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This Week in Virology

twiv

This Week in Virology (TWiV) is a podcast – or netcast, as some prefer to call them, since you don’t need an iPod to listen – about viruses. It was begun in September 2008 by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, two science Professors at Columbia University Medical Center. Their goal was to have an informal yet informative conversation about viruses which would be accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background. We wanted to eventually bring other virologists into the conversation, to make it more varied and interesting. Alan Dove, a science writer, joined us late in 2008, and Rich Condit, a poxvirologist, joined in 2009. We’ve had a number of guests on the show and we’re always trying to get more.

Why are we doing this? Dick, Rich, and I have spent our entire academic careers directing research laboratories, so we have a lot of knowledge to share. Plus, we both enjoy teaching. Put those two things together, and you have TWiV. If you want to learn about viruses in a relaxing way, then TWiV is for you.

TWiV 390: Building a better mosquito trap

Project Premonition, a Microsoft Research project that uses drones to capture mosquitoes and analyze them for pathogens, preprint servers, and three mouse models for Zika virus induced birth defects are the topics of this episode hosted by the TWiumvirate and theirs guests Ethan and Jonathan.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Guests: Ethan Jackson and Jonathan Carlson

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Download TWiV 390 (97 MB .mp3, 134 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail, Google Play Music

Links for this episodeProject-Premonition-traps

Image: An early prototype of the mosquito trap (image credit).

This episode is sponsored by CuriosityStream. Get two months free when you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Also brought to you by ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson - Germany nearly reached 100% renewable power
Alan
 - Vertical City documentary and Lumino City game
RichErrol Morris: ‘Demon in the Freezer’
Kathy - Entropic Time YouTube by A Capella Science (watch “the making of”)
Vincent - Agar Art contest finalists

Listener Picks

Jennie - SciFi reading (scroll down)

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 389: Alphabet hepatitis with Stan Lemon

Host: Vincent Racaniello 

Guest: Stan Lemon

Vincent speaks with Stan Lemon about his career in virology, from early work on Epstein Barr virus, through making essential discoveries about hepatitis A virus, hepatitis C virus, and rhinoviruses.

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Download TWiV 389 (53 MB .mp3, 73 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail, Google Play Music

Links for this episodeIMG 7907

This episode is sponsored by CuriosityStream. Get two months free when you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 388: What could possibly go wrong?

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Preprint servers, the structure of an antibody bound to Zika virus, blocking Zika virus replication in mosquitoes with Wolbachia, and killing carp in Australia with a herpesvirus are topics of this episode hosted by Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Kathy.

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Download TWiV 388 (73 MB .mp3, 101 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail, Google Play Music

Links for this episodeE-Ab spheres2

Image: A single molecule of the Zika virus E glycoprotein (red) bound to a broadly neutralizing antibody (green). The fusion loop on the E protein, which is recognized by the antibody, is shown in yellow.

This episode is sponsored by CuriosityStream. Get two months free when you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Also brought to you by ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson - EarthEnv
Alan
 - Research funding by lottery
Kathy - Eugenia Cheng Math and Baking
Vincent - Zika Diaries

Listener Picks

Stephen - Virus trading cards
William - Virus trading cards
Norma+Maurice - Virus trading cards
Tom - Virus trading cards

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 387: Quaxxed

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Nina Martin

Nina Martin joins the TWiV team to talk about the movie Vaxxed, her bout with dengue fever, and the latest research on Zika virus.

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Download TWiV 387 (69 MB .mp3, 96 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail, Google Play Music

Links for this episode

This episode is sponsored by CuriosityStream. Get two months free when you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Also brought to you by ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Nina - Vaccines and Your Child by Paul Offit and Charlotte Moser
Dickson - The animals of Chernobyl
Alan
 - Five rules of lab safety
Kathy - 20 best science images of the year?
Vincent - Massive undersea crab swarm

Listener Picks

JP - Global map of wind
Todd - Doc Martin

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 386: The dolphins did it

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Guests: Ted Diehl and Welkin Johnson

Ted and Welkin inform the TWiV team how the evolution of ancient retroviruses can be inferred by studying their sequences in the genomes of modern mammals, and join in a discussion of virus dispersal during different methods for drying hands.

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Download TWiV 386 (86 MB .mp3, 119 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail, Google Play Music

Links for this episodeM062207 00 9970a

This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art ContestASM Grant Writing Course, and ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Welkin - Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (essay)
Ted - Accidental brilliance in science
Rich - Perpetual motion?
Kathy - R0 graphic and explanation
Vincent - NWS ditches all caps forecasts

Listener Picks

Basel - Gimli Glider and Mars Climate Orbiter
Ken - Vaccination comic book

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 385: Failure

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Guest: Stuart Firestein

Stuart joins Vincent and Dickson to talk about his sequel to Ignorance, a book called Failure, which seeks to make science more appealing by revealing its faults.

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Download TWiV 385 (83 MB .mp3, 115 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail

Links for this episodeIMG 8106

This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest and ASV 2016

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 384: Agent 003, a view to a fish kill

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and Rich Condit

Guests: Nischay Mishra and Ian Lipkin

Nischay and Ian join the TWiVions to discuss mass die-offs of tilapia by a novel orthomyxo-like virus, Ian's editorial on the movie Vaxxed, and new vaccines to prevent dengue virus infections, including a human challenge model.

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Download TWiV 384 (76 MB .mp3, 105 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail

Links for this episodetilapia die-off

This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest, ASM Grant Writing Course, and ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Rich - Dune by Frank Herbert
Alan - Adult vaccination video contest
Dickson - Ski town greenhouse
Vincent - Preprint servers: Force awakens or revenge of undead?

Listener Picks

Ken - Golden Mole Awards for Accidental Brilliance (list, video)
Jim - Linear algebra course

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TWiV 383: A zillion Zika papers and a Brazilian

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Esper Kallas

Esper and the Merry TWiXters analyze the latest data on Zika virus and microcephaly in Brazil, and discuss publications on a mouse model for disease, infection of a fetus, mosquito vector competence, and the cryo-EM structure of the virus particle.

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Download TWiV 383 (90 MB .mp3, 125 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail

Links for this episodeScreenshot 2016-04-03 10.10.35

This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest and ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Esper - The Chaos by Gérard Nolst Trenité (pronunciation guide) and HIV pathogenesis course
Alan - Science Kombat
Dickson - Four steps to wiping out a mosquito
Vincent - Public lacks information on Zika virus
Kathy - Zika virus cryo-EM structure video

Listener Picks

Justin - Culture-independent discovery of Archaeal virus
Melinda - Zika virus open research portal and Your body battles series

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 382: Everyone's a little bit viral

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Guests: Nels Elde and Edward Chuong

Nels and Ed join the TWiV team to talk about their observation that regulation of the human interferon response depends on regulatory sequences that were co-opted millions of years ago from endogenous retroviruses.

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Download TWiV 382 (82 MB .mp3, 114 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail

Links for this episodeAdam is viral

This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest and ASV 2016

Weekly Science Picks

Nels - Don't Get Me Started - Matt Giorgianni
Alan - Sun's magnetic field (paper)
Dickson - Most realistic dinosaur terrifies
Vincent - Top secret!
Kathy - Zika virus risk for US 50 cities (paper)
Ed - Watching comb jellies poop

Listener Picks

Asal - Lost paper of Gregor Mendel
Dennis - PhysicsGirl
Jacob - Second (XKCD) and ACI blogger interview

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TWiV 381: Add viruses and Zimmer

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer joins the TWiV team to talk about his career in science writing, the real meaning of copy-paste, science publishing, the value of Twitter, preprint servers, his thoughts on science outreach, and much more.

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Download TWiV 381 (86 MB .mp3, 119 min)

Subscribe (free): iTunesRSSemail

Links for this episodeIMG 8038

This episode is sponsored by ASV 2016 and ASM Agar Art Contest

Weekly Science Picks

Carl - Surprising benefit of viral DNA
Alan - Global ship traffic
Dickson - Music with 2000 marbles
Vincent - The whiteboard revolution
Kathy - How to interpret UK and American advisors
Rich - Carina Storrs, science writer

Send your virology questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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