Kathy writes:

Another paper demonstrating that having females as role models can aid in retention is this one from 2017:


Female peer mentors early in college increase women’s positive academic experiences and retention in engineering.

I forgot to mention that you can apply for an extension to the 10-year span that defines when you are an NIH “Early stage investigator”. The woman who told me about her experience (she still has no R01 and has New Investigator status but not ESI) did apply for an extension because she had two maternity leaves in the 10 years following when she got her Ph.D.  NIH gave her a 6 month extension on the 10 years. Bleah.

Wink writes:

I am glad you mentioned that most deaths were due to bacterial pneumonia in 1918-9. Maybe we should be asking what was special about Staphylococcus aureus at that time.

Wink Weinberg

Kasey writes:


I’m a relatively recent regular listener (mostly because I never used to listen to podcasts in general very regularly) and I was listening to latest episode (TWiV 446) where you discussed the gender parity trends at virology conferences. I thought it might have inspired you to look back at TWiV guests and authors of papers discussed on the podcast to see what the gender parity trends on TWiV have been, but since I didn’t hear you mention them, I’m assuming you don’t have a similar spreadsheet of your own. I think it would be interesting if someone could compile that data (although I’m not volunteering). As far as gender parity of hosts, it’s not so great (which had occurred to me before while listening). I tried to reason that the sample size is small and the way hosts were picked was probably based on previous personal relationships and not simply looking for talented virology professionals. But it would make me more comfortable if Kathy wasn’t the only female host. I’m wondering if Kathy has any thoughts on the subject.


P.S. It’s currently 29˚C here in Georgia with a high for the day of 32˚C.

P.P.S. Vincent, I thought you’d like to know that you inspired me to change the units of my weather app to ˚C so I could become more familiar with the Celsius scale.

Kasey Karen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Biological & Environmental Sciences Department

Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA 31061

Jens writes:

Thanks, guys, for reading our very lengthy explanatory letter about PpNSRV-1 on TWiV 443! It was indeed all in good fun and as you pointed out, the best part about TWiV is that things can be discussed at length, and multiple times, in a civil manner (much in opposition to peer review, which is often ridiculously hostile). I learn new things from you every week and am very happy that every now and then I can contribute something that you don’t know 🙂



Sent to TWiP, but a must read here:

John in Limerick writes:

P.S. I was listening to the team on TWiV discussing a paper a few episodes ago and  Vincent mentioned that two of the authors had ascaris. My first thought that flashed into my head was “that’s an odd thing to say but albendazole or ivermectin should clear it up”. Of course, what Vincent actually said was that the authors had asterisks. They were joint first authors. I’ve been infected by Twip.

Shaun writes:

Hello Dr. Racaniello,

I’m a recent fan of the TWiV podcast, I especially appreciated your last cast #438: “Drs. TWiV go to Washington”.  I’m a BS level biologist who chose industry over further academics, mostly because I was a former US Army medic/nurse (12 years) that fell in love with pathophysiology and went back to school to study biology and got a late start on my undergraduate career.  Since then I’ve been working in the marketing and sales of molecular diagnostics & life science reagents.  Please forgive the backstory, but getting back to my appreciation of cast #438, what really resonated for me is the conversation regarding scientific communication.  Specifically the communication to both  professionals and lay people alike.  Additionally, the topic of how the internet has changed communication both for better and worse.  As a life science marketer I am constantly thinking about these topics and looking for new ways to illustrate the scientific utility of our innovative products and services across multiple generations of scientists who consume scientific communication differently.  It was a good podcast to listen to during my 1.5 hr. commute and thank you for representing Science at the March.

I currently work for Promega Corporation, I’m not sure how familiar you are with our unique organization.  We are one of the last privately held, global life science companies.  We have offices/branches in 16 countries and we are truly unique because we are privately owned and empowered by our founder and still CEO/Chairman to be primarily scientifically focused.  Here is a good article if you are interested in learning more about our founder/CEO/Chairman Bill Linton, “Capitalist with a Soul”.  Our commercial efforts are more tailored to support the scientific discussion, rather than bang customers over the head with our products and services.  I noticed in listening to your podcast that you have sponsors, again this goes back to something that is in line with our commercial ethos, support the scientific discussion.  Do you have a sponsorship information packet you could send me?

As I’m sure you are aware, ASV is being held in Madison, WI in a few months.  Madison is the world headquarters for Promega Corporation and if you happen to be attending and broadcasting TWiV from ASV this year I’m wondering if we could be a sponsor?  Additionally, we have quite a few technologies that are unique to support virologists, everything from simple benchtop automation to purify viral DNA to viral tagging using our proprietary luciferase technologies for a variety real-time imaging of infection/transmission.  Our R&D scientists might be a good panel member on a future episode.

Every week we have an R&D meeting where all of the company comes together to discuss a scientific topic for a few hours.  Sometimes we bring in an outside speaker, sometimes it’s a mixed speaker presentation and open discussion forum.  From my perspective, it would be really cool if you’d be open to discussing the possibility of broadcasting from the Promega Campus.  Let me know if you’d like to further investigate this idea, it could have nothing to do with Promega.  In fact last month we hosted a zika discussion group (David O’Conner et. al.), we love the opportunity to be supporting scientific discourse.

Apologies for being long winded, I’m a fan.  Please send me sponsorship information and consider us for ASV.


Shaun Peterson

Global Marketing Manager

Molecular Diagnostics | Promega Corporation

raspberry setup profvrr wall

raspberry setup microbetv syAnthony writes:

TWiX Listening post

Here’s my new computer setup for Microbe.tv.  The system is a Raspberry Pi (that little box under the screen) — as suggested a month or so ago by Alan Dove.

The display was a gift, but I had to pay for the computer myself.  Price of the computer?  Around $60.  The screen?  Maybe $700.  And what’s the information worth?  PRICELESS!

The cat’s name is Sy.

Christopher writes:

Hey Twivsters, I have a bit of follow up for the episode with Tim.

I read Tim’s article and I listened to your interview.

I found the article’s tone even and measured and I had very little to disagree with. However, when he spoke on Twiv I noticed more frustration and cynicism.

Rather than quibble about arguments and assertions, I’d like to make a statement:

Scientists, explaining science is important, but it’s not enough. The good thing is you are not alone. Science helps us shape the understanding of our objective reality. But it is up to all of us, to the scientists, to the science communicators, to the teachers, to the tinkerers, to the enthusiasts, to the chronically curious, to help shape the opinions and beliefs of the public and those surrounding us. Plant the seed of curiosity in our children. Show people our perspectives are limited, but that’s okay. Help people understand why we need science through impassioned, lively discussions. Optimism is desperately needed in our political climate. Be the ones to provide it. We don’t have one solution to effect change, we have many, and we need them all. We need to get there first. We need to be persuasive. We need to have optimism. We need to spark curiosity. There is more to know out there. The next step in technological advancement, the next treatment for a debilitating illness, the solution for the crying child in the third world country who isn’t getting enough food. It is out there and the scientific process can and will help us find it. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Scientists, explaining science is not enough.

But you’re not alone.

Daniel writes:

Greetings from Norway!

Have you ever been here? Here up in the freezing north we have no viruses, but I still think you would find something to do here. I listen to your podcasts as much as I can. Really do find the bunch of you funny and engaging. I am studying biology at the University of Oslo and I want to work in virology or entomology or something. I also want to win your book! Much love Daniel

If I lost the book competition I retract everything I wrote.

Robert writes:

Hi twiv,

I would like to be able to play twiv through my alexa is there a way currently?

If not check out the link about developing such a skill. It appears fairly straightforward as long as the rss feed audio fits the amazon format. Plus it is free to develop and publish echo skills.



Chris writes:

Greetings TWiV professors,

We have been having our usual mercurial spring weather in central Ohio: it has been anywhere between freezing and 30°C, but without too much severe weather. I thought to write this e-mail after listening to a recent episode and noticing yet again that the theme music has changed. I’ve got two things I want to discuss, so I’ll go in increasing order.

First, I like the musical content of the new intro music better than the old music and it’s finally stopped being a bit jarring to hear it at the start of the episodes because I am still expecting the old intro. On this most recent episode, I mentally reminded myself that the new intro music was just about to play and I was not startled by the different music. Hopefully after a few more episodes I’ll finally stop having to be conscious that I should expect the new music and the new music will simply become the normal TWiV music.

Second, I am about ⅔ of the way through reading Paul de Kruif’s Microbe Hunters (I’m currently in the middle of the chapter on Theobald Smith) and am finding it quite enjoyable. De Kruif is very good at emphasizing the individual personalities of the scientists he covers and how their collaborations and grudges shaped the route of microbe hunting. The other thing that stuck with me is that most of the scientists he covered in the book were either still alive or had only passed away within the past 40 years before the book was published. Do you all have any book recommendations for a similar but more modern book that would cover more recent scientists?

As much as I have enjoyed reading this book while waiting for the computers to behave at work, I cannot recommend this book without the major asterisk that it contains liberal use of what may most politely/euphemistically be described as “1926 aphorisms” and those may be a strong turn-off to a potential reader. On a more positive note regarding the language de Kruif uses, the older spelling and grammar the book uses occasionally awakens some linguistic interest, like how they hyphenated free-lance, which highlights the mercenary nature of freelance work much better than the unhyphenated version of the word does.

Valerie writes:

Hi guys,

First of all, thanks to all for the great podcast – not just fascinating and informative, but also highly entertaining!

Listening to some of the recent TWiV material got me very interested in marine viruses and the vast range of hosts they infect, as well as their role in nutrient cycling.

So I wondered if you could, perhaps, expand a little on this topic in one of the upcoming episodes. I’d absolutely love to hear more about the current hot topics and challenges in marine virology.

Also, I should add that I am what in the UK is called ‘a mature student’ – I’m 29 and have just started my biosciences degree after years of independent study, and podcasts like TWiV are fantastic for expanding my horizons and providing a little direction for my future academic career. Though I must say I’ve always gravitated towards virology anyways!

All the best,


P.S. I’d tell you about the weather in England, but it’s just too depressing.

Steve RussellBen writes:

Dear Vincent and the Gang of TWiV,

Thought you’d be pleased to know that I found your TWiV 395 episode (“The cancer thief”) so compelling that I invited your guest Steve Russell to Johns Hopkins for a seminar and to meet with faculty and students. He gave an absolutely inspiring talk at our weekly “Molecular Pathology” lecture series, which I have to say was the best attended session I’ve ever seen. Prior to hearing the podcast, I knew very little of oncolytic virotherapy and likely would not have crossed paths with Steve otherwise. So we at Hopkins owe you all a debt of gratitude for doing what you do – spreading contagious virology. Please keep up your excellent work!

– Ben

Benjamin Larman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Immunopathology


Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Brandon writes:

Dear TWiV consortium,

            First, please forgive my formatting, for I am not much of a letter writer. Second, my name is Brandon from Denver Colorado, a long-time listener who has only emailed once. Even that was a halfhearted attempt to win one of your contests. As I write, it is 9:30pm and 49 Celsius after a weekend that saw about six inches of snow.

            I write for no particular reason; a large part of it is the admiration I have for you all, part of it is that I have eked out just enough time to put together an email for you all which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My favorite episodes are TWiV 373 with Dr. Youngner and TWiV 395, The Cancer Thief, I have listened to those episodes many times over, they have stopped me from remaining current. As much as I love the usual gang, your interviews with other distinguished virologists tend to be especially riveting.

            Now a little about myself (the least interesting part, I assure you). I am a high school dropout from a family of high school dropouts that eventually realized school is cool. I went back and finished my high school diploma and I am now finishing my final semester as an undergrad, earning a degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry. I am proud to say I will be going to the University of Florida to pursue a master’s degree in microbiology this upcoming fall. I would like to thank the Good Doctors of TWiV for keeping me motivated. Through your constant humor (or “humor” from Dickson), stimulating discussions and continued desire to learn. Thank you all for the work that you do, and keep up the excellence in science communication.

Tiredly yours, Brandon


P.S. I do find Dickson quite funny and appreciated his attempt at the OVER 9000 meme. I often find myself rolling my eyes with a smile on my face after one of his puns.

P.P.S I’m glad Rich is back. Though I may not recognize his face, would be able to pick out that voice anywhere.

Anthony writes:

Dr, Osterholm discussing his new book on Outbreak News Today


I did have to wonder about his description of the pressing concern for bioterrorism enabled through genetic information.

Osterholm’s mention of crop dusters might be something not to discount.  There were reports of Atta’s looking at crop dusters:


Alan Dove has outlined on TWiV the reasons why bioterrorism is unlikely to become a weapon in the arsenal of terrorists. In terms of attacking human populations, the analysis is certainly valid. I question whether that’s true for the sabotage of crops or factory farms.

Kedar writes:

Hi Prof Racaniello and team!

I have been listening to TWiV for a long time now and have always wanted to thank you all for the amazing work that you all have been doing – dissecting science for the curious folks like I.

I was a little under-confident to write in, but today, I have somehow gathered courage to tell you all that I am extremely grateful to the TWiV team. I have learnt a lot! Thank you!

Something about myself:

I am a veterinarian from India and currently working at National University of Singapore (NUS) as a research associate.

I initially joined NUS as a PhD student to work on passive immunotherapy against influenza virus (and yes, I love the plaque assay). Everything did not go well there and I had to change my project and take up job as RA and am now pursuing my PhD (part-time) on ‘animal models of urology related bacterial infections’.

I must admit, TWiV has kept me hooked on to virology. All the more reason for me to listen to you all!

So, many thanks to you all again!

I am not sure if you all have spoken on TWiV before. May I ask, what is your opinion on the debate of predatory journals and the Beall’s list being taken down?

Here is a recent Nature news item on the topic: http://www.nature.com/news/predatory-journals-recruit-fake-editor-1.21662#/predator

Warm regards,


PS: It is hot and very humid in Singapore as I type and I am sure it will be the same whenever you all read this!

Bosco verticaleChaim writes:

We took a bike tour of Milan last week, and when I saw this new condo building (called “bosco verticale”) I thought of Professor Despommier. The tour guide tried to shock us by explaining that the units run around $1.1M for 1000 or square feet, but after a decade in New York and DC, that seems pretty reasonable to me!

Edward writes:

Hello Glorious Twiverati-

My name is Ed Grow, a postdoc studying fertility and embryogenesis at the University of Utah.

It’s 75F/24C in Salt Lake City and balmy—although we had snow last week, which melted in a day.

I’m writing in regards to fabulous episode 441, in which you discussed the construction of consomic mice bearing different Y chromosomes on a Black 6 background.

At 38:41, Rich mentions that during consomic generation, you get “the whole Y chromosome of the mouse you started with…[there’s] not an opportunity to get a hybrid Y chromosome”.

Which is mostly true, but at this point, please have Kathy sing “pedant, pedant”.

The Y chromosome has a small portion called the pseudoautosomal region (PAR) which is both homologous and orthologous to the PAR of the X chromosome. This region, while only ~5% of the length of the Y chromosome, is responsible for pairing with the X and recombining with the X. Although small, the PAR is extremely important. In fact, this X/Y recombination at the PAR is required to avoid non-disjunction—which can lead to devastating sex chromosome aneuploidies often resulting in subfertility or infertility.

The majority of the Y chromosome is referred to as the male-specific Y (MSY), and this region doesn’t normally recombine with the X. Thus, the MSY should be inherited directly from father to son, while the PAR of the Y can recombine with the X.

Put another way, the product of one normal male meiosis produces 4 haploid cells, each containing one sex chromosome: a non-recombinant X, a non-recombinant Y, a recombinant X, or a recombinant Y. In 50% of the male F1s, you should have a solely non-recombinant Y chromosome—which can likely be followed by marker analysis to ensure that the Y chromosome in its entirety (both the PAR and the MSY) is inherited.

I started listening to TWIV 18 months ago, and have progressed retrograde through TWIV, TWEVO, TWIM, and TWIP. I’m trained in the endogenous retrovirus field, but I have learned so much from you, and cannot imagine life without your podcast empire. There is no way to thank you as much as you deserve (unless I win the lottery), so I’ll leave it at that.


If I may have a listener pick of the week? I feel like I’m cheating on my one true love to suggest another podcast, but I recently ran across the BBC’s “In our time” podcast of science/history. The episode “Lysenkoism” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00bw51j) detailing the scientific fraud of disgraced agriculturalist Trofim Lysenko, which led to the death of millions of Soviets, is a prescient reminder of the consequences when the State corrupts the scientific endeavor for political purposes. SAD!

Hannah writes:

Hello TWiV Friends!

I just wanted to write a quick note on something Kathy alluded to in TWiV 442, about 78 minutes in. She was talking about a graph noting the difference in agreement between liberals and conservatives when science is presented as “intelligence” versus “curiosity”.

Between my work life and my personal life, I interact regularly with people from both political parties. I have found that the most effective way to talk to anyone about science is to remove the politics from it. I know you point out on TWiV that science is inherently a political issue, but if you present it as such, people will make assumptions based on their own views and subsequently tune out anything you have to say that doesn’t match those views. However, if you talk about science with all of the passion you feel for it, people tend to listen because they want to understand your excitement. Then the conversation that could have gone “Climate change is real because this researchers published a paper on it” and ended in a fight becomes “Hey, I read this really interesting article/paper the other day, where X project had Y result. Isn’t it odd that so much changed in a short time?” and ends in a discussion. This now taps into the “scientific curiosity” in the graph Kathy mentioned.

Keep up the excitement about science!


P.S. I’m in Boulder, Colorado, where we finally have a couple of days without thunderstorms and it’s currently sunny and 23C. Knowing the springtime weather in Colorado, I’m sure the storms will be back tomorrow afternoon!

Anthony writes:

I’ve not read the complete article, but I hope that feasibility is what’s really meant and not possibility.



# # #

In Vivo Excision of HIV-1 Provirus by saCas9 and Multiplex Single-Guide RNAs in Animal Models


Alex writes:

Chères TWIVeurs (et TWIVeuse),

I am an avid listener and new PI at the NIH and I wanted to share with you a recent paper of ours published in the EMBO Journal, which was conducted during my postdoctoral fellowship at Institut Pasteur in France (I am co-first author). I think you’ll find it interesting considering the coverage you’ve dedicated to Zika virus. In this paper, we reveal a Zika virus-induced cytopathic effect in human cell lines and primary cells that is non-canonical and visually striking. Using time-lapse video microscopy, we followed the fate of ZIKV-infected cells to show that viral translocation into the ER causes massive vacuolization and an implosive cell death. This phenotype became apparent when we silenced an important player in the cell-intrinsic innate immune response, IFITM3. Deciphering the cellular signaling events that led to this bizarre type of cell death showed a crucial involvement of PI3 kinase activity and indicated that what we were observing is paraptosis, a poorly understood cell pathway that has never been associated with a human virus infection. These results may be crucial to our understanding of how infected cells, such as neurons, die in infected individuals. Furthermore, the role of the innate immune response in blocking these destructive events may explain why the majority of ZIKV infections are resolved by the host without major complications.

I’ve attached the PDFs for you and here is the URL link, where you can also find our movies:


Best regards,


Alex Compton, Ph.D.

Head, Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section

HIV Dynamics and Replication Program

National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI)

Dennis writes:

Hi Docs,

In TWIV 438 you had a wonderful discussion about teaching and explaining science.  Dickson brought up the “Mr. Wizard” show as a fine vehicle for teaching.  I’d like to point folks to reddit.com as an increasingly powerful communication tool for science.  Reddit.com is now the sixth most visited site on the internet.  There are many subreddits where science teaching and learning are happening.  Just as one example of a site where science is often learned, there’s a page called, “Explain it like I’m five (years old)”.  It’s amazing how often an interesting question is asked and how often there are “gold winning answers” where someone donated $3 to reddit in the name of the answerer.  There are many other “subreddits” such as AskPhysics, Space, SpaceX, chemistry and microbiology where questions can be asked and answered.  Although there are often subthreads that are mainly punny or which reference something cultural or comic, there is a huge amount of learning going on.  Scientists for example are holding “ask me anything” sessions in r/IAMA or within other subreddits wherein they can answer many good questions at one sitting.

As a surprising learning example, in ten seconds I learned how to “un-impact an elephant”.  When I went to reddit to check the names of some of the subreddits, the first video on the front page (thousands of people upvoted this) was of a park worker literally pulling a “rope” of chewed grass out of an elephant’s back end.  The rope was at least ten feet long.  Within ten seconds one learned that elephants can get impacted, educated people can help them out and that the person doing it was not freaked out by the knowledge of from which end it was coming.  There are much more technical and learned subjects being discussed For example of complex chemical reactions and even links to new tools for writing and displaying them.  

It’s my hope that indeed all generations are getting exposed to more and more bits, bytes and gigabytes of science.



May writes:

Hello Vincent and the TWiV masters,

I’m a faithful TWiV listener. Love the show. Listened to all the episodes.

I saw this cool paper in the Science Magazine from the Feng Zhang lab at MIT.

You guys should talk about it on the show.

Here is the paper:


Here is the commentary:


and the video from the Broad:


The weather here is cloudy and windy. 22C. More rain to come.

Take care.


Rockville, MD

Pete writes:

Hello Drs,

Always risky to email while listening to an episode, but I don’t want to forget this question: If it were feasible to remove, say, 1 – 5% of the ERV base pairs from a sexually reproducing organism:

  1. Would you expect that organism to be able to reproduce with an unmodified partner?
  2. What would be the effect on the organism? (Like, would replication be more efficient? Less error-prone?)
  3. Is anyone attempting the experiment?

The discussion reminded me of Greg Bear’s novel, Darwin’s Radio. I think HERVs could be the basis of many novels, hopefully including some more technically accurate than Bear’s 1999 work.

I listen to every episode of TWIV, TWIP and TWIM. I am not a scientist; I am an engineer, but I love the shows.

Be nice to Dickson, but not too nice – we don’t want him to think you don’t care 🙂



Bill writes:

Dear TWIV team,

Having listened to TWIV for a number of years now, I have absorbed a lot of virology in a scattershot manner. I finally decided to go hunt down the Virology 101 sessions on your web page, and have found them fascinating.

They are called out in the web page, but I ended up downloading them as mp3-s, which mean my iPhone music app presented them. It is not clear how to download them as simple sequential podcasts.  The music app works OK for songs, but a virology lecture isn’t a song.  I want to be able to skip around easily, resume where I left off, and I certainly don’t want them shuffled.

I suggest that you duplicate the Virology 101 portions of previous TWIVs into a separate podcast stream.  I don’t imagine that this would take much work, and it would be much easier than collecting various shows.  You might even find a new sponsor who would be interested in this sub-series with a longer shelf-life and stream of novices. It would be easier to update dated lectures, if needed.

In the meantime, be nice to Dickson, the parasitologist formerly known as Dick.  He reminds me of the favored uncle who always has “got your nose” and is pulling quarters out of your ear.


Science guy on a farm in Flemington, NJ

Justin writes:

Dear TWIV hosts,

I am a postdoc at Texas A&M University in the Center for Phage Technology.

I am a long time listener and avid fan of the show. Recently, people have complained about political topics being discussed on the podcast too often. I wanted to offer my humble opinion on the matter. I like hearing these issues discussed, and I feel like I benefit from your perspectives. I don’t think I am alone in my opinion either. This stuff is important, and needs to be talked about.

I do understand the counter argument though. Sometimes it is nice to stop thinking about politics and all the ugly things in the news, and just think about something pure and beautiful… like capsid structures, nucleic acid replication, viral evolution, and so on.

This is just an idea, but I think it would be really cool if you could do more episodes centered specifically on science policy. That way you could talk about policy issues without feeling encumbered, and the people who find that stuff boring could just skip those episodes entirely. I would love to hear people from the TWiX gang chat with people from the Department of Agriculture, EPA, FDA, State Department, or maybe even a congressman on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

If any of you know of a good science policy podcast, or any other reliable source of information on the subject already in existence, let me know.

The topic of what other podcasts your listeners listen to has come up a few times. I listen to Hard Core History, Our Fake History, History on Fire, Mundo de los Microbios (a podcast about microbes in Spanish), Common Sense, Philosophy Bites, The Eastern Border, Inward Empire, all the TWiX podcasts, and Urban Agriculture.

I am running a few episodes behind at the moment, but if there happens to be a book contest I’d like to be included in the email count.

The weather is quite nice in College Station, at least for the time being. We are at a sunny 30°C, with a light breeze.



Amanda writes:

Greetings Tw’all,

I am a long-time listener of the TWiX series, and a sometimes writer. I am currently doing a Clinical Microbiology fellowship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where it is dreary and 9 degrees Celsius. Previously I did a 2 year stint in Goroka, Papua New Guinea as head of Virology at their Institute of Medical Research – which brings me to why I am writing. I did a lot of teaching stuff there, with not a lot of resources. When Dickson et. al. released the 6th Edition of Parasitic diseases for free, I was able to download the PDF and send to my colleagues by USB, so thank you for that! While there, I wanted to share your coursera virology course with my staff as they do not have any specialized virology courses there, but the best internet connection in Goroka is shoddy 2G and quite expensive. If I can get an appropriately sized USB to you, would you be willing to load the lectures onto it for me so I could send to my PNG friends?

I know a lot of people say they fall asleep to TWiV, but I am the opposite, I use TWiV to stay awake on my morning commute!

As always, thanks for all you do for science communication and education.


Amanda Lang, PhD

Clinical Microbiology Fellow

Nova Scotia Health Authority

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Director of Virology

Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory,

Ministry of Health, Government of Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

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