Jerry writes:

A very pleasant 55F/13C in the San Francisco bay area this evening.

I have comments for both Dickson and Rich’s picks


I was introduced in college to Peter Schickele. I had been dragged to the Pittsburgh Symphony by my mom growing up when my dad didn’t want to go. Not knowing what a Hardart was (assuming it was some instrument I had never heard of,) I just kept quiet. Juxtaposition this with memories as a child visiting my aunt in NYC and going to the automat. I never knew the name of the place, it was just the automat. You put together these for a great laugh. Thank you for bringing back these memories.

Rich on food and genetics:

I have read a few papers on the importance of fire for our evolution. You are focused on meat, but I look more at veggies/grains/nuts, which were a larger part of evolutionary diets. One handy thing is to measure caloric bioavailability by glycemic index. more info than you could ever want around non-meat things in

For meat:

Finally, remember that you can cook chemically as well as with heat (think ceviche), which is really useful for things like acorns. Apparently, my wife gets more out of her well done steak than my juicy, medium rare one. I guess she is evolutionarily more advanced.

Bon appetit


Tim writes:

Hi team TWiV,

thanks for another interesting episode of the podcast. 

In regard to the discussion on HPV vaccination to prevent cervical carcinoma (TWiV 1083), my ears pricked up when Rich in his introduction mentioned that papillomavirus were species-specific and did not infect other host species. As a veterinary pathologist, I often come across cross-species papillomavirus infections as part of my diagnostic practice. 

The most common example is in horses – where bovine papillomavirus 1&2 infects equine skin (likely transmitted by biting flies – we see the tumours most often around the external genitalia and around the face) and causes fibroblastic tumours (‘sarcoids’) rather than tumours of the epithelium. A recent review: Chambers G, Ellsmore VA, O’Brien PM, et al. Association of bovine papillomavirus with the equine sarcoid. J Gen Virol. 2003;84(Pt 5):1055-1062.

We also occasionally see a much rarer but histologically very similar tumour of fibroblasts in cats (‘feline sarcoid’). This is most likely caused by another bovine papillomavirus BPV-14 (Munday JS, Thomson N, Dunowska M, Knight CG, Laurie RE, Hills S. Genomic characterisation of the feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus and proposed classification as Bos taurus papillomavirus type 14 (Vet Microbiol. 2015;177(3-4):289-295). 

With all best regards, your special veterinary pathology correspondent,




Pathologicus Ltd.

Lorie writes:

Hi to our dear Microbe.TV family,

Can’t tell you how much your work has enriched our lives.

Coincidentally, The Guardian published the following article shortly after we watched this episode.  Here is the links to that article and the research paper referenced. Thought Rich might find them interesting in view of his pick this week.

Thank you for all your work and the joy you bring to it.

Warmest regards,


Louise writes:

Dear Panel,

I just watched this video on YouTube, from a fairly reputable provider of accurate history. 

It was titled as:

“The Mystery Of The Village That Beat The Black Death | Riddle Of The Plague Survivors | Chronicle”

It is obviously dated, cue the dramatic transitional and background music; however, I truly found it weirdly charming as it started with geneticists and immunologists studying plague survival and then took an abrupt turn into the research into the genetic markers that gave protection against HIV infection or translation into AIDS.

As a registered nurse who has vaccinated thousands against covid and influenza since 2021, and one who knows that the science depicted in this time capsule of virology research benefited us during the covid pandemic: I recommend this video to you and would love to hear your thoughts.

“No one is safe until everyone is safe.”



Pierre writes:

Hi Twivvers!

I salute your efforts to educate the public and fight off misinformation. Keep up the good work!

Here’s another example of knowledgeable people fighting the same battle. Funny stuff; incredible what garbage people can post on TikTok to get “views”.

Alan will appreciate this, although he probably has already seen some of Kelsey’s (747 pilot) videos.

Shout out to Angela from a ski patroller buddy of Michelangelo when he was still in Ottawa.

Best Regards,


Brandon writes:

Hello Twiv superstars and greetings from the Philly suburbs where it is currently 48 f 8.8889 c and 282.039 k. I was just watching a youtube video from a channel called ‘ProfessorDaveExplains” that I thought you would enjoy. The link I attached is a video Titled “science is not dogma,You’re just stupid”. In it he debunks a video that is nothing more than a collection of all the worst anti-science B.S you will find on the internet.  I think you will also be interested in his ongoing conflict with Dr. James Tour. It’s as if someone took everything wrong with science deniers and put it all into one “credible” source. The majority of his content is just explanations of scientific “stuff” in a way everyone can understand. I hope you enjoy. 


   Professor Dave explains