Phages corkscrew along bacterial flagella

Viruses that infect eukaryotic cells typically bind to a plasma membrane receptor to initiate the reproduction cycle. Attachment of bacteriophages to bacterial cells is more diverse. Some attach to bacterial outer membrane proteins, while others attach to appendages such as pili or flagella. How viruses move from the flagella to the bacterial cell surface is …

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Phage therapy gains momentum

Shortly after Félix d€™Herelle discovered viruses that infect bacteria in 1917 (also found in 1915 by Twort), he recognized their therapeutic potential for treating infections. The discovery of penicillin in 1928 began the golden age of antibiotics, which pushed aside progress in treating infections with bacteriophages. With the advent of widespread antimicrobial resistance, development of …

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TWiV 537: Boundary issues

The Scholars of the Podcast reveal ribosomal proteins encoded in viral genomes, and a protein cell receptor for bat influenza viruses. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 537 (63 MB .mp3, 104 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV! Show notes at

Ribosomal proteins encoded in viral genomes

When I first entered the field of virology, in the 1970s, the definition of virus included the then-correct observation that no viral genome encoded any part of the translational apparatus. This dictum was shattered by the discovery of giant viruses which were found to encode tRNAs, aminoacyl tRNA syntheses, and many proteins involved in translation. …

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