Editor’s Selections: Using your head, slicing through slime with slingshots, and viruses hitchhiking on the immune cell highway

Editor's Selections 26 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.

<img title=”Vincent Racaniello” src=”http://researchblogging.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/smallvincent.jpg” alt=”Vincent Racaniello” width=”47″ height=”47″ />Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He writes about viruses at <a href=”http://www.virology.ws” target=”_blank”>virology blog</a>.
  • The Caulobacter crescentus phage φCbK has a typical elongated head with a 290 nm long non-contractile tail and the usual tail fibers. But it also has a single long filament protruding from the tip of its head, which makes initial contact with the host, much as other phages use their long tail fibers.
  • Interlocked bacterial communities, or biofilms, provide many advantages for the resident bacteria, but movement is difficult. Bacteria have a way around this problem – their pili act like grappling hooks, allowing movement across the biofilm known as twitching.
  • Rhinoviruses enter our respiratory tract and remain there, causing the common cold. In contrast, Nipah virus enters the respiratory tract but spreads to many organs. Why do the two viruses behave differently, and how is systemic transport achieved?

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

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