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TWiP 50 Letters

Alaric writes:

Hello Vince and Dick,

I just found your podcast and I love it! You have some wonderfully witty banter.

I am only on my 4th episode (that's what you call a podcast segment right?), and have a question pertaining to my original reason for searching out your podcast.

I am working on the research portion for a short story I am wanting to write about what the world would look like if we knew exactly how different parasites effect behavior. Think of it as a thought experiment dealing with the nature of environmental determinism and the concept of free will. Say, would people purposefully expose themselves to a parasite for a desired effect, or use one as an alibi for an act of bad faith? I may bring in epigenetics into this story as well, but I'm not sure how it will fit. It is meant to be science fiction with a bioethical slant.

Importantly, I don't want it to seem too sensationalist though, so I am trying to base as much of the story in reality as possible. Hence listening to your podcast! Do you have any suggestions on where I should look for information about this? Do you have a podcast/episode/segment about this? It's validity as an idea? Conspiracy theory or reality?

Also, love the mini-history lessons. Myself, I am a student of history of science/medicine/technology and seriously appreciate it! A++ will listen again.


C. Alaric

Robin writes:

If he is of Indian origin, the first name is not pronounced as in chancre


But as:

Robin writes:

Minas in Portuguese means ‘mines’.

James writes:

Hi folks,

You wanted to know how many NZ listeners you have so now you know you have one more. :p

Keep up the great work.

Kind regards,
New Zealand

Jacob writes:

Hi all,

I saw this in my inbox this morning and thought that it would be a good TWiP pick of the week.



Peter writes:

Dear Vincent and Dickson

I thought that this paper from PLOS one would be worth a mention on TWiP

Tapeworm Eggs in a 270 Million-Year-Old Shark Coprolite

The fossil from Brazil has been found to contain the oldest known examples of tapeworm eggs.

The specimen was so well preserved that a worm larva could be seen in one of the eggs.




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