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TWiM 10 Letters

Mia writes:

Hello to Vince and all you other wise humanitarian folks bringing us TWIM and TWIV! I am a 47 year old indiviual diagnosed with GAD and OCD. Germaphobia used to be my most prevalent and crippling symptom of these disorders until my family doctor found the right drug combo ( cymbalta/xanax) to virtually erase my symptoms, However, I began listing to TWIV to educate myself in hope of conquering my fear of "germs" with knowledge in case I ever develop a tolerance to the medications I am taking. I just wanted all you good people to know what a service you provide to people from ALL perspectives and thank you for changing my attitude toward viruses into one of deep interest and couriosity and very little worry. I look forward to understanding other microbes in the same positive light as I listen to and enjoy TWIM.

I have one request/idea for a topic. One microbe that nearly drove me over the edge befoe I had adequate treatment was a long recurring bout of C-Diff Colitis,  after a strong treatment of augmentum. I read awful scary internet websites devoted to this deadly hospital plague but my kindly physicians asked me not to pay any attention to those sites and that they did not pertain to my infection. After 4 'scripts of flagyl failed I was sent to a specialist who placed me on 14 days of Alinia (nitazoxanide) and 20 days of questran powder (cholestyramine) after that -and was cured! Why do we have such "bad" bugs in our gut, how do we get them and re: TWIM #2 have not fecal enemas been used in the past to fight C-Diff as well ? ANY info you could provide on this- my last boogie-man -microbe in a future TWIM would do a geat kindness to a non-scientist  like myself. Thank you Sooooooooooo much for your huge contribution to public awareness and sanity! Mia (0:

Lance writes:

Hi Vincent, You did something similar to this in TWiM 2 I think - but I thought this looked interesting form yesyterday's Nature:

NATURE | Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome Nature (2011) doi:10.1038/nature09944 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v473/n7346/full/nature09944.html

I really enjoy all your podcasts keep up the good work! I've been meaning to email about all sorts of things for ages but somehow haven't got round to it - anyway maybe more later!



Adrian writes:

Greetings TWiM hosts!

I am a HUGE fan of TWi{V,P,M} -- I listen to a lot of podcasts, but these always make it to the top.  I was a Chem major but now find myself with a career in software.  On the side, I brew beer.  I think the beer making process would be a great topic for a TWiM some day but my question is specific: are there known pathogens that can survive the beer making process?  If improperly stored, beer can certainly spoil -- but are any of the microbes involved dangerous to humans? Beer making lore seems to say no -- siting the theory that beer consumption started out as a means to consume "safe" liquids.  Is this true?

Again, I love all of the shows... keep up the stellar work.


Menlo Park, CA


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