Viruses

mailboxTWiM regularly receives listener email with corrections, comments, suggestions for show topics, requests for clarification, and additional information. A selection of these is archived on this page.

TWiM 20 Letters

Atila writes:

Dear TWiMers,

The episode 7, about toxins and antitoxins made me think about the relationship between the bacteria and its plasmids, so I would like to share some speculations I made, without reading more about it (as my graduate project with HIV does not let me read about much else). What I would do if I were the plasmid, or what evolution could do to it:

If I were a plasmid coding for a toxin and an anti-toxin, I would make my toxin small and soluble, so it could diffuse away from the bacterial cell. At the same time, I would code for a large and hydrophobic anti-toxin that would get stuck inside of the cell. So, when a bacteria acquired me, I would make it retain me to live, and at the same time kill all neighbors that didn't have the same idea. They have to acquire me as well or they die. This could explain why TB has so many addiction modules, if it loses some, it may die from the toxin secreted by a neighbor.

Now that all the population has a copy of me inside them, and no other bacteria can grow around them, I can make an anti-toxin that responds to a quorum sensing molecule such as a piece of G6PDH. So, I not only guarantee that only my bacteria survives, I also control  that it grows in a controlled manner. Do you think this may be the case in nature?

Congratulations for the great podcast. I have been listening to fantastic discussions about microbiology coming from you and your guests, it is an unique opportunity for someone at Brazil (and other countries, as I imagine) to listen to these scientific conversations. Keep up the nice work.

Best,
Atila

Alexey writes:

Big thanks for the show, Vincent and co.

I'm 23-year old economist from snowy Russia. About a year ago I got interested in synthetic biology and since than have been learning a lot about genomics, microbiology, biochemistry etc (not without help of your podcasts, which I listen on my way to and from work). But I'm still mostly impressed by the prospects of using biology to create Cialis lifeforms, which can be used to efficiently produce or recycle needed chemical compounds.

Based on stated above i have 2 episode requests/propositions 1. Since I'm 23, I would love to study Biology more in-depth. It would be very helpful (I believe not only for me) to do the survey of existing microbiology related study possibilities and interesting programs in US, Canada or whatever you got detailed information about 2. Since Vincent is virologist, TWiM tends to be disease/infections focused (as TWiP and TWiV). I would really appreciate to hear an episode about non-medical Microbiology application, s.t. Venter's synthetic life creation or current state of affairs in using bacteria to create fuel - in other words something synthetic biology or bioengineering related.

One more time huge thanks for the podcast. It helps people having nothing in common with microbiology except interest not to completely be out of touch.

With respect

Artur writes:

Hi Vincent and Friends,
Great show, always interesting, fantastic speakers, keep up the great work!

I was listening to the #19 podcast, and Michael Schmidt mentioned briefly about the debunking of CC5 mutation and susceptibility to HIV infection in early literature (28 min mark).  I've heard of the CCR5 gene and that having a mutation in it makes a person "resistant to HIV infection", but I"m not sure if that's what Michael was referring to.  I've tried to find more info on what Michael briefly mentioned but searching for CC5 and HIV hasn't resulted in much useful information or answers.  Would you be able to discuss this topic and go more into what was meant by the debunking of the CC5 mutation.

Cordially,
Artur

Peter writes:

Dear Doctors I would like your thoughts on this.
My local doctors surgery has automatic doors so you don't have to touch the door handles, however if you have an appointment booked then you register your arrival by using a touch screen monitor. To me it does not seem to be a particularly good idea get loads of people with ill health to touch the same object. There is no antiseptic hand gel to clean your hands after using the touch screen.

Am I right to be concerned.

TWiM 2 Letters

Barbara Hyde writes:

In the discussion of copper, it should be noted that copper has long been added to marine bottom paints as an anti-fouling agent. Now however there is concern about deleterious environmental effects from its leaching out into the waters.

Barbara Hyde, MBA, CAE
Director, Communications
American Society for Microbiology

Kevin writes:

Vincent:

First of all, thank you so much for providing myself and other microbiologists with this excellent podcast. Your very first episode was extremely fascinating to me, and I will be avidly waiting for all of the future episodes. I hope you and your friends can maintain this caliber for your podcast.

I am an analyst in the microbiology laboratory at a modest-sized pharmaceutical manufacturing company. For those of you that are familiar with pharmaceutical microbiology at a sterile manufacturing site, you would understand why the discussion of the laboratory studies on copper as an actual self-sanitizing material would be interesting. For the most part you talked about possible applications in hospitals, but I would love to hear Michael Schmidt's (and others') opinion on possible manufacturing design changes if the FDA were to ever support them. Currently, Laminar Flow Hoods, Isolators, and most equipment in a sterile facility seems to be made out of 316 stainless steel. You already mentioned that stainless steel can easily harbor bacteria on its surface, but would using copper as an alternative really be that much more effective? Stainless steel can be polished smooth enough to ensure no bacteria hide in cracks or irregularities in the surface when sanitizing agents
are used. Speaking of sanitizing agents, could you even hope to sanitize a copper material with a strong oxidizer like bleach or hydrogen peroxide? Even an autoclave would be brutal on copper utensils such as forceps or hemostats. You would almost be making disposable metal materials. I would love to see what the minimum concentration of copper you would need in an alloy in order to keep a 10^3 or possibly even 10^6 reduction in microorganisms! Also, I'd be very interested in seeing how a spore-forming organism reacts to contact with copper. Is the spore-formation process quick enough to save a Bacillus species organism from certain death? These are the kinds of questions that popped into my mind immediately, and I'd love to hear your take(s) on them.

On an unrelated note:

I'm a 25 year old analyst at this company with slightly over 4 years of industry experience. I would be ecstatic if you could take some time in an episode to describe the differences between industry and academic microbiology, focusing on some of the progression (or hierarchy) in those different fields. In my undergrad my classes were entirely pre-Med focused, and it was only by chance that I ended up in the industry. Now knowing what I do about pharmaceutical manufacturing, I wish that I had known more so I could have prepared a more efficient method of getting further in this field. An MBA would make becoming a manager/supervisor so much easier, and a PhD would make a Senior Scientist level more tangible to me. As it stands now I have no idea how to get further ahead, but a 5 year break from college keeps me reluctant to go back to school and start all over again.

Thank you once again for all you do, and best of luck in your research and with this podcast!

Regards,

Kevin

David writes:

Hi, I'm a new student of microbiolgy at UBC, working in the Redfield lab. I found your podcast very informative and am looking forward to future episodes. If you are looking for interesting people for I'd like to suggest my supervisor Rosie. Among other things, she has a lot of interesting things to say about the recent arsenic bacteria issue.

Please say hello to Prof. Despommier for me, I've never met him but a few years back we talked about an unfruitful venture to get vertical farming going in Vancouver.

David
www.infoenzae.wordpress.com

[Rosie Redfield blogs at http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/]

TWiM 19 Letters

Jim writes:

Hi,

The NPR Science Friday topic recently concerned a discussion and debate amongst several researchers about the Black Plague
( http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201109023 ).  The discussion seemed pretty complete, but as a lay person I'm  still not sure I understand how the bacterium are identified using old skeletal material, and question that prairie dogs are the major source of Yesinia pestis in the Southwestern US rather than mice, and would like to know if flea excrement is really the material that  transfers the bacteria to people.

Great shows, always.

Regards,

Jim
Smithfield, VA


Jim writes:

Hi guys,

Dr Schmidt, I think, said in TWIM 12, around the 24 minute mark, that bacterial plaques keep growing but viral plaques do not.  It see
ms to me as a person that both would grow to the limits of the dish, or until the nutrient is exhausted, another plaque is encountered, or the environment changed (dried out, chilled, overheated, etc.).  Could you please discuss this a little more.

Thanks.

Jim
Smithfield, VA

[michael was referring to bacterial plaques formed on eukaryotic cells by Burkholderia, and said they continue to grow, in contrast to viral plaques which typically stop]

Michael writes:

Hello Twim and twiv Team.

Wanted to say that i very much enjoyed the Podcast nr 6. Im a Great Fan of Phages myself because they introduced me to Biology in general. I used to have a very poor understanding of biology (our school thought skipping bio and use the time for math instead would be better...) but since i firstly glanced at a Bacteriophage virion of T4 a couple of months back it created a spark in me and i  wanted to know everything about them. Well i had (and still have) to study biology from scratch but i think i made in this short time great advances. Your Podcasts twiv and Twim Viagra are excellent and provide entertainment and Education. Also thanks to the fact that i live in china and here it is very cheap to buy reproductions of Scientific books cheaply (5$ in china compared to +100$ in more "Developed" Parts of the world) i could provide myself with very good learning materials.

Would love to hear more about Phages in the Future, also i would recommend a book. Called "The Bacteriophages" Edited by Richard Calendar. It describes many aspects on Phages and is absolutly perfect for anybody who wants to learn more about them in Detail also describes many aspects of phage therapy. Its not written for the Bio newb like myself but thanks to google i could learn everything i didnt understand along the way.

Greetings from China

thomas

PS i always listen to your Podcasts on my Phone in the kitchen while i cook. So everytime there is a rather long Twiv/Twim my wife knows what im gonna cook will be good since i will spend at least one hour in the kitchen. So i guess thanks from my wife too^^

David  writes:

Is it possible to create a liquid culture that simulates the natural conditions in which Pseudomonoas aeruginosa can survive? I was hoping that one that simulates mammalian lung tissue might work.

Respectfully,
David S. Abuin
Microbiology student from NC State University

BTW, love the podcast.

Don writes:

Could you do a episode on Wolbachia?. It seems to control the reproduction of Drosophila, mosquito etc. Does it's influence extend  to other multicultural {verts? as well.

Two other brief comments,,was there any follow up to using metallic copper in hospitals to control spread of drug resistant microbes>, and although the DRACO protein was undoubtedly made in a Slytherin lab, does not Hogwarts code require a balanced "wait and see" approach. Ill bet you are Ravenclaw/ Don

TWiM 18 Letters

Tim writes:

this recent publication struck me as being interesting and relevant, however I'm not sure I have the background to completely understand it -- as wondering if you would comment on this publication.

thanks!

Here's part of the press release from the University of California at Davis:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

Lyme disease bacteria take cover in lymph nodes

The bacteria that cause Lyme disease, one of the most important emerging diseases in the United States, appear to hide out in the lymph nodes, triggering a significant immune response, but one that is not strong enough to rout the infection, report researchers at the University of California, Davis.

Results from this groundbreaking study involving mice may explain why some people experience repeated infections of Lyme disease. The study appears online in the journal Public Library of Science Biology at: http://tinyurl.com/3vs8pm9.

"Our findings suggest for the first time that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in people, dogs and wildlife, have developed a novel strategy for subverting the immune response of the animals they infect," said Professor Nicole Baumgarth, an authority on immune responses at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine.

"At first it seems counter intuitive that an infectious organism would choose to migrate to the lymph nodes where it would automatically trigger an immune response in the host animal," Baumgarth said. "But B. burgdorferi have apparently struck an intricate balance that allows the bacteria to both provoke and elude the animal's immune response."

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

here is where I found the press release..

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-ldb061611.php

here's a copy of the original article (at PLOS)...

http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1002066

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

thanks again... i'd love to hear your analysis of what is going on here...

Tom writes:

Hello to the Microbiology crew!

While recently reading the *gasp* wikipedia page on "Phytic acid", I found a paragraph of content near the end that threw me for a loop. The claims were cited to an article from the Journal of Biochemistry (http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2010/04/29/jbc.M110.126581.long) stating "Ironically, [phytic acid] is shown to be a required cofactor for YopJ, a toxin from Yersinia pestis.[27] It is also a required cofactor for the related toxin AvrA from Salmonella typhimurium[27]". Perhaps it is only the choice of the word "ironically" that confuses me, but the dynamic seems fascinating.

I'm trying to posit a few plausible sounding explanations, but my biochem is limited, so i'm working from a pop understanding of microbial ecology and evolution.

I kind of get that phosphate (as a key nutrient) is tightly sequestered in phytic acid, much like chelation complexes for metals, but I can't see why it would be advantageous for Y. pestis to have maintained the cofactor dependency to the *toxin* this long. I know E. coli pulls a similar trick by chelating the heck out of free iron (enterobactin, i think), but the fact that the compounds are function labeled "toxin, versus 'iron-aquirer'' skews my intuition.

I guess I'm struggling to understand the genetic logic behind the cofactor. My assumption is that the phytic acid is somehow integrated into Y. pestis' metabolism (maybe the phosphate groups Viagra 100mg are hydrolyzed and absorbed by the Y. pestis?), but from what little i could decipher from the paper, no mechanism for re absorption seems present (only injection).

I suppose it could always be neutral evolution (increasing complexity w/ negligible benefit, see http://skepticwonder.fieldofscience.com/2010/03/in-defense-of-constructive-neutral.html), but the pathways involved seem too tightly regulated to be purely non-advantage yielding for either organism.

If you have the time, I'd love to really take a more rigorous stab at understanding this dynamic (and the paper, of course), both from a biochemical and ecological level.

Thank you very much for your time,
Thomas

David writes:

Episode #11 was an especially interesting one.  I’d like to add to the discussion from Joe’s letter about entropy, from a straight physics perspective.  The 2nd law of thermodynamics (incorrectly referred to as the 3rd law in the letter) has several different but equivalent versions.  The version probably most relevant to this discussion is roughly stated as “In a isolated system, the entropy (disorder) tends to increase in time.”  Note the first part of this version (“In a isolated system”), is often left out when most people state the 2nd law.  The first-part-left-out statement has led some creationists to incorrectly state that the 2nd law prevents evolution from occurring.  People make the mistake of trying to apply the 2nd law to non-isolated systems, which leads to wrong conclusions.

The Earth is an open (non-isolated) system due to the sun.  Because the Earth is open, taking in energy from the sun, matter has energy available to organize itself.  From snowflakes to hurricanes, from viruses to humans, clumps of matter are constantly using energy to decrease or maintain their entropy.  There are many interesting ways that life uses various forms of energy to this, but ultimately it is the availability of energy that gives life the ability to organize.  So life doesn’t “cheat” or “get around” the 2nd law, it obeys the 2nd law (when it finds itself as an isolated system).

-- David

Michael writes:

Greetings TWiM crew!

As someone who spends most of his time on the macroscopic world (animal biomechanics), I have found TWiM to be a wonderful way to get a little foray into the rest (=most) of the biological world each week.  Thank you for making it all happen.

Onto the question: is there any particularly good resource (say, for example, a text or large review manuscript) that has synthesized the current perspectives on biomechanical approaches to microbiology?  I'm familiar with some bits of work in that realm, such as the bacterial fluid mechanics work being done by Kenny Breuer and Tom Powers (mostly because I know Kenny), but I have found it difficult to find any location where this sort of perspective is examined and reviewed at a more general scale.  There have been some nice mentions of microbial biomech in TWiM (such as the discussions of low Reynolds Number flows, where viscous effects dominate), and so I thought perhaps you all knew a good go-to source.

Cheers,

Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University

TWiM 17 Letters

Marko writes:

thanks a lot for this great podcast. I'm already listening to podcasts several hours a day and until now the science-component was missing a bit. However, now with Twim, Twip and Twiv in my feed I think I have to go for an extra walk with my dog every day.

I'm a german student of master geosciences and environment and wrote my bachelor thesis about the influence of microbicides to microorganisms in a local wastewater treatment plant. Maybe wastewater treatment could be an interesing topic for a twim episode, as far as I know there is still little known about the consortia in activated sludge.

I enjoy listening to you guys so much, keep up the great.

all the best from Greifswald,

Marko

Merry Youle writes:

I've been listening to the evolution of TWIM, week by week, and want to say that I am delighted by the direction it has gone. I listened to #11 yesterday and found the format especially informative and interesting. By format, I am referring to the selection of, in this case, two papers, both of which were introduced well Buy Viagra to orient the listener to the context and the topic. In each case there followed a real discussion among the co-hosts that was accessible to listeners with varied backgrounds. Acronyms and specialized terms were defined, or replaced by more common words.

As if that weren't enough, the viewpoints presented this week were particularly relevant and important vis a vis our microbiota, allergies, antibiotic usage, agricultural practices, and such. This information needs to be widely disseminated, and TWIM make an excellent contribution to that process.

Carry on!

All the best,
Merry

Varun writes:

All the hosts,

Am a microbiologist from India, and find your podcast very interesting. The very education and the fun you bring is awesome. I have a suggestion. Am wondering why wouldn't you start doing a "This week in mycology". I would also like to acknowledge that I and my students at times, sit together to listen to the podcast, and put our own ideas and open discussions in class. So the microbiology is more fun now, than it was before. Once again thank you for great work. Good luck for your future episodes.

TWiM 15 Letters

Martyn writes:

Dear Vincent and gang,

A couple of times you've mentioned pro-biotic bacteria foods.  As an ignorant layman, I wonder if you know of any evidence that these work?  If someone's intestine has been cleared by anti-biotics, do these foods successfully deliver the right species to a pioneer territory where they will thrive and breed and establish a new eco-system?

Your podcasts are a gift.  Thank you for them.  I'd recommend TWIP to anyone trying to diet.

Yours

Martyn, Leeds

Denina writes:

Hi all,

in Twim #12 a nurse practitioner posted an interesting question about the human skin microbiome which received a trivia comment from Michael Schmidt, I believe. He mentioned that humans drop 2 million skin cells per hour. This is really amazing trivia information and I would like to read more about it and learn about the background of the study which estimated this number. Would you be able to provide a title and author for this research, so I could look it up?

Thanks!
Denina

Denina
Yale University

Jim writes:

TWIM 13 was outstanding; listened to it two times; saved it in my Best Podcasts folder
Is there not some way to harness the public as is being done in astronomy, genomics, proteomics and some music projects? Millions of us use all sorts of supplements and while it's a sloppy process, if folks with the technical expertise can tell us intelligent lab rats what to do and how to evaluate what we use, or what to send in (ten million fecal samples comes to mind!), it might be Generic Viagra an inexpensive post-doc project that some outfit like the American Dairy Association, or American Dairy Goat Association, would help fund.  Despite my lay status, old age and lack of equipment it occurs to me that I am a large bioprocessing complex with multiple sensors, access to a wide variety of reagents and variable environmental conditions, and a computer connected to the internet.  I'm not ready to shell out $500 to sequence my genome, but have no problem with $10 worth of drugstore items.  Or, what if a million of us kicked in $10 each to fund such a project!  If not now, perhaps shortly a microarray or cellphone attachment will make such a project more feasible.  People have always been a biological resource, but equipment and boundaries are shifting so that great new ways of using all this should be occurring.  Somebody somewhere must be starting the bio-equivalent of Radioshack!  Perhaps you know of projects like this and if so, I would like to hear about them.  Thanks.

Keeping all that in mind I submit to you a link to a guy who made his own microscope incubator, with pictures, at : http://cheapassscience.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/the-diy-microscope-incubator-is-complete/ And that link has links to similar projects in the DIY area.

Your topics, your collaborator backgrounds and expertise, your collaboration in the process are amazing to hear, incredibly instructive and powerful.  Just because the Fox Network and Rush Limbaugh haven't recognized you is such a blessing, too, but I do hope you continue anyway!  I'm some sort of geek cause I live for this stuff.

Regards,

Jim
Smithfield, VA

TWiM 14 Letters

Michael writes:
(in response to question on TWiM #9 - specimens for undergrad lab)

I am a student that is just starting the 2 year professional phase of my Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) degree. And from all I know, when possible, many of the samples that the program uses are actually from 2 major local hospitals. However this is not just any undergrad course, some of the lectures can be taken by students in the Molecular & Microbiology major, but the labs are restricted to only MLS majors.

By the way, I love TWiM! I started listening to TWiV in early 2010, I enjoy it even more that I can listen to you at 2x speed, and therefore I get 2x the info!

One suggestion for a future topic: it would be great for you all to discuss how the advances in technology will be able to change the time and types of medical testing. (such as PCR, flow cytometry, and maybe even microarrays, to name a few)

Thank you again!
~Michael

John writes:

Dear TWIMers,

I loved the pick of the week of the Life at Low Reynolds Numbers.  I originally read this a few years back, and it was recommended alongside a couple other papers that I thought would make good listener picks of the week.  Both papers are about scaling in biology, and why (for example) ants can't grow to be as big as a dog.

First, "On Being the Right Size" by Haldane:  http://irl.cs.ucla.edu/papers/right-size.html

Second, "The Biology of B Movie Monsters," by Michael LaBarbera: http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/2/21701757/

Thanks again for your wonderful podcasts!

--John

Rufus writes:

The aside regarding what it would be like to swim in corn syrup is actually a rather old question (Huygens).  Drag certainly goes up with viscosity, but viscous drag may not be the speed limiting factor for human swimmers  in water and propulsion efficiency may go up with viscosity over some range (say ethanol to water to pudding).

A chemical engineer decided to test it for humans in a liquid with double the viscosity of water using one of those small old four lane swimming pools:.  With double the viscosity, swimmers could maintain the same times!   http://blog.everydayscientist.com/?p=129.  http://it.umn.edu/news/inventing/2004_Winter/goingforthegoo.html.  Note in another secondary reference to the paper, though they could maintain the same speed,  athletes reported more fatigue from the viscous swims.

REFERENCE: "Will Humans Swim Faster or Slower in Syrup?" American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, Brian Gettelfinger and E. L. Cussler, vol. 50, no. 11, October 2004, pp. 2646-7.

I suppose our intuitions are even more suspect when looking at navigation and propulsion at the micro and nano scales.

Rufus
SW Engineer

Portland, OR

Dave writes:

I found the discussion of the two papers in TWiM #11 fascinating because you addressed the incredible complexity of biological systems and the immense difficulty of testing hypotheses of a simple cause and effect nature.  As a person with 50 years of experience in mathematical modeling and statistics, I have a great appreciation of just how difficult it must be to design valid experiments and models to test almost any biological hypothesis.

However, your discussion of entropy in response to a letter from one of your listeners seemed to wander off in strange directions.  I think the problem started with the letter writer misstating a key component of the second (not third as stated in the letter) law of thermodynamics.  Entropy or disorder increases "in a closed system", not in "any system" as the letter writer stated.  The biological examples he named that appear to counter this law were open systems.  These biological entities are obviously exchanging energy and matter with the greater universe.  This is what drives self-assembly and other apparent violations of the second law of thermodynamics.  I'm sure that any closed biological system that one could create would obviously "run downhill" from an entropy standpoint.

Thanks to you and your other panel members for the great podcasts.  Listening to TWiM, TWiV and TWiP is a highpoint of my week.

Dave

TWiM 13 Letters

Robin writes:

As a retired diagnostic radiologist, I have recently discovered twiv, twip, & twim, I greatly enjoy your discussions.

Don’t know how many students and graduate students who listen are aware of Layhe Bread, but all should be. The bread is better tasting than any bakery bread, incredible easy to make, doesn’t require a bread machine, and costs less than $0.50 a loaf. Because the dough doesn’t require kneading, my super-duper Zojirushi bread machine sits unused.

For most breads, the most expensive ingredient is the yeast, but Layhe Bread requires only a half teaspoon of yeast per loaf. The only other ingredients are 4 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Nothing else!

Believe it or not, the secret to making perfect loaves of bread every time is neglect and patience. Unlike other bread recipes, anaerobic bacteria begin working on the dough, imparting a slightly sour-dough flavor to the bread. The yeast are activated later. Don’t have clue what specific bacteria are involved. If one were asked to describe Layhe Bread in one sentence a good description would be cave-man bread.

It seems that there are many modifications and further simplifications of the Layhe technique. One of my own simplifications was doing away with wrapping the dough in a towel.

At any rate, Layhe is a baker who has a recipe book on how to make his bread. It would be probably a worthwhile investment for a group of students to go together to buy and to share one of his books.

Warm regards,

Robin

Suzanne writes:

Very interesting podcast! I loved the last one, too. I re-started the last one 5 times when I realized I was being too distracted by kids and life to pay close enough attention. It took me all week to find a quiet enough time to listen but I didn't give up.

When my oldest daughter was a baby and I was reading everything parent related I could find I ran across several articles mentioning that western countries tended to deal more with colic than some other societies. Mostly they tended to come to the conclusion that this was caused by parenting styles. I wondered at the time if there was a connection between colic and our microbe populations. I'd bet that if someone could show that inoculation with H pylori was correlated with a decrease in colic you'd have parents begging for a way to give it to their infants :-)

Thanks for the podcasts!

Suzanne

Raihan writes:

Hey guys, Imma avid listener to TWIV, TWIP and TWIM, and i would suggest a possible collaboration with another podcast i subscribe to: Star Talk Radio.

Its an astrophysics podcast hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. The topics covered in this podcast are vast but they often touch on the topic of life on other planets. They have suggested that if we do find life in the planets nearby, it'll most probably be microbial life.

That's when i thought of you guys! and i thought you guys are the experts on this and could possibly conjure up a magical conversation that will excite and stimulate biologists and astrophysicists alike. I know the tag line of your show is "the podcast that explores unseen life on EARTH' but i'm sure your listeners wouldn't mind an intergalactic detour.

I'm also gonna write a similar email to Star Talk Radio to tell them of your awesome podcast and lets all hope to benefit from a possible love child between biology and astrophysics.

Just a thought, keep up the amazing work

Raihan

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