Neeraj writes:

Hi Immunomodulators,

      It’s been a while since I wrote in, but thanks for the wonderful discussion on the uniquely structured Lamprey and Hagfish antibodies. In relation to this I had thoroughly enjoyed the Twiv-467 (Steph already put it as part of her pick of the week) and it had intrigued me towards the notion, that maybe we know where the TLRs evidently came from and why some of them have such high specificity for microbial ligands (TLR4 for LPS etc..).

But then listening to the discussion on the current Immune episode completely blew my mind away. To be separated by millions of years and to still recognize the same antigenic epitopes on a viral protein with high specificity is bizarrely amazing. This is why being is science is so Rewarding and gratifying. At times, one gets to make factual discoveries that totally make you realize that even after years of toiling, you know so little . Personally for me, that’s the single biggest driver to be in research. A chance to work on exciting projects and discovering the unknown. Thus, I just wanted to thank you for your efforts in informing the broader audience and specially Prof. Racaniello, whenever you feel disgruntled about having to manage the organizing of these podcasts, please keep in mind that listeners like me are better informed due to your tireless efforts. I have learned a huge deal by listening to the TWiX series of podcasts and now Immune. So please continue the great work and when motivation runs low and frustration is the only emotion, remember the lines from Robert Frost”

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep…..”

Although I do hope you don’t discount your sleep too much for the sake of podcasting but I do hope that you and your esteemed team members will continue to enrich the common man with the pearls of wisdom that are discussed on these podcasts for many more years to come!

Best Wishes,



Neeraj Kapoor, Ph.D.

Scientist II at SutroVax, Inc.

Mike writes:

Hi folks

I want to say I agree with the person who suggested you start your podcast with a summary of what you did that day at work. Sounds like a good idea. For those of us (speaking for myself) who haven’t spent a whole lot of time in a lab or it has been maaany years, I find it interesting to hear what people are doing  and how they are using the new technologies out there.

Thanks for a great show,

Mike in Oregon

Bob writes:

No sooner had I finished listening to Immune #9 then I ran across notice of newly published research on type 1 diabetes (T1D) involving BCG treatment:

The panel’s discussion of the first letter read on the podcast, that of Steve Luton, asking about the efficacy of BCG vaccination, was immensely helpful in understanding this paper!

I’m very interested in the subject of T1D as my eldest daughter suffers from this.

Thanks for an informative podcast,


Alberto writes:

Hello Twimmunocytes,

My name is Alberto, I am a postdoc studying the human immune system in type 1 diabetes at the University of Pennsylvania. In my graduate work I used mouse models to understand how T cells fight tumors. I became inspired by your discussion of lamprey immunology to write and hear your opinion about recent papers that compared specific pathogen free (SPF) mice with feral mice caught in the wild, or mice bred in pet shops.

(here links to some of the papers, including one where I am co-author (full disclosure!)

To make a long story short, the immune system of mice with a diverse history of microbial interactions is very different from the immune system of SPF mice, which are usually shielded from these interactions in the clean laboratory environment. The frequency, phenotype and function of almost every type of leukocyte (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, NK cells, B cells, Macrophages) is different in “dirty” mice compared to “clean” mice. This difference is not due to divergent genetic backgrounds because it can be recapitulated in B6 mice if they are exposed to “dirty” mice in co-housing experiments. Having a more “mature” immune system makes can make these mice good models of how the adult human immune system operates when faced with challenges such as infections, immunizations, autoimmunity and immunotherapies. However, there are immense practical barriers to implementing “dirty” mice as a widespread model for immunological research.

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on the subject. I’m a long time listener of TWiV and TWiP and was very happy when Immune started. You are doing a fantastic job!


Alberto S. Japp