Nels and Vincent consider evidence that a single amino acid change in the TKTL1 gene might have led to greater neurogenesis in the frontal cortex of modern humans compared with Neanderthals.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks

NelsUnusual display of elements
VincentSykdomspulsen and summary

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Nels and Vincent discuss how duplication of a gene encoding a transcription factor led to evolution of a novel cell type in the slime mold Dictyostelium.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:15:16

NelsDall-E artificial intelligence meets art
VincentJohn Bonner’s slime mold movies

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Louise Moncla joins Nels and Vincent to review her use of genomics to understand emergence, evolution, and transmission of respiratory viruses including influenza virus H5N1, mumps virus, and SARS-CoV-2.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Louise Moncla

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Science Picks 1:10:40

NelsJWST Images
Vincent3rd International Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats and Program

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Nels and Vincent discuss an analysis of the drivers of evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during chronic infections, indicating that a tradeoff exists between antibody evasion and fitness.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:32:04

NelsNASA scientists say images from the Webb telescope nearly brought them to tears
VincentFDA: Don’t rush a move to change the Covid-19 vaccine composition

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Nels and Vincent provide an update on cases of monkeypox, and summarize a biochemical view of three changes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may balance positive and negative selection.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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  • ECDC monkeypox risk assessment (pdf) 8:44
  • Monkeypox virus genomes (Nextstrain) 17:30
  • Discussion of monkeypox virus genome sequencing (virological.org) 25:18
  • Balancing positive and negative selection in spike protein (Biochem) 47:11
  • Time stamps by Jolene. Thanks!

Science Picks 1:11:11

NelsScience on the Side podcast by Morgan Nelson and Ty Chiaro 
VincentRichard Ernst Lecture 2022

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Alex joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his work which demonstrates that somatic mutation rates scale with lifespan in mammals.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Alex Cagan

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Science Picks 1:12:34

AlexPaper.app
NelsFifty years since Lewontin’s apportionment of human diversity
VincentAn Exceptional Village

Listener Pick

Martha Plagues Upon the Earth by Kyle Harper

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Nels and Vincent describe how a single amino acid change can allow E. coli to replace the essential gut symbiont of the stinkbug Plautia stali.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:13:41

NelsInequality in science and the case for a new agenda
VincentFoundations of Virology by Fred Murphy

Listener Pick

SamSaturday Morning Breakfast – Evolutionist

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Nels and Vincent review isolation of SARS-CoV-2-like viruses from bats in Laos that can replicate in human cells.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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  • SARS-CoV-2 like viruses in bats in Laos (Nature) 13:37
  • Vampire vax (TWiV 809) 14:51
  • Time stamps by Jolene. Thanks!

Science Picks 1:30:30

NelsErich Jarvis on scientists and public engagement
VincentPolio type 1 in Africa

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Joe Graves joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his career in evolutionary biology and his recent book that answers questions about race and racism.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Joe Graves

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Science Picks 1:14:43

Nels Where is Webb?
VincentBlack Microbiologists Association
JoeBiology versus bias

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Nels and Vincent review three aspects of SARS-CoV-2: phylogenetics of Omicron, a two-step fitness selection for SARS-CoV-2 variants, and putative RNA insertions from host genomes.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Links for this episode

Science Picks 1:23:33

Nels Plant virus satellite accelerates wing formation in insect
VincentA plant virus that switched to vertebrates

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