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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 425: All picornaviruses, all the time

The TWiVaniellos discuss a thermostable poliovirus empty capsid vaccine, and two cell genes that act as a switch between entry and clearance of picornavirus infection.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler 

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Links for this episodeGlas Poliovirus

This episode is brought to you by Blue Apron. Blue Apron is the #1 fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country. See what’s on the menu this week and get your first 3 meals free – WITH FREE SHIPPING – by going to blueapron.com/twiv.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Medical lab whirligig
Dickson - Antarctica's Colorful Underwater World
Kathy - Prince Rupert’s drops #1 and #2
Rich - Dylan's 30th - Eric Clapton --Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right  (The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration) Vincent - Saving climate data and Public Good and Public Funding of Science

Listener Pick

Suellen - For the anti-vaccine people

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TWiV 424: FLERVergnügen

Trudy joins the the TWiVlords to discuss new tests for detecting prions in the blood, and evidence showing that foamy retroviruses originated in the seas with their jawed vertebrate hosts at least 450 million years ago.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler 

Guest: Trudy Rey

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Download TWiV 424 (67 MB .mp3, 111 min)

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Weekly Science Picks

Trudy - Artist Jenni Viljaniemi
Alan
 - Radio Garden
Dickson - World's First Green Energy Boat
Kathy - mSphereDirect video and web
Rich - Deathworld Trilogy by Harry Harrison
Vincent - Trump's Vaccine Panel (NYTimes), Offit's Response (Daily Beast), ASM Letter

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TWiV 423: Dry, well formed, and light brown

The TWiV academia discuss induction of diarrhea by the capsid protein of an astrovirus, and association of a fungal RNA virus with white-nose syndrome of North American bats.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler 

Guest: Jared Rice

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Weekly Science Picks

Alan - GPS visualizer
Dickson - James Webb Space Telescope and The Vertical Farm
Kathy - First Snowflake Photos (One and Two)
Rich - Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Vincent - Carrie Fisher Fought for the Rebel Alliance and Mental Health Awareness

Listener Pick

Ken - The Abate Lab
Sean - The Death of Expertise

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TWiV 422: Watching the icosahedron drop

The TWiVestigators wrap up 2016 with a discussion of the year's ten compelling virology stories.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Download TWiV 422 (71 MB .mp3, 117 min)

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Should auld infections be forgot
And never T-cells primed?
Will cross-reacting antigens
Protect the host next time?

Links for this episode5

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - North America's Lost Medieval City
Dickson - New Views of Pillars of Creation
Kathy - Reilly Top Ten
Rich - Everyday Einstein
Vincent - Naples' Sleeping Volcano Might Be Waking Up

Listener Pick

John - RadioLab: The Times They Are a-Changin'

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TWiV 421: Like flies on shot

The TWiVnauts present another example of an infectious but replication incompetent vaccine, an insect specific arborvirus bearing chikungunya virus structural proteins.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Nathan Letts

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Links for this episodeIMG 4439

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Open Access Button
Dickson - National Geographic Photographs
Kathy - World's Tiniest Radio Receiver
Nathan - Mutter Museum, Philadelphia
Vincent - How Rogue One is Connected to the Mac

Listener Pick

Sam - Cell Lab: Evolution Sandbox
Hannelore - Congressional Dish
Johnye - The Fungi in Your Future
Brendan - Zimmer on Longform podcast

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TWiV 420: Orthogonal vectors

The TWiV gurus describe how to use an orthogonal translation system to produce infectious but replication-incompetent influenza vaccines.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Links for this episodeCameron County Texas

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Superbugs game
Dickson - Dinosaur tail trapped in amber
Rich - Earth's Rotation is Slowing (original article)
Kathy - Lithium Ion batteries (one and two)
Vincent - Truth and Lies in the Age of Trump (virology blog) and self driving Uber car

Listener Pick

Steve - New York City Street Tree Map
Justin - Transmissible vaccines?

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TWiV 419: The selfless gene

The TWiVrific gang reveal how integration of a virophage into the nuclear genome of a marine protozoan enhances host survival after infection with a giant virus.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Links for this episode

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.  

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Lab Wars
Dickson - Star in a Jar Fusion Reactor
Rich -You're a Bee. This is What it Feels Like.
Kathy - List of Potential Predatory Journals
Vincent - CRISPR Patent Trial Begins

Listener Pick

Drake - Spinzall
Katreya - Periodic Videos
Pritesh - Smallpox in mummy

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TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Links for this episode

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code

This show is sponsored by Drobo, a family of safe, expandable , yet simple to use storage arrays. Drobos are designed to protect your important data forever. This Holiday season give someone a Drobo to keep all their files and memories safe forever. TWiV listeners can save 20% or more off of their purchase of a Drobo 5D, Drobo 5Dt, Drobo 5N, or any 8-drive or 12-drive system at www.drobostore.com by December 31, 2016 using discount code MICROBE20.

Register for ASV 2017 at Madison, Wisconsin

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Human population through time
Dickson - Every Orbit Cassini Has Taken
Rich - OK GO: Walk Her Walk
Kathy - Medieval Bestiary Online
Vincent - Can You Out-Science an Eighth Grader? and Stitchen Pox

Listener Pick

Hannah - Bioart and Bacteria

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TWiV 417: O is the loneliest letter

The Fellowship of the Virus trace the early history of HIV in North America, based on genome sequences obtained from late 1970s archival sera, which also reveal that Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Download TWiV 417 (67 MB .mp3, 111 min)

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Links for this episodeChupacabra padayachee

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Check out the graduate and postdoctoral programs at the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Deadline for applying to the graduate program is 1 December 2016. For more information about the Department, please visit http://bit.ly/micromssm

Register for the 2017 ASM Grant Writing Online course.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - VP8SGI
Dickson - New leaf-shaped spider discovered
Rich - Dance of Earth and Venus About the Sun
Kathy - Cultivar Series, Mutatoes, Uli Westphal site
Vincent - Kung Fu Mantis vs Jumping Spider

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TWiV 416: Scattered seeds dormant

The multi-dimensional TWiV-brane brings you the entries in the haiku/limerick contest, and explain how a giant virus infects a host within another host (it has to do with predators!).

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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Download TWiV 416 (77 MB .mp3, 126 min)

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Links for this episodeeucyclops agilis 02 600x600

This episode is brought to you by CuriosityStream, a subscription streaming service that offers over 1,400 documentaries and non­fiction series from the world's best filmmakers. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first two months are completely free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/microbe and use the promo code MICROBE.

Check out the graduate and postdoctoral programs at the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Deadline for applying to the graduate program is 1 December 2016. For more information about the Department, please visit http://bit.ly/micromssm

Register for the 2017 ASM Grant Writing Online course.

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Cubes in Space
Dickson - The Architecture of Eden by H. Pearlman and A. Whalley
Rich - Studying the building blocks of life in stereo (original paper)
Kathy - Ancient bottom wipes yield evidence of diseases (original paper)
Vincent - Iguana vs snakes

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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