Anthony writes:

It’s great that there are companies supporting your fine shows.  

I don’t quite understand people who are unhappy with the ads.  Because the format of the shows is academic, are the disgruntled upset by what they see as commercial interruptions of a lecture?

You clearly state that the messages are for sponsors.  There’s no need for jingles for the audience to know that it’s paid advertising.

Are promotions not proper for historical records?   Nobody expects TV, radio or the papers to become charities on those rare days when they don’t make up the news.


Kim writes:

My dark and misanthropic entry to the Virus competition, you can probably figure out which virus I’d like to be:

“The Earth is ill and I am the cure. Born and raised in poultry markets in Asia I would get to travel the world with my segmented RNA genome. During my travels I would treat the Earth from the pest that is humans. Knowledge obtained from “gain-of-function” studies would have predicted my arrival. Luckily, humans objected to such studies. Preventive measures obtained from developing a universal vaccine against me would have spared many. Luckily, humans preferred to fund research into hover boards. Humans might view me as evil and depict me as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Yet, I am one of the finest creations of Mother Nature and the saviour of the Earth. I’ve restored the balance and brought peace to Earth and to the creatures left to inhabit this planet I will be God. I’ve rid the Earth from its’ disease.”

Best regards,


Abraham writes:

Herpes simplex.

… Isn’t the reason obvious?

Raihan writes:

Which virus I’d like to B?

It’s Blatantly oBvious, Influenza B! The Bug that Began my scientific journey. This is a virus so uBiquitous that most of us would have Been infected By it Before puBerty. A virus that has Been ignored for way too long, that only recently has it Been decided to include a second strain in the Biannual vaccine. A virus that the honoraBle Peter Palese said could be oBliterated Because of an aBsence of an animal reservoir* unlike its more often studied siBling, the Boisterous Influenza A which infects every Breathing mammal (an over-emBellishment). But still, this virus Busies itself around, infecting every BaBy and eldery. Some argue that the Blueprint to a universal Influenza vaccine can Be found in the motifs conserved in Influenza B, at least in the conserved Bits with Influenza A.

Inspired By TwiV, I once asked my supervisor ‘Do you think viruses are alive?’ He replied ‘I think viruses just Be’ (True story)

*puBlications By Osterhaus et al have shown that Influenza B has Been recovered in seals off the coast of the Netherlands, But it’s proBaBle that the seals got it from us rather than the other way round.   

Best regards,


Gayle writes:

Please comment on the use of polio virus while the CDC wants researchers to destroy it.

Wink writes:

I am basically a HIV-ologist and I saw my first case of AIDS in 1979. I had no highly active treatment to offer until May, 1996, and still not all of my patients do well. So please forgive me if I am prone to morbid thoughts. But it occurred to me that I know of 3 active microbiologic researchers who died of a brain tumor. They are Harold Neu (Columbia), Steven Strauss (NIH), and David Finbloom. You may not know of David, but he studied interferon at the FDA and there is a yearly lecture given in his honor; he was my wife’s cousin. Anyway, this is likely a statistically random observation, but then how many such active lab researchers are there? I was wondering if you knew of any other examples.

Wink Weinberg

Ricardo writes:

Hello Twiv friends. Here is an idea. Let’s hope it happens.

The EU has proposed making all publicly funded science papers free by 2020

Original Tweet:

Ricardo Magalhaes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Microbiology


Faculty of Health Sciences of Fernando Pessoa University


Richard writes:

Dr. Pride…I enjoyed your appearance on TWIV this weekend. I am a dentist practicing in Culver City, CA and have been trying to integrate the new information regarding the Oral Microbiome and Virome and put it to use in a clinical setting. I have been trying to keep up via the TWIV and the Research and Lectures form the Researchers listed below. I forwarded your papers to Dr. Jorgen Slots at USC Dental School. He has a continuing interest in the influence of Herpes Viruses in the pathogenesis  of Periodontal Disease. He was kind enough to forward his recent paper on the subject. I am forwarding it to you. Thanks for your work in this field. I find it helpful and encouraging, in that it is filling some of the knowledge gaps limit our ability to treat oral disease.

Have a nice Memorial Day.

Rich Schoenbaum

Dave writes:

Vincent and company. Dave the sheep shearer from southern Alberta Canada, where it’s 17c at 830 pm( got to a high of 29) high cloud and a beautiful day.

Couple of items first I have been hearing about Polio virus being used on brain tumors. Haven’t done any searching about it but sounded interesting. Haven’t heard you talk about it but I may be way behind (kind of my normal place)

Second. Heard a discussion on CBC (our public broadcaster) I believe the show was the 180 where they present opposing views. One scientist held the belief that if a company was paying you to do research you were obligated to find the results they desire.

The second scientist said that your obligation was to the science and report it as your results concluded.

My wife and I have both worked in research, I as support staff and my wife as a lab tech. When I talked with her about this she said Yes if you want your funding to continue you have to remember who is paying the bills.

This scares the hell out of me and it also gives those who argue against things like vaccinating a lot of ammunition when a scientist can be “bought”

I realize that it comes down to how you ask a question. If you ask is this “dangerous” you get one answer, If you ask if the reward outweighs the risk you get a totally different answer.

Dave Thanks for the great show

Ricardo writes:

Hello Twiv friends.

Here is a pick about the origins and importance of the metric system.

As always it is a lot of fun to assist one on of your “tertulias”

My best regards.

Ricardo Magalhães

Eric Delwart writes:

Dear Twiv,

the recent pick of the excellent book “Darwin’s radio” reminded me of another fiction story about emerging viruses

The Giving Plaque is a very short story by David Brin available for free on the web.

Story involves plotting murder to steal a mentor’s discovery of the ALAS virus (Acquired Lavish Altruistic Syndrome) which induces blood donating behavior to spread itself. But that’s all before a deadly pulmonary prion and a virus brought back by the third Mars mission start to run amok….

A great 15 min read.

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