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Vincent Racaniello

At virology blog, my goal is to educate you about viruses - the kind that make you sick. Why am I qualified to teach you virology? I have been studying viruses for over 30 years, starting in 1975, when I entered the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine of the City... Full Bio
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A $707 million investment in cell-based influenza vaccine by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine The United States has provided a large sum of money to pharmaceutical giant Novartis to produce influenza vaccines grown in cell culture. According to CIDRAP : Nova ... Read on »
A bad day for science by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine The virologists who carried out the contentious experiments on influenza H5N1 transmission in ferrets have agreed to remove certain details from their manuscript, accordi ... Read on »
A dancing matrix of viruses by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Back in 1974, before it was possible to determine the sequence of a viral genome, before we knew much about the origin of viruses and their ability to move genes from org ... Read on »
A DNA virus with the capsid of an RNA virus by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Viral genomes are unusual because they can be based on RNA or DNA, in contrast to all cellular life forms, which have DNA as their genetic information. An unusual new v ... Read on »
A mad cow in America by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine A dairy cow in California is the fourth known American case of mad cow disease, which is caused by prions, infectious agents composed only of protein (the story hit the p ... Read on »
A new coronavirus isolated from humans by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine A new coronavirus has been isolated from two individuals with severe respiratory illness. It is different from the SARS coronavirus, but health officials are nonetheless ... Read on »
A new rhabdovirus from a patient with hemorrhagic fever by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Hemorrhagic fevers are among the most graphic viral diseases, inspiring movies, novels, and a general fear of infection. They are characterized by an abrupt onset and a ... Read on »
A new target for hepatitis C virus by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine When infection with hepatitis C virus goes from acute to chronic , severe liver disease may occur which requires organ transplantation. Nearly 200 million people are ch ... Read on »
A new type of enveloped virus? by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine All known virus particles can be placed into one of two general categories: enveloped or non-enveloped. Viruses that fall into the former category are characterized by ... Read on »
A new virology course at Columbia University by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Tomorrow is the start of my new virology course at Columbia University. The course, Biology W3310, is aimed at advanced undergraduates and will be taught at the Morningsi ... Read on »
A plant virus that switched to vertebrates by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Viruses can be transmitted to completely new host species that they have not previously infected. Usually host defenses stop the infection before any replication and adap ... Read on »
A retrovirus makes chicken eggshells blue by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine When you purchase chicken eggs at the market, they usually have white or brown shells. But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused b ... Read on »
A saga of HeLa cells by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine We have been using HeLa cells in my laboratory since 1982, when I arrived at Columbia University Medical Center fresh from postdoctoral work with David Baltimore at MIT ... Read on »
A single amino acid change switches avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to human receptors by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human rec ... Read on »
A spike for piercing the cell membrane by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Some viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) deliver their DNA into the host cell with an amazing injection machine. The tailed bacteriophages (such as T4, illustra ... Read on »
A viral mashup in snakes by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine If you know anything about snakes you might be familiar with snake inclusion body disease, or IBD. This transmissible and fatal disease affects snakes of a variety of s ... Read on »
A virology course at Columbia University by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine My virology course at Columbia University, Biology W3310, has begun. This course, which I taught for the first time in 2009, is aimed at advanced undergraduates and wil ... Read on »
A virology course for all by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine The spring semester has begun at Columbia University, which means that it is time to teach my virology course. The fourth annual installment of my virology course, ... Read on »
A virus that melts sea stars by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs ( photo credit ). In the past year millions of sea stars in the ... Read on »
A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution by Vincent Racaniello Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith used an analogy with a word game to explain how epistasis constrains the evolution of a protein. In this game, single letter ch ... Read on »