TWiV 209: When the virus hits the fans

December 2, 2012

phage papercraftHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Kathy answer listener email about deformed wing virus, West Nile virus, FluMist, influenza in Canada, viruses and the tree of life, and more.

Click arrow to play | Download TWiV 209 (81 MB .mp3, 113 min)

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Links for this episode:

Weekly Science Picks

Dickson – Cassini web site and Mars reconnaissance orbiter
Alan – OneZoom Tree of Life
Kathy – Viral tumor suppressor structure (Cell)
Spot the Station

Listener Pick of the Week

Ricardo – Once upon a time: The possible story of viruses
JimEncode, myIDP, Experiment Reproduction podcasts
Mark – MoMath

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4 comments on “TWiV 209: When the virus hits the fans

  1. ZaphodHarkonnen Dec 5, 2012

    Only about 30 mins in but itching to comment on something Alan said towards the beginning around governments. :p

    First would be that none of us can really tell our reps what to do. In the end they are independent people with the idea they try to represent the views of their constituents. So you can influence and try to convince them via correspondence and talking but they’ll still vote how they want.

     Second is the view that somehow they represent the majority of their constituents. With the First Past the Post system as used in the US the winner does not need an absolute majority. For example if a position had three candidates then a candidate could win with as little as a third of the vote and that doesn’t even include people that don’t vote. Couple it with gerrymanded districts and it stops being a truly representative system.

    For disclosure I’m a citizen and resident of NZ and we got rid of most of our FPP system over a decade ago and it just survived a binding national referendum.

    *gets back into the talk* ^_^

  2. This comment is regarding Hans’ comment from Melbourne Australia.  You were confused why he said that “we have four seasons”.  I used to live in Brisbane, and we really only had about 2 seasons.  The summers were HOT, and the winters were mild with lots of rain.  The trees looked the same year round.  Melbourne has a more temperate climate, with trees that shed their leaves (something I sorely missed while living down under, since fall is my favorite season!). 

    • So officially, there are four seasons in Australia, but in terms of weather it is only two? Or are there officially only two seasons? Are there four seasons in tropical areas? Or two?

      • Officially four seasons, but in terms of weather only two. Not sure about tropical areas (Brisbane is sub-tropical).