TWiV 1: West Nile Virus

September 24, 2008

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Vincent and Dickson launch a new science podcast with a description of the emergence and spread of West Nile virus in the United States.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #1 (41.8 MB .mp3 file)

Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email

Links for this episode:

  • Buy “West Nile Story” by Dickson Despommier.
  • ProMed Mail. The global reporting system for outbreaks of emerging infectious disease.
  • PubMed. A service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 14 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950s.
  • West Nile page at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Great maps of where the virus has been found.
  • Episode transcript (download pdf)

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7 comments on “TWiV 1: West Nile Virus

  1. Kaalde Omar Jun 30, 2012

    Here is where it all started!! Thanks Vincent and Dickson

  2. tunie Jan 26, 2013

    alright 215 to go, you guys mind waiting till i catch-up! Good way to start…thanks for doing what u do…

  3. Hey guys, awesome podcast. I just discovered both TWIV and TWIP and I’ve become instantly addicted (I just now noticed you also have TWIM. Oh boy).

    I do have some questions about this first episode of TWIV though. I know that this episode is like 5 years old, but maybe you could shed some light on some of the questionable statements you guys made. I work at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and I recently shared some remarkable tidbits from TWIV #1 with a couple of ornithologists (one a curator here, the other a Ph.D. student at Cornell) that they took issue with, specifically that a) we’ve ‘lost 90% of our crows’ due to WNV infection (cursory research on my part found the following: ‘Local WNV transmission to American crows was so intense in the eastern United States that some local populations declined by almost 70%’ [Reed et. al. 2009,, and b) that when American crows are scavenging on some tasty roadkill they are actually limiting themselves to the stomach contents of the recently deceased (the grad student found youtube video that would seem to contradict that statement, but I don’t have the stomach to wade through videos of crows eating roadkill to go out and find it and post a link, sorry).

    Anyway, just thought I’d bring this stuff up before I forgot about it. I’ve only heard the 1st episode so maybe you even address these statements on later episodes. Boy, won’t my face be red (not really, though I will have wasted my time writing this prolix comment). Cool, thanks and keep up the good work.

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