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TWiV 114 Letters

Jean writes:

I am at present suffering from [what] I have been told will be a virus.

Symptoms:- a dry continuous hacking cough. Unable to get much sleep. No cough medicine seems to soothe it. An uncontrolled loss of urine when coughing. Otherwise no flu symptoms.

History:- I harvested 12 rows of potatoes some of which were scabby, 5 days before the onset of these symptoms.

Could there be a connection to the Adean Potato mottle virus which you state is a plant virus of the family COMOVIRIDAE.

Any comments would be most helpful


Sophie writes:

Hello to all the great twiv hosts and guests.

I found this story and find it quite intriguing, but I really want your opinion on the matter, will it work, when they only vaccinate the high-risk kids? And if they use the attenuated vaccine (I don't know if the "dead" vaccine also is a oral-drop vaccine), will the risk of the vaccine-strain regaining pathogenicity and infecting the non-vaccinated kids or adults be high?

I would really like you to get the veterinarian, who wrote last week, on - that would be great, I can hear we're a bit behind the US on that field (it's still recommended to get your dog vaccinated once a year in Denmark).

And don't you worry, I still love the show of course:)

Sincerely Sophie

Annamaria writes:

Good Morning,

I truly enjoy listening to your podcast and often find myself laughing out loud at some of the jokes.

I am a graduate student currently working on my thesis, unfortunately I seem to be in the common position of most students: I need more data. As I was searching through the plethora of information out there I had an idea. Well a question really.

Is there anything out there for scientific papers that resembles wikipedia? Let me see if I can explain this properly, if there was a website where members could post their current work, negative data, or even papers that were rejected for various reasons. Then other members could go in, look at the work, maybe comment.

This would be an opportunity to get feedback on your work, also a way to see what other people had done. For example, I am currently looking to see if certain proteins are packaged in a specific retrovirus. It would be nice to be able to see if others had already tried looking for these proteins and had been unsuccessful. It would also be nice to see if there are better methods for purifying virus other than the one I am using.

When we read articles on various topics in our lab we tend to "tear them apart" as my advisor likes to put it; but all that work that we put into trying to understand the paper and finding flaws in some of the reasoning is lost as soon as we leave the lab. In my opinion it would be amazing if we could go and give feedback on papers or current research where the writers or even other members would be able to see. It would also be amazing if we could ask questions. I don't know if this would be good for some of the larger institutions but amongst the smaller ones it would be a way to communicate with your peers.

My husband, who is a computer programmer, tells me this is completely doable in terms of programming; the only problem he sees with it is how it would be payed for (servers cost money).

My only concern is as competitive as some science gets sometimes people would not want to share, but I think it has been shown how much more information can be generated when you share.

So is there anything like that out there? And if not, who would I talk to about trying to start it?

Thank you for your time.



Don writes:

Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich,

I just heard a fascinating interview with Barry Marshall on ABC's The Science Show Podcast. It seems that he was not content to establish helicobacter as a cause of disease, now he wants to find/create more benign strains as a way to vaccinate against other microbes.

Follow this link and click on "Eating bacteria as a vaccine." (30 October 2010):



P.S. Long time lister to TWiV and TWiP. Can't get enough. Bravo!!

James writes:

I saw that you had a link to NLM at http://www.twiv.tv/ so I thought you might want to know about a new biomedical search engine:


BioMedSearch contains PubMed/MedLine publications (including some data that NIH chooses not to display), plus additional journals and a collection of theses and dissertations that are not available elsewhere for free, making it the most comprehensive biomedical search on the web.

A link would be great if you have a place for it.



Didier writes:

Dear all,

look at the second comment that follow the new of polio eradication!!!!: how not to despair?!

(taken from; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=polio-in-retreat)

Polio in Retreat: New Cases Nearly Eliminated Where Virus Once Flourished

New cases in key Indian states are hovering near zero-unprecedented, historic lows-suggesting that a long-time goal of eliminating the virus is within reach in parts of world where it has long been considered intractable

1. tfmcvey 01:38 PM 10/28/10

This reduction in cases is a testament to the work of Rotary International and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Iniatitive. Local and religous leaders in Nigeria have played a key role in reducing the number of polio cases to only eight this year compared to 382 at this time last year. The new bivalent vaccine has also played a vital role in achieving this amazing progress. Rotary members from around the world are going to be delivering this vaccine to children in Africa and Asia in the coming months:http://pitch.pe/92093

2. SpoonmanWoS 04:11 PM 10/29/10

Yes, we might've save a lot of lives, but how many Indian kids now are autistic? Another win for Big Pharma at the expense of kids...


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