Richard writes:

Simply said, TWiV is amazing.

Thank you very much for the email! My colleagues, who are also TWIV listeners were both very excited and a little jealous that I was the lucky winner! They were particularly jealous when I said I was going to ask you to sign the book!!

A little about myself. Firstly, and most importantly, I am the father of two amazing boys Jack (10) and Lukas (8).

Other less important things about me include the following; I did my undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Saskatchewan up here in  beautiful Canada, where temperature is only measured in Celsius. I then completed my PhD and postdoc at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I was an Assistant Professor of Research at the University of Pittsburgh in the Pediatric Surgery Department. While I loved my time in Pittsburgh, I could never make the flip from Celsius to Fahrenheit. After Pittsburgh, I moved back to Canada and began working at Health Canada; similar to the FDA in the US. I work in the area of Vaccines and consider TWIV an excellent source of information and a great addition to my literature reading. I have been a committed fan of TWIV for a couple of years now. My older brother introduced me to your podcast. He is an Assistant Professor at Boston University, and during his PhD at Columbia, attended an immunology course taught by you. Since being introduced to TWIV, I have been spreading the word and now have many colleagues listening to the podcast! Thanks to you and all your co-hosts for the excellent work you do each week to provide us with current and relevant information. I should also mention, I just purchased a year subscription to CuriosityStream, and enjoy watching these information programs with my kids.

A big hello from all your Canadian TWIV listeners. Current temperature…….Celsius.


I’ah writes:

Boy,  I hope I’m the 50th!

Casey writes:

Dear Vincent et al,

Hello! Writing in again, hoping to win the book! Am I the fiftieth email? I noticed that you did not draft a “Rules of Entry” form so I may expeditiously utilize this loophole to submit multiple entries on multiple days! (If you will humor me, that is.)

A little more about me: my name is Casey and I am a second year Master’s student in Neurobiology at Vanderbilt University. I am applying to PhD programs in Neuroscience and Pharmacology this fall. I also went to Cornell University for undergrad, Vincent! And I am still so in love with the university and Ithaca as a whole. Did you ever run in the Plantations or over the Suspension Bridge? I feel that we would have so much to talk about!

I figured I might also take this opportunity to ask you a fun question that I have been considering. Do you guys (and gals) feel that, in addition to your current subfield of research, you maintain various other “pet research interests”? For example, although I study transcriptional regulation of Dopamine signaling, I always perk up when I hear specific mention of mitochondrial genetics (especially the experimental potential of “cybrids” (cytoplasmic hybrids), psychology’s attachment theory, nutrition and metabolism studies, and of course virology! I’d love to hear which other subtopics intrigue you all!

Thank you Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich, and Kathy for hosting this podcast each week! It has quickly become my favorite and I always devour the new episodes Sunday night and Monday morning at the bench. I am also an avid listener of TWIM, TWIP, and TWIEvo. I am always pushing my grad student friends to listen in and often use the episodes to find new articles for my monthly Journal Club presentations; recently, I presented Synchronized Cycles of Bacterial Lysis for in Vivo Delivery.

Hope you have a great week! And I really hope one of my emails falls on number 50!



Hannah writes:

Dear 5 Stooges of Twiv,

Here’s a time not getting to the end of the podcast until Tuesday morning might work in my favor?

I loved the “blooper reel” at the end…good to know we’re all a little Skype-challenged sometimes!

Still loving your podcast (from blustery Boulder, CO where the gusty winds are blowing in colder temperatures and the first snow in the mountains),


Emilia writes:


I’m probably not the 50th person but I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I love the show and you are all doing a great job.



Margaret writes:

Dear Vincent and Co.,

Crossing my fingers as I send this that I am lucky number 50!

I am a first-time writer and a long-time fan. My interest in the TWI podcasts started with TWIP about 4 years ago, but I have latched on to TWIV as well to try to stay current on viral developments (of which there are many!) and brush up on some biochemistry. I am currently working toward my Master’s degree in biology with a focus in acanthocephalan systematics at SUNY Oneonta. Thank you for putting out great “edutainment,” and for encouraging newbies like me to write in with our bids for a chance to win a great book.

All the best,


Weather in Oneonta, NY: 10 degrees Celsius, partly cloudy, no wind.

Christopher writes:

Hello TWiV team,

Hopefully I’m lucky e-mail 50!

I’ve been listening to TWiV for about two years now, and have started to listen to the other podcasts in the past 6 months or so, when I took up a habit of taking an hour-long walk every day.  Another podcast I enjoy is People Behind the Science (I thought to mention that because of the discussion in the most recent episode about how you all enjoy learning about the lives of current scientists).

An episode of yours I listened to around a year ago discussed mechanical keyboards.  That got me thinking about how I enjoy learning what kind of equipment and tools people use for their jobs.  My question for you all is: have you ever had a setback due to inadequate quality of office supplies?

Cheers and thanks for all the great episodes,


P.S.  It’s currently 64°F and clear with 85% humidity.

Paul writes:

I love viruses – But not so much the ones that make me sick, or break my computer, or increase the risk of cancer, or increase the pathology of other viruses.

Perhaps it is the knowledge of biological systems from the organelle to the ecosystem provided by viruses that I love.

Casey writes:

Any chance this email is number 50?? Still hoping to win Virus!

Also, I was surfing the website again and checked out the latest series of picks– really enjoyed FiveThirtyEight’s “Science Isn’t Broken” article!



Jorrit writes:

Dear masters of the TWIXiverse,

I hope to still have a shot at winning although I only finished listening to this week’s episode just now (Thursday) as I listen to TWIV on my cycle commute to the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam where I work as a resident in clinical microbiology, virology and clinical parasitology. My PhD work was on respiratory tract infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome in ICU patient and have done a postdoc with Prof Menno de Jong in Amsterdam. In 2011 I was struggling to find my path in Medicine and discovering TWIV and later TWIP and TWIM has really helped me to discover my passion viruses, parasites bacteria and helped me realize I had to pursue a career in clinical infectious diseases. Although I’m currently spending all my time practicing clinical medicine, I hope to be able to take some time during my residency to get back into science and would love to keep doing both patient work and science throughout my career and hopefully even set up my own lab. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you all put in making the best podcasts in the known universe!

Best wishes,


Brian writes:

All of you are wonderful and I hope I’m number 50!!


Chaim writes:

I’m more of an immunologist, really, buts been great for me. I study host-pathogen interactions, so being exposed to more virology ha I’ve been listening to TWiV (and now TWiEvo) for almost 2 years and always enjoy it. Given that you only got 29 emails for the last contest, perhaps I will take another shot at 50 next week… 😉

Erik writes:

Hello TWiVeroos,

I was thrilled to hear you read my letter on the last episode and that you liked the journals I made for you and Dickson! I may be sending this a bit late to be number 50. I had to hold myself back to keep from emailing too soon out of excitement!

The book you’re giving away appears to have some really spectacular and beautiful images of viruses! I’ll probably buy it even if I’m not writer #50. It seems well worth it!


Erik C.

David writes:

Dear Twiv sages,

Let’s see how lucky we feel on this Friday.  Thank you so much for your weekly episodes that keep us educated!

Kind regards,


Dorota writes:

Hi TWIVers,

First of all, I would like to point that writing today is not my strategy to win a book. I just happened to listen to the last TWIV podcast about SERINC5 and Nef on my way to the Uni today and decided I should drop you an email while waiting for my Western Blot.

Working on SERINC project during my PhD at the Institute of Molecular Virology in Ulm (Germany) I have been waiting for you to discuss these two papers for about a year, and started losing hope, thinking that this topic might be missed due to all the Zika hype. It was really great to hear that you found this discovery of a new [ekhm…] restriction factor as interesting as I did and decided to share it with your listeners. Special thanks for Jeremy who did a great job explaining not only the papers but also the background story of people involved in this discovery. I really hope that SERINC will continue getting the attention it deserves and scientists (including me J ) will  figure out what this enigmatic protein does apart from decreasing virus infectivity, why is it so conserved, what other viruses can it restrict, what is the exact mechanism etc… I feel that there are more questions than the answers at the moment and it will be great to see how our understanding of SERINC restriction unravels.

Keep TWIing, I really enjoy listening to your wonderful stories about virology, parasitology and microbiology.

Best wishes from wet and gloomy Ulm (9°C),


Dorota Kmiec (M.Sci.)

Institute of Molecular Virology

Ulm University Medical Center


Richard writes:

Dear Brahmins of TWIV

Please collect a bacterium from deep underground, isolate a naturally occurring phage, splice into that phage a coded apology to future generations for our selfish failure to prevent climate change, and inoculate the original rock stratum with bacteria carrying the message. Perhaps press coverage of this kind of art will remind some people that what we are doing to future generations is something to be ashamed of. Conversely, actions taken and sacrifices made to mitigate the harm are good deeds to be proud of.

Sam writes:

73 and sunny again here in Tucson. Our forecast high is 92 with 61 percent humidity. Fall is officially here!

James writes:

Hello again,

This is Jimmy McCluskey. Again, a first year medical student from the University of Minnesota Medical School – Duluth Campus. We took our first final this last week, with our first antiviral lecture right before that, and I’m fortunate to say that I am still a medical student.

I’ve have become much more self-conscious of my habit of addressing unisex groups of people as “you guys” since listening to TWIV. I spent a year in Louisiana last year and realized I’m not a huge fan of “y’all,” though I will use it sometimes, so I think I’m going to try to switch to “friends” but maybe in a professional environment I’ll have to say, “colleagues” to be sure I don’t offend anyone. I’m sure hearing about this issue has gotten old though.

Listening to TWIV is always great for me because I am very interested in the virology and lab science but being that I am a medical student I am also thinking about if I would like to specialize in infectious disease or public health. I am curious if you would be interested in interviewing more infectious disease practitioners, or if you could refer me to some older episodes that feature some? As I didn’t start listening to TWIV until after episode 300. I recall searching through once or twice and coming across an MD/PhD student interview episode and one with a researcher in Brazil that was also a physician, then of course Henderson’s interview, but I just thought I would make the suggestion, as I’m  sure many of your listeners are clinicians.

I don’t want to sound unappreciative, because I do enjoy every episode regardless of the topic or who is featured! Thank you for all you do!


Tubby writes:

I’m sure you guys have long since passed the 50th email by now, but I figured I would send off an email just in case you haven’t.  I very much enjoy your shows though a virology book is probably wasted on me.

Be nice to Dickson!

Jarrett writes:

Hello TWIV team,

I’m taking a break from cramming for my accelerated anatomy and physiology course to write in hopes that I will be the 50th email response, thus making me eligible to receive a copy of Virus: An Illustrated Guide…

In the event that this is not the case, I would still like to express how pleased I am that Rich Condit is moving to Austin, where I live. I hope this increases the odds of a live TWIV event here in the future, as that would be a real treat.

The weather here is beyond reproach at 27 degrees Celsius, with only a few cirrus clouds up in an intensely blue sky, the enjoyment of which has been precluded by my obligation to study.

Best wishes,

-Jarrett H.

Jolene writes:

Hello Drs. and Dra. TWIV,

I (again) highly doubt that I will win Dr. Roossinck’s book, but I am entering anyway! In 2014 I found out about Dr. Roossinck’s work and immediately saved a pubmed search on her titled ‘good viruses lady’. She has written several articles on the topic, highlighting particularly in plants how viruses can be beneficial.  My go-to example is the fungal virus that confers heat tolerance to its plant partner (DOI: 10.1126/science.1136237.) One of my goals is to help the public understand that most microbes (especially viruses) are not ‘bad’. Various examples have been mentioned on TWIV, but I am usually doing something else and often forget to jot them down. If you can toss some out as you read this email, that would be greatly appreciated. Even if you don’t read this until your next all-email episode I will still be listening.

This is technically my second time writing in, as I entered the second Roossinck book contest, but came in 6 minutes late! I have been listening to TWIV since the summer of 2011, when I started my first graduate school rotation. I wanted to find something intellectually engaging to listen to during my commute, and boy did I score when I found TWIV on iTunes! I have left a couple reviews to help keep it near the top of the list, and I tell every new graduate student that rotates through ground floor virology here at IUB that they should listen. I additionally recommend the TWI series to my friends and family as appropriate.

This past summer (2016) I was fortunate to meet Kathy and Vincent for the first time at ASV at the live TWIV, which was surreal to attend. I had previously met Rich over lunch when he visited IUB to give a research seminar and really enjoyed talking to him then. I listen to most episodes at 2X speed though, so in person it seems like you all speak much slower… Anyway, I would love to have your team visit IUB to do a TWIV with as many hosts as possible. Adam Zlotnick has invited Vincent, and I want to remind him that if he hasn’t yet scheduled that visit we still want him to come. I am willing to organize the grad students.

Also, I wanted to tell you that I did gift a subscription to Curiosity Stream to my brother as one way to support your efforts. I don’t mind the ads during the podcast, especially since you often change up how you describe the products.

Here is my listener pick: I was recently reading through a *hard copy* of Microbe and came across a book review written by Dr. Dennis Mangan, director of Chalk Talk Science Project . His idea is to help scientists become better communicators, especially in the arena of convincing the public that science is cool and important. In our local IUB chapter of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Latino and Native Americans in Science), I started a chalk talk series for graduate students. I did this shortly after I discovered that to get a faculty job you have to do one, but ours is formatted a bit differently since it is to a general audience and with less intense grilling. The SACNAS membership draws from many STEM fields, so graduate students must explain their science using a chalk board only to the mixed grad/undergrad audience in 10 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions. We also use an anonymous feedback form as well. Dr. Mangan’s ideas align with what the ultimate goal of our series is, to convince those outside your field that your science is interesting and worth pursuing. We might try to invite him here sometime, but it would be neat if you could do an interview with him. In the meantime, my pick is his blog,> .

Thank you for your dedication.

Faleye writes:

Hello Folks,

Currently listening to TWiV 410 in Nigeria. Been doing so since 2010 (i think). You folks are doing a great thing educating the world about Viruses. Keep on the good work


FALEYE, Temitope O.C

Heidi writes:

Dear TWiV Team,

I hope I’m neither too early nor too late to have a chance for winning the book of Marilyn J. Roossinck, and when you’ll send to Australia I’m looking forward that you will send to Cambodia as well …

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed episode 409 because it was reminiscent of the vivid discussion with my PhD supervisor about the importance of nef for my lentivirus-based pseudo-particle system. So thanks a lot for the history behind the “best studied proteins of all time”.

As a researcher highly involved with Dengue and now Zika I had special fun with the recent episode 410. The discussion demonstrated perfectly that there are no easy solutions for a Dengue (and maybe also the Zika) vaccine. I have a comment to Mary-Ann’s mail: there is no black and white in the maturation process, means there are not only complete mature and immature particles secreted from infected cells, but also particles in intermediate states (Junjhon 2010 J.Virol.). And to make the situation even more complicated, the conformation of the dengue envelope proteins is dynamic, which changes the epitope susceptibility, and of course as always for dengue there are serotype-specific differences (Kuhn 2015 J.Virol.).

Current weather here in Phnom Penh:

no rain what is really rare during the rainy season

30°C outside and 16°C in the lab (because our great Khmer technicians like it cool)

70% humidity

Thanks for the brilliant weekly entertainment. Keep going!!!



PS: I might have to read another Richard Preston book than The Hot Zone.

Institut Pasteur du Cambodge

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Nir writes:

Hi all, Hope I’m number 50

My name is Nir and I’m a postdoc at the University of Chicago (just moved a month ago from Israel…). I’ve known about this podcast for years, but never found the time to hear full episodes. Now my hour and a half commute each morning and evening is a perfect chance to catch up

Keep up the good work


Rohan writes:

HeyHo Twiver’s!

Hope this is the 50th e-mail you’ve got as part of the contest for the illustrated Virology textbook. If not, I guess there’s always the 4th copy of the book to look out for :).

I’ve been listening to TWIV since I enrolled for my Master’s program in Molecular Virology in 2009 and I should say it has helped me a lot in understanding the basics of Virology. I love the way you discuss papers in a simple manner which enables anyone with an interest in the subject to easily understand what you’re talking about.

I am currently pursuing my PhD in Pharmacy from Cardiff University, UK and I’m working on a host-targeting antiviral compound active against Measles and Vaccinia viruses.

Best regards,


Angus writes:

Hi all,

Hope I’m number 50!

I am an undergraduate student in my final year studying Applied Pharmacology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s just turned Autumn here; the trees are becoming amber in colour and the temperature rarely gets about 15 degrees Celsius.

I recently discovered your podcast after trying to find a comprehensive lecture on the background of Ebola and HIV. Lo and behold I found TWIV 408, and thoroughly enjoyed listening to David Quammen’s stories of his time in the field.

I’ve since subscribed to both TWiV and TWiM and have enjoyed listening to all the episodes released since.

Ruslan writes:

Hi team, love your work.

Robin writes:

Great show!


Missoula MT

Justin writes:

Hello TWiV folks,

I primarily listen to TWiX while I’m driving, so I consistently forget I meant to email in by the time I reach my destination.  That or while I’m doing bench work and have my hands in gloves.  I thought for sure I would have missed this one, but after a week went by without hitting 50 I thought it must be worth a shot!  Here’s hoping!


Justin Waldern

Ph.D. Student

Belfort Lab

University at Albany (SUNY)

Alex writes:

Hi Kathy and fellows,

Greetings from Boulder, CO. It’s a beautiful fall evening here, 61F (complete the palindrome for Celsius). I’m listening to episode 410 while making some lasagna for the week.

I’ve enjoyed listening to your discussions throughout my graduate school career, and believe it has enriched both my understanding and enthusiasm for my work.

Keep up the great work, and be nice to Dickson.



Nele writes:

Thank you very much for giving people abroad a chance as well. I hope you’ll get to 50 one day!

It is still dark outside and 9C celsius

Greetings from Rotterdam

Lysen writes:

I love viruses – I really do!

Michael writes:

I briefly contemplated sending in fifty emails last week to guarantee a win because you did not specify a limit to the number of entries per person. I meant to send it later in the week but never quite got around to it, but since you mentioned you hadn’t yet reached fifty I figured now is as good a time as ever so here it is.  And as an aside I wanted to ask if Dr. Condit is related to Ira Condit of fig breeding fame.  I love all the shows and wish to convey my gratitude to all the hosts.  And I got a copy of People Parasites and Ploughshares for Christmas a couple years ago and was more giddy than my two daughters were.

Most sincerely,


Marianne writes:

Listening to the podcast while taking a walk in the autumn sun in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our province got quite a wallop from the remnants of  Matthew. Some areas got over 200 mm of rain. Tons of flooding.

I would love to win this book!!



Blair writes:

Hi Vincent,

Thought I would try my luck at the competition, my name is Blair Smith, I’m a 35 yo guy from Melbourne Australia.

I’ve never written before but I am one of those dedicated listeners that hangs out for every TWIV and TWIP (TWIP especially, the rapport that Dickson, Daniel and yourself have always makes me laugh). However I find that TWIM goes way over my head…

Whilst I’m not a scientist, i do have a big connection to viruses, as a happy comfortable host for HIV and CMV (and I’m sure numerous others)

Ever since my diagnosis I became fascinated by Viruses and really enjoy learning as much as I can about them, as a complete layman I find the way that you deliver TWIV keeps me fascinated.

Anyways, just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the work that you and Dickson, Daniel, Kathy, Rich and Alan do as you have all certainly fostered a passion in me.



Peter writes:

I love viruses – the book not the kind that make you sick

phage are ok too

This just came 2 PM Friday:

Alex writes:

Hello TWIVsters!

I’m a graduate student at Washington University in St Louis, and have long used the TWIX podcasts to keep my ears and brain company while my hands do the pipetting. I tried to be strategic with my email timing, so here we go, fingers cross for number 50.

Book or no book I wanted to say that I really enjoy the podcasts and appreciate the time and effort that goes into them. Thank you for all you do, and I look forward to many podcasts to come.

All the best!

Benjamin writes:

Hi admin,I really appreciate all your mails and am very grateful for its been helpful. my question is this, what is the normal floral for viruses? thanks and I look forward to your reply.

Geoffrey writes:


    I was looking for some information on whether or not we have found evidence of retroviral genes in mitochondrial DNA. I found at least one source that said that it was unlikely as it would require a retrovirus that could first slip into an animal then slip into an effectively bacterial cell. In addition, I assume that the limited “space” available for mitochondria would make viable inserts difficult.

    However, I also found a reference to an endogenous retroviral integrase fragment (Eri15) being involved in the destruction of sperm mtDNA. Unfortunately, that article (An integrase of endogenous retrovirus is involved in maternal mitochondrial DNA inheritance of the mouse”. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Feb 1;366(1):206-11.DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.11.127) is behind a paywall. My impression is that Eri15 is provided by the cell and not the mitochondrion but the abstract wasn’t explicit).

    I also find it a bit coincidental that some anti-retroviral drugs seem to have a deleterious effect on mtDNA (“In VivoMitochondrial Function in HIV-Infected Persons Treated with Contemporary Anti-Retroviral Therapy: A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study”. PLoS One. January 7, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084678).

    Do you and / or your co-hosts have a clearer answer to how retroviruses interact with mtDNA?

    Then there is the question of whether or not there are bacteriophages known to infect mitochondria or chloroplasts shielded, as they are, by their greater symbiotic partners’ bulks? I found a partial answer on Moselio Schaechter’s “Small Things Considered” blog but it only served to confuse me more.

    Could you also provide some clarification on this point? The whole subject of the infection of endosymbionts would seem to present some interesting insights into the nature of these symbiotic relationships.


Geoffrey Tolle

Kevin writes:

Dear TWiVologists,

Apologies in advance; I fell behind in my listening because of school and now I’m rapidly catching up during the summer. In an earlier TWiV, I think TWiV 379/A Mouse Divided, Prof. R. mentioned a student named Isaac who held up a “Be Nice to Dickson” sign during his Immunology guest lecture. I just wanted to set for the record that I was the person with the sign, so that when the future “Be Nice to Dickson” craze becomes popular, I can say I left my mark on history. Great show, and keep those episodes coming. It’s currently 14 °C in Vancouver with sunny skies.


Kevin-Kien D. Vo

B.A. in Biochemistry | Columbia University

Brianne writes:

Hi TWiV-ers,

 I am a long-time reader of Vincent’s virology blog but I have only recently started listening to TWiV. Thank you so much for your discussion of preprint servers in TWiV 388. Before listening to your episode, I was aware of BioRxiv and knew of it as a preprint server, but I was not clear on the definition of preprint. I had originally understood that preprints were accepted, unformatted manuscripts online, which would mean that they were being posted after peer review. Your thoughts were quite useful in explanation on this front.

I have mixed feelings on the idea of publishing my work to a preprint server or even to open access journals. I feel strongly in favor of open access, particularly with regard to being able to see science that is supported by our tax dollars. As we are at a liberal arts college where we have relatively few subscriptions to discipline-specific journals, my students and I make extensive use of open access publications. However, as a faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution, I worry about putting out unpublished data on a preprint server that others in faster-moving labs might scoop. Similarly, I worry about how open access publications and preprints will look as a part of my tenure review. It is a shame that younger scientists need to make these sorts of calculations as open access publications are helpful to so many audiences.

Thanks for a such an informative and entertaining podcast. I really enjoy listening and look forward to each new episode. I am planning to incorporate TWiV/TWiM/TWiEVO episodes in my courses and I hope that my students enjoy them as much as I do. Count me among the listeners who would love to hear more immunology on TWiV or to even have a “This Week in Immunology” podcast.

Thanks again!

Brianne Barker

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