MicrobeTV is an independent podcast network for people who are interested in the life sciences. Our shows are about viruses, microbes, parasites, evolution, and even urban agriculture.

We are always looking for new science shows – by scientists. If you are interested in joining us, send a note to shows@microbe.tv.

Vincent Racaniello

MicrobeTV was founded in 2015 by Vincent Racaniello, a professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University. Vincent began his first podcast, This Week in Virology, in September 2008, together with Dickson Despommier, father of the Vertical Farm. Although Vincent viewed the creation of a science podcast as an experiment, he was surprised when people began to listen. Since then he has created five other podcasts, and you can find all of them here at MicrobeTV.

Photo by Chris Suspect

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40 comments on “About MicrobeTV

  1. Does twiv have an charitable org behind it? I looked at colmbia’s gift page and couldn’t find twiv or anything related.

    Also, if you had an org behind you you could register to have folks purchases donate towards twiv/twi*.
    https://org.amazon.com/ref=smi_ge_raas_org_org

    If there is a way to give charitably please add a link/info on the site.

    Is there a fear of potential conflict of interest if you take money from the wrong folks ala Kevin Folta?

    • Dan, thank you for asking. I’m planning to start a Patreon account to raise money for MicrobeTV – mainly so I can hire someone to help, and travel more to record remotely. The Amazon idea is great, I will look into it. I do have to be careful where I get money from – that’s why crowd sourcing is the safest bet.

      To be clear – I’m not trying to make money, only to be able to make more compelling content.

    • Justin Mar 19, 2016

      I absolutely would use the Amazon link; and I probably spend about $100 a month there so hopefully that adds up.

  2. Ken Rosenthal Jul 27, 2016

    Dear Dr. Vincent Racaniello
    As an immuno-virologist, I’ve long appreciated your ‘This Week in Virology’ podcasts. I know that from time to time your show visits and records from various research institutions. I’m based at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. McMaster has a relatively strong history in virology and I wonder if you might be interested in conducting a show from McMaster. I have no doubt that our students would find this interesting. How do you go about deciding where to record your podcasts and what is involved in getting you to visit us?
    Best regards
    Ken Rosenthal, Professor, Dept. Pathology & Mol. Med; Member, McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) & Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR)

    • profvrr Jun 20, 2017

      Thank you Ken! Would love to do a TWiV from McMaster. Reach out by email and we can arrange a visit.

  3. Michael Martin Nov 3, 2016

    Vincent: I have been listening to TWIV for the past year or so. I am a practicing pediatrician in Rochester, NY. A large part of my daily practice involves viruses, and I am so old, most of the information you present on TWIV was unknown and unimagined when I went to medical school. I am currently slogging through your 2 volume text, Virology, and listening regularly to the podcast. I must admit, a lot of the conversation goes over my head, but I hope it will fit eventually. Keep up the good work. I enjoy the conversational style and the obvious enthusiasm that you and your panel have for virology, and for life in general.

  4. bobby and ling Jun 18, 2017

    happy fathers day to one of the best observed father’s we have met.
    always good to all of his children and lings children too.
    (terry and luna) woof

    dear vinny,
    have a happy father’s day today.

    regards and remember to have a nice glass of something you like to reflect and celebrate you.
    you might be in the running for father of the year, not sure but sounds good anyway.

  5. Phillip Dec 18, 2017

    Hi Vincent,
    I just set up PayPal to donate $10/month to microbe.tv via your website (with some difficulty, please see below). After the election I decided even Public Radio news was toxic–at best ephemera easily forgotten and at worst a constant but unnecessary reminder of all that is worst about mankind. Whereas every single episode of every podcast on microbe.tv is exactly the opposite. I spend all the time I used to spend listening to news now listening to microbe.tv podcasts. I’m not exaggerating. I don’t listen to or read any news intentionally.

    Feel free to talk about politics as much as you want, by the way, it is literally the only discussion of that topic I hear these days.

    I just wanted to mention that the first two browsers I attempted this on, Firefox and Chrome, did not allow me to change the “$0.00” field on your contribute page. I finally got it to work on Internet Explorer. You might be missing out on some contributions there!
    Regards,
    Phillip SanMiguel

  6. David Jensen Dec 30, 2018

    Vincent,

    Can you add a paypal account to your donation options. I closed my Patreon account due to their behavior but would like to continue supporting your work.

  7. Samuel Lyons Feb 25, 2020

    First off I want to thank you and your team for delivering such an informative podcast. I spend a good bit of every year in SE Asia. Poor air quality persists throughout. Last year Chiangmai (Northern Thailand) experienced several days when the AQI exceeded 784. Farmers in surrounding mountains use the slash & burn method to clear land for cultivation. This occurs from late January through April every year. The smoke from the fires settles in Chiangmai. Thai researchers have conducted studies which show that children in the region have reduced lung capacity. Older persons are subject to upper respiratory distress. My concern is that environment might be ideal for virus propagation. Please comment

  8. ken parkyn Mar 6, 2020

    Sorry…not a professional in the field, but a regular avid listener.
    I only wish the subject was taught in my school days in the 50-60’s.

    I LOVE the closing theme music of TWIV podcasts,
    But it’s so short !
    We only get about 5 seconds of it.

    Is it a fully composed piece or just a closing snipett?

  9. I will publish my article in the journal avian flu talk in Russian with the permission of the site administrators. My very strong immunity can cure coronavirus

  10. Elizabeth Pinkhasov Mar 31, 2020

    I would be interested to hear your opinion about the following article:
    A century-old tuberculosis vaccine, bacillus Calmette-Guerin, or BCG vaccine, could protect health care workers from the coronavirus, according to a report.
    Read in New York Post: https://apple.news/AAwgm76v1S9-PpUILIoCZgA

  11. David Lawrance Apr 8, 2020

    Love TWIV. Thank you so much for doing this. Y

    ou mentioned successful vaccination against Covid using a vaccine patch in mice.

    You’ll recall John Adams having his family immunized against smallpox using infected scabs. That technique lead to many fatalities. But SARS-CoV-2, though it readily infects respiratory epithelium isn’t known to infect cornified skin. Though scarification may have been a terrible way to immunize against smallpox, I wonder about scarification using infectious Covid material. The amount of time it will take to scale up vaccine production for a mass immunization program will take months and months. But, there iplenty of infectious material. I realize it is a dumb idea, but I have no end of idle time on my hand now to come up with dumb ideas.

  12. Steve Myers MT(ASCP) Apr 16, 2020

    Dear Dr. Racaniello, I love the TWIV podcast and have been constant listener since mid 2019. I am a Director of a local clinical laboratory in a rural Hospital in Indiana where today it is 46 F and 8 C. On review of standard operating practices for handling Blood and Urine samples for SARS-CoV-2 in the lab CDC advised to only centrifuge these with rotor caps to prevent aerosols. I don’t remember what episode of TWIV it was but it was mentioned that there has been no detection of “infective” SARS-CoV-2 viron in Blood or Urine. Wondering what the TWIV team thought about this requirement. Thanks for all the insight the team provides to those on front lines making decisions for best possible outcomes. Staying plugged in for advice on the Serology tests coming on line and attempting to acquire the best fit, with minimal cross reaction to common Coronaviruses. Since the last TWIV Conronavirus HKU1 has been the conversation covering these kits again thanks for the heads up!!

  13. Catherine Apr 23, 2020

    I’ve just discovered your podcast, so apologies if this question has been asked before:

    We expect that through self-isolation that COVID-19 transmission will decrease – ideally until it is eliminated. Let’s say we do this perfectly and we don’t transmit any virus between now and the end of lockdown. Will common cold virus transmission (and transmission of other viruses) also cease?

  14. Shaila May 5, 2020

    “Scientists say a now-dominant strain of the coronavirus appears to be more contagious than original” From LA times
    “The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the U.S. and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.”
    Please talk about this .

  15. Susan spaulding May 14, 2020

    Thank you Vincent et al for your podcasts. Nothing better for my sanity in early March than to listen to your podcasts while handsewing a mask. Nowadays, I find myself only able to do the dishes and kitchen prep by listening to a podcast, so keep them up!

    I took microbiology back in pre-nursing in 1979 and got an “A.” I was told that only pre=med students got As in that course. By that time though I was a single parent.

    I told my son that if I hadn’t become a nurse, I would have liked to be a microbiologist. My son majored in micro and has been in biotech and is currently a process manager for primers, probes, DNA, etc. in California. So it all worked out.

    Came across TwIv because I became disabled by fibromyalgia pain and ME/CFS, hence David Tuller and then you.
    I’m trying to learn more biology and virology so I can better follow the technical parts of your podcasts and virology 101. I can follow the clinical, public health and infectious disease parts quite well.

    All the best from my kitchen and me.

  16. Longo Maurizio May 19, 2020

    Thanks a lot from your Podcast and transmission, my name is Maurizio Longo I’m a Surgeon from Padua Italy graduated in 1979 at the University of Padua and I had part of my training in England.
    I hold an M.D. passing your F.M.G.E.M.S. since1985.
    I’m very fond in your transmission since March when I began to follow you all.
    I wonder about the actual prevalence ov the Coronavirus-Sars-2 I Understand that you calculated that abaout in 3-4% and the same was in Italy since some day ago . Now new study in Italy are modyfing the prevalence about the 16 %. Is that right that the Herd immunity for this virus is about the 70%…. ?? Thanks since now for your answer. I’m looking forward to my retirements to come and visit one day the Columbia University and follow one of yours academic lesson. Sincerely Yours Longo Maurizio

  17. Hi Vincent I am a lay person who is enjoying listening to you and your guest discussing all things related to COVID-19 and other interesting topics. I recently came across an interview with Dr. Meryl Nass that I found insightful. Not sure if she has ever been a guest on your podcast but I would imagine her commentary and expertise can be helpful as part of your weekly discussions.

  18. Allen Honig Jun 17, 2020

    Hello Professor Vincent,

    What happened to Dr. Daniel Griffin’s weekly clinical updates?
    As an emergency physician I have missed him the last couple of Fridays.
    Hope he’s well
    Thanks,
    Allen Honig, MD

  19. Scott Jun 26, 2020

    Hello TWiV et al.

    I was forwarded this Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences paper from my mom who is a chemical engineer: Does Early Childhood Vaccination Protect Against COVID-19?
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmolb.2020.00120/full

    This paper uses the observation that children have milder COVID-19 to build a premise that the MMR vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2. As they state, they “hypothesize that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine could provide a broad neutralizing antibody against numbers of diseases, including COVID-19” basing this “on the 30 amino acid sequence homology between the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein (PDB: 6VSB) of both the measles virus fusion (F1) glycoprotein (PDB: 5YXW_B) and the rubella virus envelope (E1) glycoprotein (PDB: 4ADG_A).” In their in silico analysis, they found that a portion of the SARS-CoV-2 spike had similar amino acid sequence to two portions of the measles and rubella epitopes. The portion of the the spike they focus on is not in the RBD. Beyond the in silico work they do not provide any other experimental evidence to support their claim of cross-protection by MMR.

    I was unhappy with this paper. I felt like this study took an observation and made a completely wild claim. I am a postdoc immunologist, but humoral immunity is a bit outside my wheelhouse, and viruses are outside the range of my training. Is my frustration at this study valid or I am off the mark?

    I did reply to my mom’s email with a mostly reserved reply:
    “The MMR vaccine probably doesn’t protect anyone from COVID-19. However, the MMR vaccine does an incredibly good job at protecting against much more serious (in many cases life-threatening) diseases in children. This study relies on pretty weak correlational data to suggest that antibodies that may or may not be generated by the MMR vaccine recognize a part of the Spike protein on SARS-CoV-2. The Spike protein binds to a receptor on our cells (ACE2), which is necessary for the virus to enter cells. The part of the Spike protein they suggest that the MMR vaccine-generating antibodies might bind is not important for binding of Spike to ACE2. This portion of the Spike protein (assuming that the structure along with the sequence is similar) is probably not even exposed for antibodies to bind.”

    Was my response correct? Should it have been milder or harsher? Is there anything else I should have or could have included?

    Thanks,

    Scott
    Postdoc, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  20. Hi,

    Can Microbe TV be followed on LinkedIn?

    Thanks.

  21. Steve Jul 12, 2020

    Hi Twivs
    Here in the UK a slogan “clunk click every trip” was advertised to promote the wearing seat belts in our cars.
    A young boy’s observation recently on your show got me thinking, “arse holes spread aerosols”. Maybe such a slogan would show people the way with wearing a mask.?
    Regards
    Steve

  22. Neil Lattin Jul 12, 2020

    I’m a 2 month listener to your podcast, but I can say there is nothing I enjoy more while driving home daily than listening to you all. I am a family physician who is Medical Director of a nursing home in Cecil County, MD. We recently had a horrific outbreak of COVID-19 infection starting in April with about 80% of the residents contracting the illness and with 18 deaths. We are working and thinking hard how to prevent a repeat since we are now taking new residents, all of whom have tested negative and a 2nd bad outbreak could seriously jeopardize our continued viability. The issue of congregation of residents is huge and the solutions are not easy. We and I am sure other facilities cannot afford the huge expense that would be involved with building basically a doubling of our rooms so that they would all be private. So one of my nurses wondered whether there would be benefit to having all rooms have negative pressure, so that if an infection were to occur we could possibly control spread to other rooms. I might add that we followed every CDC recommendation regarding having all positive residents moved to a special COVID wing of the facility, everyone in the facility wears PPE always, and we will be testing all staff on a weekly basis for now and we had never been cited for any infection prevention deficiencies in the past. So, is there any benefit to having negative pressure rooms throughout the facility? I know nothing about this. The issue with nursing homes may have come up in the past, but I haven’t heard anything about on TWIF since I’ve been listening Thanks again for a terrific podcast.

  23. Susan Abe Jul 16, 2020

    Wow! I can’t believe that I’d never heard of you despite all my studies. I’ve already bookmarked your Amazon affiliate program and since we are still sheltering-in-place, we spend hundreds of dollars a month on the site.

  24. rick nemshick Jul 23, 2020

    interview with Fauci, who is about to throw out the first pitch in baseball! was outstanding.
    Looking for the old one, you mentioned from Fauci 7 years ago for an hour?

    could not seem to weave my way through website to it. HS math teacher age 66 who started writing about and talking to students about Covid before it was named in December 2019, and have been tracking the math of it.

    truly would appreciate help.

    thanks regardless,
    if they keep him off network, we find him.

    suggestion? sell tshirts “IN FAUCI WE TRUST” and make some money for research.

    please contact me. again thanks
    rick nemshick

  25. Great Show! I’m a Professional Engineer and a lot of the information goes past me (though I do have two reverse ELISA patents) but it is more informative than any other media I have found.

    You need to add some swag that says “All Models are Wrong, some are Useful”! Selling computer carry bags and backpacks would also be good (that’s what I would be more likely to buy as I have enough mugs and tee shirts).

    Thanks for your work,
    DC

  26. Lisa Gsbriel Jul 29, 2020

    $5 Million Competition for New Rapid COVID Test.
    This just showed up today on medscape!

    Here is something Dr Mina might be interested in checking out!
    Thanks for all you do with TWIX programs! I’ve been sending out those letters to my Congressman.

    Longtime listener,
    Lisa Ann Gabriel RNP
    San Diego, CA

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/934844

  27. Fred Q. Vroom, M.D. Jul 30, 2020

    Vincent, Brianne, Rich, Dickson, Alan, Daniel, Katy, Anthony and all of TWIV, you are a gift to humanity. I think you should push for a 10 minute $1-sputum test anybody could read. 10 teachers or workers could test 1,000 students or workers and daily have a virus free zone.
    I would say any test over 24 hours is useless and don’t bother. Cancel all the PCR tests as useless for finding fragments of non-infectious virus.
    I was an Associate Professor of Medicine in Neurology at the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1974, when I joined a Tallahassee group in private practice, long before Rich arrived. We have an Endowment supporting Education and Research made up of professors, doctors and healthcare workers who have helped 295 Ph.D. candidates with their research in neuroscience at Florida State University and the University of Florida to the tune of $500,000.
    I have a $1,000 contribution for TWIV if you have a 501-C-3 and their address.
    Stay well and keep up your outstanding work.
    Fred

  28. lewis cary Jul 30, 2020

    Great educational show.

    1. HTC cannot prevent sars2 entry to cells. Agree?
    2. HTC promotes Zn++ into cells.
    3. Zn++ inhibits sars2 replication.
    4. Is MEDCRAM 34 B.S?
    5. Are there any legit studies with 40mg/d Zn++ and 200mg/d HTC starting
    after 7 days or earlier after infection? Not symptoms.
    6. After 7 days of symptoms you need a steroid and HTC will probably not help.

    Respectfully,
    Lewis Cary
    old, retired, tired

  29. Al Aburto Jul 30, 2020

    This is my letter sent to my district representative and senators of California (revised letter originally from Charles):

    Dear [name];

    When it comes to our national response to SARS-COV-2, it is clear that we have a failed policy. If you disagree, please explain the graph at: https://flic.kr/p/2jo9bxq

    It is a comparison of how we are doing with respect to the rest of the G8 countries. The graph has been normalized for population differences. I truly believe that the results are indefensible, but if you disagree, please try to convince me.

    Looking forward it is obvious we need more testing, a lot more! I see that the FDA approved Quest’s COVID-19 test for ‘pooled’ samples just recently. That is a step in the right direction, but it is not nearly enough. We need Warp Speed/ACTIV to put money into very low cost and fast antigen testing that does not require a lot of training to administer. These low cost antigen tests just need to be good enough to catch those that are shedding infectious amounts of virus. The tests can be done daily, at home, in the work place, anywhere! As Dr. Fauci said during a recent interview (link below) about this exact topic, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. According to Dr. Michael Mina (an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard), testing often with fast turnaround is much more important than accuracy such as provided by a PCR test (links below).

    Bottom line, we need all of Congress to get involved in pushing/funding Warp Speed/ACTIV to develop SARS-COV-2 testing that can be performed by untrained or at the very most minimally trained personnel, without special equipment, with the test performed on saliva, with results in about 10 minutes and cost of about $1.00, paid by the government.

    This is not pie in the sky. We can do this and when we do, we can safely open businesses, schools and places of worship. We have very competent federal and university research labs that can take on a large part of the development that private enterprise may not want to do because they are profit oriented.

    We are at war with SARS-COV-2 and we must bring all our resources to bear on the virus. It is not acceptable to allow so many to die and for the economy to be destroyed when we can prevent it. We can stop the virus cold with daily testing and self-isolation if positive, with cost covered by the government.

    Respectfully Yours,

    [name],
    [city], [state]

    Dr. Fauci link (13 minute mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Vy6fgaBPE

    Dr. Mina links: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/opinion/coronavirus-tests.html and (all of it is really good, but if you are in a hurry skip to the 22 minute mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDj4Zyq3yOA

    A great 17 minute summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Sv_pS8MgQ&feature=youtu.be

    Dr. Daniel Griffin explains further, first 30 minutes: https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-645/

  30. Love your shows TWIV and Immune. I understand that there is some concern that antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients may have later cross reactivity but that is unlikely. I wonder about colostrum? Bovine or other types? I am a nutritionist/scientist and it just occurred to me as something that might be helpful (along with Vitamin D).
    Look forward to learning your thoughts.