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Science

The Filtrate for 2020.9.10

It’s another Thursday here at Turbid Plaque headquarters, time for us to take all the news that broke this week, grind it up into even smaller bits, solubilize it, and pass it through our selective barrier to deliver only the best stories to you. Welcome to The Filtrate. Counting COVID After battling a superspreader event […]

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Science

The Filtrate for 2020.9.3

By adjusting the pore sizes, the Filtrate is now letting some non-pandemic news items seep through. Of course we’ll be continuing our coverage of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, which means we may need to use strong language to describe the disastrous ongoing US response to this virus. You’ve been warned. Pandemic roundup Hospital staff, also known as “frontline […]

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Science

The Filtrate for 2020.8.20

Another week has come and gone, so it’s time to see what the Turbid Plaque news feed dragged in. The color of COVID-19 As everyone should already know, the ongoing SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has been hitting certain racial and ethnic groups a lot harder than others in the US. In particular, Black and Latinx individuals seem […]

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Science

The Filtrate for 2020.8.13

Celebrating the relaunch of The Turbid Plaque on a platform we hope will make the blogging process smoother, here’s another issue of The Filtrate. This week’s roundup is all about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, because of course it is. The meat of the matter Back in March and April, about 378 years ago in pandemic time, there were […]

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Science

“Immunity Passports” Are a Horrible Idea

A few days ago, the World Health Organization caused a stir by saying that antibody tests may not indicate whether someone is immune from SARS-CoV-2. This led to some understandable confusion, and WHO spokespeople have subsequently walked the comments back a bit. While the messaging might’ve been handled better, the public health experts at the […]

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Science

Coronavirus: Don’t Panic

As SARS-CoV2 blossoms into a global pandemic, friends and family members have been asking for my advice. Of course I recommend listening to “This Week in Virology,” where the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have been major topics on most recent episodes, but that alone won’t fill the entire need. Not everyone has […]

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Science

A Walk on the Wild Side at Tufts Veterinary School

On a blustery day in mid-December, TWiV co-host Vincent Racaniello and I, along with friend-of-the-show Islam Hussein, visited the picturesque campus of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, MA. Our primary job there was to record an episode of TWiV in front of a live audience, featuring Tufts researcher Jon Runstadler and […]

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Science

Mastering the MeSH

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University, I had the extraordinary privilege of working in the same building as one of the world’s greatest medical research libraries. When I saw a reference to a paper I wanted to read, I could usually lay my hands on a copy of it within minutes, no […]

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Science

A Fair Few Flu Cases

Since at least 1918, when the “Spanish Flu” swept across the world, leaving a trail of corpses in its wake, Americans have blamed influenza outbreaks on other countries. These days we like to point fingers eastward, invoking images of ancient agricultural practices and chaotic live animal markets in China and Southeast Asia. With a whiff […]

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Science

75 Years of Molecular Biology

In the November 1943 issue of the journal *Genetics*, Salvador Luria and Max Delbrück settled a long-running but arcane debate among bacteriologists. The original paper is freely downloadable, and is an amazing document to read today. There’s a delightful innocence in the simplicity of the experimental design, the lengthy explication of the theory behind the […]