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TWiP 55 letters

Jessie writes:

Hi Vince and Dick!

Has anyone volunteered to do transcripts for TWIP? I love this show, and I'd love to be able to contribute in some way. Forgive me if transcripts already exist and I'm just not finding them on the website. If no one is already working on this project, let me know and I would be happy to pitch in.

I am a nonscientist with a deep interest in biology, and the TWI shows are all definite favorites of mine. Thanks for making so much great content available.

P.S. - Have you ever played the boardgame Pandemic? As far as I know it's the only public health themed boardgame out there. It's challenging, and lots if fun. Call it a listener pick :);desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DytK1zDPPDhw

Jessie in San Diego

Jenn writes:

First off, I want to say I recently discovered twiv and twip (and love them both). Thank you for such entertaining and informative podcasts.

Two questions:

1. Do you guys have any other shows?

2. I recently started going back to school, and started taking things I was actually interested in (namely biology). I had taken a genetics and a physiological psych course previously, but I had no idea how chemistry intensive basic bio courses were. My problem is, I'm absolutely useless at chemistry. While I seemed to score high grades on my exams, all of my labs were awful. What was supposed to be a crystal, turned out as brown sludge. What was supposed to change to bright orange, turned out dull yellow/green. And once my prof even had to rush my experiment to a hood because I had somehow made toxic fumes (even he was puzzled by that one). Is there any hope for me in any sort of public health or research related field, or should I just suck it up and go back to being a paper-pushing desk jockey?



Veronica writes:

Hello Dasher and Dancer Donder and Blitzen.. I mean Vince and Dixon!

I am a new listener and loving your podcast. I started with the renali worm and have been checking in each week and also going through your archives. Crazy fun! I have no idea what you are talking about half the time, but very impressed with the language and the fact that you both seem to know what you are talking about! I have a daughter in Microbiology and another one in Health Science and so i am hoping some knowledge will gradually seep in.. like osmosis, so that they will think I am smart.

I appreciate when you analyse and source the scientific words. Haha, and you were wondering if the mascatory secretory gel was something you buy at the drugstore! Funny! But anyway I always understand the parts about the weather and the kinds of weekends you have!

I have a query: Generally Is it correct that Dixon trusts that believes technology can solve our problems, but Vince on the other hand might feel we are moving further and further from our biological roots and this is what is causing a lot of our problems. For example D says mans job is to colonize space but V says he's too busy here on earth. D's solution to our food shortages is vertical farming a grand tech fix!

So, do you both also see this difference between yourselves? Or is that terribly simplistic? I would like to hear your thoughts about that.. if it doesn’t take you too far from your parasites.

Thanks so much for the show. veronica, from bc

Peter writes:

Dear Dickson and Vincent,

I am a recently retired biomedical scientist, having worked my entire career in hospital labs, mainly in Microbiology, but in my latter years as a manager. I have been fascinated by parasitology since I was a student, however I do not have a formal qualification in the area, other than a few lectures as part of my training. It was therefore delighted to discover TWIP, and I have been listening avidly over the last few weeks – fascinating!

I was wondering if Dickson knows of any distance learning courses in General Parasitology – I would be very interested in following such a course.

Finally, just a small point, arising from an observation made by Dickson (TWIP 33) I think the rare human thorny headed worm Moniliformis moniliformis has the Cockroach Periplaneta americana as an intermediate host, rather than a paratenic host.

Perhaps, as I listen to the next podcasts, another TWIP aficionado has already pointed this out, if so, please ignore this.

looking forward to seeing many more new TWIP’s in the future

all the best

Peter from Cavan

Tim writes:

In TWIP 54 there were a lot of pseudo apologies for Dicksons asides and I have to say no apologies are needed. I was unaware of the fascinating behavior of fig trees and their relationship to monkeys and bats. Please continue to wander off subject as the fancy strikes because it generally leads to me learning something I may have never come across any other way. I may be partial to this type of discourse as I ramble in both general discussions as well as emails so I will end this with a keep up the good work and go back to the task at hand of feeding this new calf who is waiting so patiently for me to finish up my email.

Tim Zweber
Zweber Farms

Sent from mobile device w/ a small keypad, forgive brevity and typos ; )

Niall writes:

My name is Niall and I am a recent high school graduate working on a virology research project at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (part of the NIH/NIAID) in Hamilton, MT. Dickson may also be interested to know that I am an angler and my father is the local fisheries biologist working for the state. As such, I have heard a fair bit about whirling disease and would like to hear more if you haven't already done a show on it. Also, I have a quick question to ask you both. I will be attending Montana State University next year and majoring in microbiology. I am undecided as to what field of microbiology I will go into but have been intrigued by the following; virology, parasitology (especially of the Neglected Tropical Diseases), and the microbiome. I was just wondering if either of you had some tips or advice for an aspiring microbiologist. Anything helps.
Thank you both a bunch. I am a big fan of TWiV, TWiP, and TWiM and would love to hear what you have to say.

P.S. I just talked to my boss here at RML and apparently he knows Vince. His name is Marshall Bloom.

Student Intern
Tickborne Flavivirus Pathogenesis Section
Laboratory of Virology
Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIH/NIAID)


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