Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Welkin Johnson
Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of endogenous filovirus genomes in mammals.
Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #91 (64 MB .mp3, 89 minutes)
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Links for this episode:
- Welkin blogs at Small Things Considered
- Constructing primate phylogenies from ancient retrovirus sequences (PNAS)
- Filoviruses are ancient and integrated into mammalian genomes (BMC Evol Biol)
- Synthetic cells: Momentous breakthrough or ethical morass? (To The Point)
- Creation of a bacterial cell (Science)
- Comments on the synthetic cell (Small Things Considered)
- TWiV rap: T-Number Index by G-Unit (mp3) and Vincent (mp3) (thanks, Darrick and Scott!)
- Letters read on TWiV 91
Weekly Science Picks
Welkin – Advice for a Young Investigator by Santiago Ramon y Cajal
Rich – How microbes define and defend us
Dickson – H1N1 virus lacks 1918 virus killer protein
Alan – The Xtal Set Society
Vincent – Antibodies and the quest for an AIDS vaccine
Send your virology questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I almost laughed up a lung at the rap provided in the show notes. “Herp-herp-herpes-herpes”. haha, so random!!! And Dickson's laugh after his intro in the rap was great!
As for ERV's, they're my favorite argument for evolution (I occasionally debate with creationists (which is unhealthy for me, I'm sure)). They essentially >prove< evolution. I never use the word “prove” least of all in science, but statistically it is just impossible for all of the thousands of ERV sequences to exist in exactly the same loci, organized in a perfect nested hierarchy across the tree of life. Though I do get the occasional response to the ERV argument and it typically involves the cramped quarters on Noah's arc…….yeah, it's quite a strange argument that fails miserably.
Great episode. I look forward, as always, to the next.
I think what you were thinking of is actually called Monotremes. This includes echidnas and platypuses which are mammals that lay eggs.
Oh, sorry, too early – you got it, sorry!