Suellen writes:

This popped up in my newsfeed yesterday, and I wanted to send it to my TWIM microbe experts for review. I have no idea how well the actual science supports the claim that P. gingivalis causes Alzheimer’s, and that drugs that suppress or kill this bacteria can improve the cognitive functioning of Alzheimer’s patients.

I’m always a skeptic, but I lack the education to be able to dive into the actual data, so I thought I’d pass it along to my panel of experts. Might be a subject for a snippet? Or at least a lesson in how to tell the difference between media hype and verifiable scientific results. As you guys are always saying, “Mice lie, and monkeys exaggerate.”

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

CIndy writes:

Thank you for making such an interesting podcast series! I’m a second year microbiology student and love hearing about the different discoveries being made in the world that we don’t really talk about in first and second year courses! Keep up the great work!

Julie writes:

Hi TWIM team!

I’m a regular listener and am teaching Microbiology at a community college for the first time this semester. I enjoy your pod cast and appreciate your perspectives on microbe news. Hope to win the book! Thanks!

Wouter writes:

Dear TWIM,

Thank you for making your great podcast! While I did my Master’s degree in Neuroscience I switched to the microbiology field for my PhD almost a year ago. The podcast helps me to gain more overall knowledge about the field and increase my enthusiasm even more!

Keep up the excellent work!

Joshua writes:

Dearest TWIMsters,

I’ve been listening to TWIM, TWIP and TWIV for a few years now & I must really thank you all for your auditory support while I study towards by biomed degree at De Montfort University, England.

I am currently finishing my thesis on isolation and characterisation of zoonotic protozoa in Leicester using real-time PCR. Nothing overly glamorous, but an excellent experience nonetheless. Are there any broad recommendations you could conjure as to potential Masters proposals that amalgamate Crypto, Cyclo or free-living amoeba and genetics/genomics?

Kind regards,


P.S. As a Briton, I love the vital weather segment. Currently enduring between 5-8C, which is borderline intolerable for us grumpy Brits.

Chelsea writes:

I’m listening to this episode of TWiM as I prepare Kirby-Bauer plates for the microbiology lab I’m teaching this week!  Excellent episode – I can’t wait to relay the information in lecture.

Thanks for the great podcast!


Chelsea Lloyd, Ph.D.

Instructor of Microbiology

Department of Natural Sciences

Parkland College

Champaign, IL

Sam writes:

Greetings TWiM team! I wanted to put my hat in the ring for the Bugs as Drugs book. I really appreciate all the work you guys put into making this podcast. Coming from a chemistry background, I’ve been helped immensely by the whole TWiX family of podcasts as I try to broaden my understanding of life sciences.

Keep up the great work!

Sam Matthews

J.D. Candidate 2019

Columbia Law School

Christopher writes:

Thanks for being teachers on the web!

I have written before! But I am a PhD student at Indiana university. I study mass spectrometry as a means to study biology. That work focuses on proteomics and new work on glycoproteomics (identifying both the peptide and the glycan). I also use mass spectrometry to study native protein structure via native buffers and nanoelectrospray emitters.

Anyway— I love to use Twix to learn something new every week! Especially the recent podcasts on exosomes! Really interesting vesicle!

In TWIM 194, are the mini cells similar to apoptotic bodies? Or a bacterial exosome? May be a silly question, but wondering!

Thanks and keep in twixing!

Krysta writes:

Hi TWIMmers,

My name is Krysta, I’m a recent PhD graduate currently working as an adjunct professor at the local community college here in Tucson, AZ. I’m hoping to land a full-time teaching position in the next couple of years. I’ve been listening to TWIM and TWIV ever since my friend Heather, a postdoc at that time, introduced me to them several years ago. I have to say, TWIM is my favorite. I think it’s partially that the episodes are about as long as my attention span can handle, and partially that I just like bacteria better than viruses (sorry Dr. Racaniello). I’m hoping to get the “Bugs as Drugs” book, since my PhD work focused on how the gut microbiota influences the immune system, both in autoimmunity and infections, so I’m really interested in how microbes can be used as tools to manage our health. I also just realized that you have an “Immune” podcast now, which makes me really excited, since my first love is immunology. I’m going to go subscribe and start listening right now!

Thanks for all you do,


Colin writes:

Just thought I’d send in an email to enter my name for a run at that book. Been listening to TWiM for a bit ever since I got into podcasts a few years back and I find it to be a good way to keep up to date with interesting microbiology news and what not, in addition to reading various stories here or there. History is a lot easier to consume with podcasts and audiobooks, and its nice to have science in that format too when I work, cook/play games or drive.

As I’m working in probiotics I think the book will give me a deeper appreciation for some of the bugs I work with at my probiotics company. The recent story about L. reuteri and autism was one I found very interesting and I shared it around my workplace. Currently starting to gear up to potentially return to grad school in the next few years and someday maybe take a looksie at predator bacteria in a scientific research context. In particular Myxococcus xanthus is a particular favorite bacteria of mine because weird is good in microbiology and when it comes to weird Myxos are king. Thanks!


P.S.-I’ve also attached an image or two I took of Myxoccous xanthus attacking contaminant colonies that fell onto a plate in one of my labs-and after selecting for the bacteria near the colonies my lab partner and I managed to turn our myxos from sluggish predators into winners on a bacterial race track. Thought it might be fun to look at.

Rebecca writes:

Hi TWiM,

I am a PhD student in robotics at the University of Pennsylvania, and TWiM is my favorite podcast. It is intriguing and insigjtgul to hear about all the cutting edge microbiology research analyzed by your bright minds. I think it really makes microbiology more accessible to people with an interest but not directly in the field. This kind of cross-field pollination is so important. I hope to perhaps to do some work with microbiology and robots some day (open to ideas, maybe Robot bugs as drugs!). I only wish we had something as good as TWiM for robotics. Keep making awesome podcasts!

Camilla writes:

Dear TWiM,


On Feb 15, you so very kindly presented and discussed our work “Minicells as a garbage disposal in Escherichia coli”. While listening to the pod cast, the book “Bugs as Drugs” was introduced and it was said that you have one book to give out to someone who emails you. So I am emailing you, hoping to be that one person


Camilla Rang

(Scientist at UCSD)

Patrick writes:

Hello TWIM team!

I would love a copy of this book!  I’m a graduate student at Baylor (in Waco, not Baylor College of Medicine) and I’m hoping to write my dissertation on this exact topic. I’ve actually followed Dr. Britton’s work quite a bit and was excited to hear about the recent paper from his lab on the show. I’ve considered reaching out to him to ask about his work, though admittedly I’ve been putting it off until I have a bit more research accomplished and something to talk about. All this is to say that this book sounds great, so if I don’t win a copy you can bet Amazon will be my next stop!

I have also been meaning to write to you to recommend a fun book “Did you just eat that?” where a couple of researchers design various microbiological experiments to test things like the 5 second rule and the effectiveness of double-dipping in transmitting bacteria. I know listener picks are for TWIV, but I couldn’t resist passing this along. It’s an entertaining read that does a good job of relating microbiological lab techniques to the general public.

Thank you,


Victor writes:

Not a huge fan of the term ‘bugs’, but a huge fan of free books.

Polly writes:

Hi all,

I wanted to enter the giveaway contest if it’s not too late to win the Bugs as Drugs book. This book sounds fascinating and an great read! I am a community college professor in the greater Los Angeles area and I’m always looking for new information to share with my microbiology students. I think the work you all do on the podcast is fantastic! I just atarted listening recently and plan to share certain episodes with my students. Keep up the great work and thanks for educating the masses!



Ryan writes:

Hello from Atlanta!

It’s been a rainy week hovering around 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Celsius. I am a non-traditional, career changer working towards medical school matriculation in the near future. As a newer listener it’s been great to have TWiM and TWiV to keep me up to date on interesting new research on science and medicine without taking too much time to read through countless publications. Hearing an episode between work, school, and family time is just what I need to keep me motivated in my path.

Thanks for the great content!

Grant writes:


I’m a new listener to the podcast. It’s a really great listen. I’m a biochemist that works a lot with bacteria both as a tool and from a cell biology perspective. Thanks for making such a high quality show.



Postdoc at Stockholm University

Erika writes:

Hey TWiM Team!

I wanted to enter for the book but also thank you for the podcast! Your discussions really help me understand new research, especially since I am fairly new to microbiology. I reentered school last May with the hopes of getting into a master’s microbiology program… since I have a bachelor’s in English. This book would be really helpful to my studies and future research interests!

Keep up the great work!


Erin-Claire writes:

Dear TWiM Team,

I didn’t want to send a blank E-mail to enter for winning the book, but I couldn’t think of anything microbiology related to share, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to express how thankful I am for this set of podcasts. I have been listening to TWiM, TWiP, TWiV and Immune for the past few months and I appreciate all the effort that goes into them. I love how you interact with listeners and read all of their suggestions and picks and of course offer these giveaways.

Best wishes to you all,


Sofia writes:

greetings from Greece!

yes, I’d love this book. speaking of bugs, I”d like to recommend an older but quite informative book for the lay reader: “how microbes rule the world” by Bernard Dixon. Might be of interest to your students in your institutions as well.

thanks for all you do



Edgar writes:

Hello TWiM Hosts,

Thank you for providing this podcast. It has sparked my interest regarding the microbial world and has helped guide me to pursue my major. Your collective dedication of providing the world with knowledge is truly awesome.

Best wishes,


Sara writes:

Hi all!

I’d like to enter the book contest with this short and sweet email. Unfortunately if I win I’ll be bothering you immensely with a European delivery – I’d like to send it to either my ScienceGrrls in Glasgow or one of the schools I used to partner there, for use as a science communication resource. Fingers crossed!

Keep up the great work all, I love all the TWiX pods!


Sara (currently in Christchurch, NZ)

Brianne writes:

Hello Vincent and Colleagues,

   I would love to receive this book. it is part of the reason I went into microbiology. I was introduced to the TWiV podcast first by my virology teacher at the University of Victoria in BC Canada. Thank you for keeping science information so accessible for not only university student but the general population. We are currently experiencing measle outbreaks just across the water in Vancouver. I hope science comes back to the forefront of this and parents start vaccinating their kids again before it reaches any further. From cold Victoria at 1°C,


Lauren writes:

Hello, TWIM

If I’m lucky enough to win the Bugs as Drugs book, I wouldn’t mind if Eilo Borrowed it, Since I live in San Diego. I would just want it back before the summer. That’s if Elio doesn’t win it himself.

Here are some random questions: Is there link between chronic ear infections and learning disabilities? What kinds of infections lead to learning disabilities that you guy/galz know of?

Thank you for everybody’s time and effort Being contributed to TWIM.

Trinity writes:

Hello TWIM team,

I am extremely interested in receiving a copy of Bugs as Drugs. I am an adjunct professor at the local junior college teaching first year nursing students. My background is in petroleum microbiology, and this book will be a great addition to my teaching tools. I think it will give me many new topics to discuss with my classes. The TWIM podcast has helped me stay engaged and has given me new and interesting current topics to talk about with my students and colleagues.

Thank you for the consideration.

William writes:

My name Is William Castagna I am first year Biochemistry student at University of California Santa Barbara.

Kevin writes:

Hey TWiM Team,

I hope this isn’t too late, I’ve been very behind on podcasts lately. Just wanted to say I love hearing you guys talk about papers. I’m currently a cytotechnologist, but have always loved microbiology. I’m hoping to go back to school, and this book would be right up my alley. I’m very interested in phages as possible solution to antibiotic resistance, as well as some of the other potential therapies microbes could offer. Keep up the great show.

Thank you,


David writes:

Hello TWIM,

Hope all is well. I’m in Alexandria, Virginia and I’m a post-baccalaureate student in Computer Science at George Mason University. I did earn my bachelor degree in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. Admittedly, I chose the major because I wanted to learn about Immunology and it was my favorite subject. Now, I’m wanting to learn how to use machine learning with computer vision and apply that to biology. I’m not sure how I’ll get there. Have to work on the fundamentals of computer science and mathematics first before I can do the interesting stuff.