Nathan writes:

Vincent & Nels,

It’s a beautiful day for staying at home in sunny Chapel Hill with few if any clouds in the sky.  The temperature is 20oC (68oF).

Thank you for an excellent podcast and a particularly TWIEVO episode #53. As a dedicated TWIV listener, I learned of the Nextstrain website and the enjoyed video. Thank you for the clear explanation of the various views, radial, clock.  The mouse over to see the exact strain and its’ source. We live in an amazing time for molecular biology; at my laptop at home I can see a visualization of more than 3000 SarsCOV2 genomes; where each came from; and exactly how many mutations are in each strain. Wow.

Late in the show you mentioned evolution and music. In 2015 I tweeted about a great paper using extracted music, big data, and algorithms to agnostically map the evolution of rock music from 1960-1990. The paper is open access and my TWIEVO listener pick.  The data shows three stylistic revolutions, 1964 (expansion of soul and rock); 1983 (new wave, disco, and hardrock); and 1991 (rap and rock). Here is a link:  

Thanks for all you do.  Be safe and keep up the great work.


Chapel Hill, NC

Victor writes:

Hi Vincent and Nels,

thanks for your great podcast.

I have a question regarding your estimates of coronavirus mutation rate. You sort of downgraded that on the podcast (rightfully so, considering how media react to those). but while the gives an 24.75 subs/year for ncov, it also contains dataset for other viruses. So for flu they have 3.53e-3/site/year, which matches well with the literature I think. However, when comparing apples to apples it is 8e-4 for ncov, or roughly 4 times less the mutation rate of the influenza virus.

While this is definitely smaller, but still pretty much comparable, don’t you think?

thanks again for your great podcast, it’s an essential part of my ‘shelter in place’ routine these days,


Moscow, Russia

a student of Vincent online courses since 2014

RT writes:

What a pleasant conversation about the science of CoV-2 and beyond. The measured and knowledgeable voice of Dr. Elde through the welcome nudges of Vincent provides a welcome window into our current context and future challenge opportunities.

Thank you for this conversation that welcomes laypersons into it. You both are so well-spoken. Impressive!

Thank you, Nels, for your depth of knowledge, experience, and research in this important SCIENCE!