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TWiV 147 Letters

Liam writes:

Dear TWiV hosts,

I recently came across a website that I think would be perfect for a pick of the week. It is called Scitable and is produced by the nature publishing group. It is a free to access science library currently focusing on cell biology and genetics. It includes a free online textbook designed to introduce readers to the basic concepts of cell biology. I'm sure this would be appreciated by many TWiV listeners who may not have a science/biology background.

I have finally caught up on your past TWiP, TWiV and TWiM episodes. Keep up the great work.

Liam

Cathy writes:

Hi TWiV folks,

I just finished listening to the latest podcast and heard you ask about “Virology for dummies” type of books. One book that I often recommend for those just starting out in my lab is “How Pathogenic Viruses Work” by Lauren Sompayrac. It is a great introduction to viruses for the layman with each chapter presented as a “lecture” in a fairly entertaining way.

Just thought I would share this with you in case you wanted to share it with your listeners!

Best wishes,

Cathy

Iowa State University

Gopal writes:

Dear TWiV-ers,

I found Rich's exposition of F.W. Twort's 1915 paper in The Lancet, "An investigation on the nature of ultra-microscopic viruses," in TWiV-145 fascinating. I hope that in future TWiV episodes you will similarly look at other landmark papers in virology. It is fascinating to learn about the evolution of ideas in a field, the amazing leaps of intuition, experiments that suddenly shed new light and, sometimes, what ultimately turns out to be the pursuit of false leads.

Keep going!

-- Gopal

Science Correspondent, The Hindu newspaper.

The Hindu Online http://www.thehindu.com/

Rich writes:

Twivers,

I enjoyed your discussion about teaching virology to undergraduates - the executive summary of the excutive summary. Why not start the course with a short explanation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle? The closer you examine something the less you know about some of its characteristics. Just tell the students that virology is very similar. The closer you look at viruses, the more uncertain you become about how they really work.

All the best,

Rich

Estanis writes:

my name is Estanislao Nistal, I am a former PhD student in Dr. Garcia-Sastre's lab at Mount Sinai. I met there Juliet Morrison, a former PhD student in your lab which told me your passion about Twiv and putting a voice to the news in the virus field. Currently I work as postdoc in Pamplona, back in my country, Spain, where I started my postdoc working with woodchuck hepatitis virus as a model for chronic hepatitis B infections.

I am a big fan of Twiv that I have the chance to enjoy every other week on my car trips to Leon where my parents live. I find Twiv a very valuable tool to get updates on papers and facts that otherwise would take me much more time to find. It is also a very refreshing way to keep my attention occupied while crossing along the north of Castile and Leon.

The reason I am writing to you is to propose an idea that I have been thinking for some time. As I find Twiv very useful and interesting, I have tried to play the show in the lab and make publicity of it to people in my institute that are passionate about viruses, or about science in general. The English level of some people is not good enough or the ability of some to understand the message in not sufficient. I know that a Scientist should speak, write and understand English correctly, but unfortunately that is not the case for many in my country, particularly in the listening-comprehending part. That yet is not preventing them to keep interest on science and on viruses or the cool interesting things that you talk about in your podcast. So given the situation I think that a Twiv in Spanish would be an excellent tool to transmit and educate Spaniards and other Iberoamericans, or Spanish speaking countries in general about viruses as well as a way to influence people to go one step further to explore the virus world.

I would love to get an opinion from you about this issue and see if it would be possible to organize such podcast in Spanish, sharing the Twiv format. I understand the risks and difficulty of getting something as good as the job that you do, but I will try my best to set it up well before starting, having your approval. Some things for now should be different, like for example the fact that it will be difficult at the begging to have a weekly program.

I am actually in NY until next Monday. We can contact also by mail or Skype.

Thanks for your interest and looking forward to hear from you.

Best!

Estanis

 

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