Sandra writes:

Home sick today and watching (via internet) the NAS symposium on GOF. Caught part of Yoshihiro Kawaoka’s presentation and was VERY impressed – the data cited, his logical reasoning and how succinct he was on such a complex topic!. He was followed by David Relman whose arguments seemed (to this layperson) very weak.

One Relman comment really bothered me – approximate quote: “Risk exists today and benefits must exist today, not in the future.” He later distinguished between near future and indeterminate time in the future, but that still bothered me. Until discovering TWiV I never understood how critical basic research can be.

Jacob writes:

Thought Alan might enjoy this one, either as a pick of the week or a discussion paper.
TLDR: “Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Improving the accuracy of academic press releases could represent a key opportunity for reducing misleading health related news”.

Molecular Biologist.
Sydney, Australia.

Peter writes:

Dear esteemed Twix-crew(s), dear Vincent,

I found the attached quartet-game (photo one, two, three, four, five) in the Museum for Natural History in Vienna/Austria (

As you might know, a quartet consists of a series of -always 4- thematically connected playcards, in this case diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites (!!!). The infos on the 32 cards are perfect for learning more about plagues and their causes while having fun by playing it with friends and/or the family.
E.g. you might say loudly “my virus has a size of 0,03 µm” (Polio) and with the agreement preliminarily made such as “the player with the smallest virus wins” you´ll “beat”, let´s say, Poxviruses, because they have an average size of 0,35µm.

They really added all the latest threats that make you sick: HIV, Dengue, Influenza H5N1 and -for sure- Ebola, as well as good old Trichinella, Schistosoma, Salmonella typhi, Yersinia pestis…
We played several times in my Biology classes at the secondary school where I am a teacher – and everybody enjoyed it!

My best wishes to you for upcoming Christmas and a happy and healthy 2015 to you all,
keep up your excellent work,
greetings again from Wiesbaden, Germany


ps: one also can order the play directly at
of which I am not the owner 😉
psps: Vincent! Your pronounciation of “kurzgesagt” (TWIV 315) was absolutely delicious!

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