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TWiV 203 Letters

Suzanne writes:

Your most recent TWIV in Nebraska made me want to add a few verses to that old kids’ song…

“There’s a virus in the alga in the paramecium on the speck on the flea on the wart on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea.”

Just thinking and thought it might amuse you guys, too.

Jim writes (re TWiV 200 video):

Will we finally see a naked Racaniello?

Claudio writes:

Hello!

Congratulations on surpassing 200 episodes!

I’ve been a rabid fan of TWi(V/P/M) since I first stumbled upon TWiP. I look forward to every new episode- they’ve helped me get through my days as a small electronics technician and have made multiple road trips bearable. This series of podcasts awoke a latent interest in microbiology- time to make something for TWiV! I’ve attached a picture of some simple plaques I’ve printed on my DIY 3D printer.

Thanks for all the hard work and time you folks put into these podcasts. I look forward to more! Let me know where to send these plaques and I’ll send them on their way!

[Claudio's photo is the episode art for TWiV 203]

Jon writes:

Hey Vince,

I’ve been working on a transcript for episode 131: A REOstat for cancer.

I hope I’m not duplicating anyone else’s efforts.

Thanks for the wonderful podcasts, I listen to them while I do all manner of stupid things, like cooking, cleaning, ect. I must admit, my apartment got a lot cleaner after I found TWiV and TWIP.

-Jon

(A postdoc in mathematical physics)

Kathrin writes:

Hi there

This may be a bit random, but here it goes: A friend of mine (a virologist) absolutely adores your podcast. She’s done me a great favour and I’d love to say thanks with a little gift. I was thinking of a magazine subscription, but am not sure what to go for. I want something on the ‘geekiness level’ of twiv (so a bit more geeky than National Geographic or New Scientist) that is affordable for a ‘normal’ person. She’s relocating to the States this week, so maybe you guys have some magazines that would be perfect, but that I’m not aware of.

Do you have any suggestions for me?

Many thanks and kind regards,

Kathrin

Nina writes:

Dear Twivvers,

I’m a 4th year PhD student at Yale University in the Environmental Engineering Department working in an environmental microbiology lab. The weather in New Haven these days is scorching hot with the occasional summer thunderstorm- a great deal for my adviser who can be assured that I spend the majority of my time inside our building as my home lacks air conditioning.

I’d like to comment on your amazing podcasts- I am a regular listener to Twiv and Twim- I especially enjoy your coverage of the human microbiome (get Jo Handelsman on Twim more often!) and the talks about influenza transmission. My PhD work centers on the influence of the human occupant on the indoor air microbiome and, thus, these topics are at my dear heart.

In Twiv 191, you talked about influenza transmission via the airborne route, droplets and contact. The question about virus inactivation in air was raised and remained unanswered at that point. I’d like to take this opportunity and hint to a great modeling work by Lindsey Marr of Virginia Tech that combines dynamics of influenza virus containing aerosols (influenced by temperature, humidity, as well as varying air exchange rates in the room) with virus inactivation parameters to estimate removal rates from air. Her results indicate that virus inactivation is important for virus removal from air and largely dependent upon humidity (virus inactivation and humidity are positively correlated). The modeled air exchange rate (AER) parameters (1 or 10 in the paper) are very reasonable for mechanically ventilated building as often found in the US. But having some experience in measuring air exchange rates in public buildings and schools, 1 air exchange per hour sometimes is (sadly) high in those common spaces and may partially explain why we catch a cold in places such as classrooms and waiting rooms. Removal by deposition, air exchange and inactivation should be kept in mind when the infectivity of influenza is discussed especially under the recent focus by the academic community.

As Lindsey shows the importance of humidity on virus inactivation, she had also mentioned (not sure if that is listed in this paper) that protein content in saliva influences survival rates of viruses (high and low content are good for survival). Did you know that infants and adults have different saliva compositions with regards to protein and salt content?!? Isn’t that mighty cool?!?! So, again, another parameter is added. In summary, one has to look on a much broader scale and might have to take many more factors into account than previously shown when accurately estimating disease transmission via the airborne route.

The paper is published in PlosOne and thus accessible to all listeners. Here is the link:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021481

I also attach the paper saving you some time.

Great podcast! Keep up the viral work!

Nina

Yale University, Environmental Engineering

Ph.D. Candidate

 

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