m a former Virologist who works in DNA Forensics. I always wondered if there were Mitoviruses. Or if mitochondria were evolutionarily related to viruses because mito replicate similar to some viruses (an example is parvovirus). Now I know there are mitoviruses and I have some catch up reading to do. Curious if the viruses integrate into the host mitochondrial genome and alter the sequence? If they do, a mother and child might not have the same Mito genome sequence and/or a single source profile may look like a mixture and this could reck havoc on the work I do.
    Thanks for these great shows! Helps keep me up on one of my favorite topics Viruses.
    P.S. All the world’s a Phage!