John writes:

Drs. TWiV:

Bravo that you’re about to do one aimed @ RFKjr et ux.   Altho I don’t expect that you’re going to debate him, you’ve probably heard this one before, but evolutionary biologists like to say that debating creationists is like playing chess with pigeons:   They knock all the pieces over, shit all over the board, and then fly off declaring victory.   Still, it needs to be done and look fwd to it!

Otherwise, a pretty nice day today in Greater Braddock, where it got up to 29C after the passing of the monsoon (that largely missed us) since it took the humidity with it).  

Also re. meteorology, you’ve probably gotten this multiple times already since it was on NPR this morning, about the planet where it rains molten titanium 



Kim writes:

Greetings TWiX crew,

I have been a huge fan of all the TWiX podcasts since 2015 when I was finishing high school and wanted to learn more about microbiology. You all have been a huge inspiration to me and kindled a deep passion in all things virology and microbiology. 

Fan mailing aside, since in TWiV 1005 you discussed the mirusviruses as potential missing link between two virus realms, I was thinking that you guys may be interested in discussing one similar such story. Namely, the discovery of Flavobacterium-infecting Lipid-containing Phage (FLiP), a potential missing link in the evolution of ssDNA and dsDNA viruses.

Although this paper came out before the new megataxonomy of viruses was properly established, FLiP is now a member of the realm Varidnaviria (aka PRD1-adenovirus lineage) which previously only consisted of dsDNA viruses.

A recent paper also discovered an ssDNA lipid-containing temperate phage with the same properties of FLiP. What was interesting about this in my opinion was that it showed that this phage type is probably very common and found around the world.

Keep up the good work making hard science accessible and inspiring the next generation of science enthusiasts.

Kind regards,