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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 342: Public epitope #1

 Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

The TWiVniks discuss the structure of a virus that reproduces in an extreme environment, long-term consequences of Ebolavirus infection, and VirScan, a method to identify the different virus infections you have had in your lifetime.

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Download TWiV 342 (74 MB .mp3, 102 min)

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Links for this episodeviruses

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson - Incredible photos
Alan -
Alone in a room full of science writers
Kathy - Calico cats and Siamese cats
RichMissing link in evolution
Vincent - Podcasts saving NPR and Podcasting blossoms

Listener Pick of the Week

Jenny - What Bill Gates is afraid of
Neva - The Kardashian Index

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TWiV 341: Ebolavirus experiences

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Guests: Adam KucharskiGillian Slack, and Emma Thomson

Vincent returns to the University of Glasgow MRC-Center for Virus Research and speaks with Emma, Gillian, and Adam about their ebolavirus experiences: caring for an infected patient, working in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, and making epidemiological predictions about the outbreak in west Africa.

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 Download TWiV 341 (65 MB .mp3, 89 min)

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Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you! Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

TWiV 340: No shift, measles

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

The TWiV teams reviews a MERS-coronavirus serosurvey and an outbreak in South Korea, and constraints on measles virus antigenic variation.

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Download TWiV 340 (84 MB .mp3, 117 min)

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Links for this episodeselection-bias

Weekly Science Picks 1:40:15

Dickson - Singapore Flower Dome  and Cloud Forest
Alan -
Rescuing biomedical research
Kathy - The value of basic research
Rich - Virology 60th Anniversary Issue
Vincent - Careers in virology: Science writing and journalism

Listener Pick of the Week

Pritesh - How T cells kill cancer cells
Ramon - The power of herd immunity

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TWiV 339: Herpes and the sashimi plot

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Tre TWiV amici present three snippets and a side of sashimi: how herpesvirus inhibits host cell gene expression by disrupting transcription termination.

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Download TWiV 339 (72 MB .mp3, 100 min)

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Links for this episodeSashimi

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Fooling millions into thinking chocolate helps weight loss
Kathy - Approaching Pluto
Vincent - ASM Agar art contest

Listener Pick of the Week

Daniel - FB pages you need to stop sharing from (one and two)
Ken - Bird box science (canceled)

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TWiV 338: Coyotes have sushi

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Laura Newcomb

Vincent and Kathy visit Laura Newcomb at California State University San Bernardino, where they talk about Laura's viral tattoos, and a protein that protects the mosquito brain from lethal flavivirus infection.

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Download TWiV 338 (43 MB .mp3, 60 min)

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Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks

Laura - NP siRNA inhibits different influenza viruses (Antiviral Res)
Kathy - Time-lapse mining
Vincent - Does the public trust science?

Listener Pick of the Week

Paul - Degree-Off XKCD
Peter - Ebola containment, Hans Rosling, eLife podcast, Naked Scientists

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TWiV 337: Steamer

Host: Vincent Racaniello 

Guests: Michael Metzger and Steve Goff 

Vincent meets up with Michael and Steve to discuss their finding of a transmissible tumor in soft shell clams associated with a retrovirus-like element in the clam genome.

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Download TWiV 337 (50 MB .mp3, 69 min)

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Links for this episodeMya arenaria

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

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TWiV 336: Brought to you by the letters H, N, P, and Eye

 Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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The TWiVsters explore mutations in the interferon pathway associated with severe influenza in a child, outbreaks of avian influenza in North American poultry farms, Ebolavirus infection of the eye weeks after recovery, and Ebolavirus stability on surfaces and fluids.

Download TWiV 336 (72 MB .mp3, 100 min)

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This episode is sponsored by @ASM Conferences and ASM Microbe

Links for this episodeEyeDiagramUveitis

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Winogradsky time-lapse
Rich - Missing link in evolution of complex cells
Kathy - Grantome
Dickson - National Geographic Landscape Photo of the Day
Vincent - PyMol and Chimera

Listener Pick of the Week

Mauricio - Vax!

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TWiV 335: Ebola lite

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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The TWiVumvirate discusses a whole Ebolavirus vaccine that protects primates, the finding that Ebolavirus is not undergoing rapid evolution, and a proposal to increase the pool of life science researchers by cutting money and time from grants.

Download TWiV 335 (79 MB .mp3, 110 min)

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This episode is sponsored byASM Microbe and ICAAC/ICC

Links for this episodeebola lite

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks

Alan - Pinboard
Rich - Academic medicine investment in medical research
Kathy - Tissue paper stop motion animation
Dickson - Do peer review panels select best science proposals?
Vincent - MMR and autism: Still no association

Listener Pick of the Week

Ramon - Autism by MMR vaccine status
Mehul -  Ebolavirus disease course
Justin - Molecular Biology of Bacterial Viruses by Gunther S. Stent

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TWiV 334: In vino virus

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan DoveRich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

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The TWiVles talk about endogenous viruses in plants, sex and Ebolavirus transmission, an outbreak of canine influenza in the US, Dr. Oz, and doubling the NIH budget.

Download TWiV 334 (70 MB .mp3, 96 min)

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This episode is sponsored by SciMed Solutions and ASM Education.

Links for this episodeVitis-vinifera-2

Timestamps by Jennifer. Thank you!

Weekly Science Picks 1:17:05

Alan - NIH RFI: How do we fix this mess?
Rich - Editing embryos (PopSci, Prot Cell)
Kathy - Creative class presentations (one, two, three, four)
Dickson - The most tornadoes
Vincent - Apollo 13, 45 years later (Ars, IEEE, Farewell)

Listener Pick of the Week

Johnye - Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka Send your virology questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TWiV 333: Naturally curious chimeras

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Guests: Ben Fensterheim, Megan Freeman, Bobak Parang, and Meredith Rogers

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Vincent returns to Vanderbilt University and meets up with Ben, Megan, Bobak, and Meredith to learn about life in the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Download TWiV 333 (68 MB .mp3, 94 min)

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