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TWiV 193 Letters

Angela writes:

Hello Twiv,

Welcome to the great state of Wisconsin! I hope you enjoy your stay. I suggest in your free time that you try some fresh cheese curds from a local creamer and maybe some fried ones too. I'm sure that those from the area can let you know where to get the best curds.

Next, thank you for all the hard work you do. As a senior in high school who is passionately in love with viruses, Twiv never ceases to bring joy and an education regarding the world of viruses. It has also provided entertainment while sewing my prom dress and another dress. Twivers aren't just lovers of science but also creative!

On a final note, a question. As being a senior, I'll be applying for college and undergraduate positions at college labs. I was wondering if you fine men have any suggestions for the whole process? Should I inform these scientists that even though I have had no opportunity lab experience I have tried to become familar with the world of virology through Twiv and reading books such as the The Great Influenza?

Thank you, Angela

Deena writes:

Dear Vincent Racaniello and TWIV host-ers with the most-ers,

Vincent: To ring your recollection bells: We met shortly in Dublin during the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference and since it was just before your panel interview of Wendy Barclay, my PhD supervisor, and Ron Fouchier, of ferret transmission fame, we discussed the H5N1 influenza virus controversy. At the time I promised to send you an email to request that you and the TWIV team discuss ways that scientists increase serendipitous encounters with new ideas.

Of course there are many ways to learn about new techniques or cellular pathways that might relate to ones research, including reading papers and attending conferences, but I am interested in the activities in between: The once-a-month kind of activities, where you get to interact with other people on your level who are abnormally excited by the nitty-gritty details of molecular biology/virology/epidemiology or immunology.

What drove me to write today is because I was trawling through the literature trying to find a journal article that would entice enough people to attend our voluntary journal club and hopefully stimulate an interesting discussion. We do alright for a department of about 35 Post Docs and PhD Students, we provide pizza and drinks and usually keep about ten participants entertained for an hour. Our Journal Club is run in the traditional way: There is a presenter, who reads an original research article thoroughly and uses powerpoint slides to present the figures as he or she explains them, we ask questions during the presentation and have a general discussion at the end, but there is a little voice inside me that says "this could be better". Therefore, I would like to ask you, the TWIV-hosts and your listeners to share your experiences of Journal Clubs or other brainstorming/ discussion/ mixers that you have tried and what you have found that makes the experience that little bit extra-special.

Thanks in advance for your input,


Final year PhD candidate, looking for a new research home

P.S. Please keep the podcasts coming, I'm totally addicted. I have compared TWIV to other's, such as Cell and the Naked Scientists, which are good, but your focus, linked with the breadth and depth of knowledge that your hosts bring to the table leads to the best story telling around.


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