Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Michael Bouchard
Vincent, Alan, and Rich speak with Michael Bouchard about hepatitis B virus discovery, replication, and pathogenesis.
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Links for this episode:
- The enigmatic X gene of hepatitis B virus
- Tableau public (thanks Ricardo!)
- Molecular phylogeny of Archaea from soil (thanks Etienne!)
- Habitats of Archaea (thanks Cedric!)
- Timer remote controls (thanks Bill!)
- Letters read in episode 80
Weekly Science Picks
Rich PBS Frontline: The Vaccine War
Vincent Starswarm by Jerry Pournelle
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2 thoughts on “TWiV 80: How much X could a woodchuck chuck?”
Nice discussion on HBV. Great to hear all about the enigmatic X gene of HBV. I worked on it as a postdoc in the mid-80s and published the first expression of recombinant X protein. A colleague in my current group has developed a transgenic mouse model in which X collaborates with c-myc to cause massive liver tumors, in a background in which either gene alone does not. Its a nice model to study molecular details of the progression of HBV-mediated tumors.
A comment on Mike's comment on the high cost of HBV vaccines. It has more to do with greed than anything else. Twenty years back we bought the Engerix vaccine in India at Rupees 500 (~$11) per dose. Three Indian pharma companies produced recombinant vaccines in the late 90s, and now the vaccine can be purchased at Rs. 60 (~$1.3) per dose; even Engerix sells in India now at a far lower price. The price for Government bulk purchase programs in India is only about 50 cents per dose. Only at these rates will it be possible introduce universal immunization and to start dreaming about eradicating hepatitis B.
Loved this podcast.
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