Dear Alan:

As you enumerated the challenges to implementing the above, I have a somewhat different take, at least as far as Texas goes.

In this state we have over 1,000 School Districts.  My employer advocates for these Districts’ collective agendas every legislative session.

The fact is that you can’t easily herd these 1000+ cats, but that situation helps protect us from some, at least, of the Texas Legislature’s attempts to make sure that no Texas school graduate knows how to think critically, especially when walking into a voting booth.

Tom in Austin

Bob writes:

At strategic points in TWiV 483 Rich Condit paused the discussion with a nod “To the uninitiated”, then proceeded to describe concisely various terms and techniques using non-technical language immediately understandable to this listener.

One would hope this gets to be a permanent feature on future TWiV’s.

The panel doesn’t deliberately try to be opaque, but sometimes it just happens simply because this is experts talking to experts.

Keep up the good work,


Theo writes:

Hi TWiVers,

I am listening to TWiV 483. Vincent mentioned that the eLife article he downloaded was branded “Manuscript submitted to eLife”, and he seemed to suggest that the article might have been online before it was accepted. Just want to clarify that this is not the case: The article had been peer-reviewed and accepted by eLife before it was made available on their website–however it had not been edited into the final publication format, and hence was simply the document originally submitted by the authors. (In this case the author opted to use the nice LaTeX template provided by eLife: (More on the publishing process:

You can still access the original version of the article even though it has been edited since. The links are available in the section “Article and author information”, under the heading “Publication history”.

The archived page:

The current page:



Bohdan writes:

Dear TWIVERs, Immuners, TWIMERs, TWIPERs and TWiEVORs,

I listen to all of you every chance I can get.  I listen to some of your podcasts twice.

You have broadened my biological horizons immeasurably.  

You, like no one, make the world aware of all the possibilities brought to us by biology.  

The enclosed article with commentary (not in a CNS journal) caught my attention.

This article and its commentary may meet your standard for pick of the week.  It may even be worthy as an article to podcast. The potentialities of DNA and RNA continue to amaze me.  

Thank you for your attention.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich, MD, MPH

I am writing from the Health Sciences Library at the UNC School of Medicine where it is currently a surprisingly brisk 43 F.  

When it is cold I use Fahrenheit to feel warmer and when it is hot I use Celsius to feel cooler.

Anthony writes:

Harbor seals in Liberty State Park:

I wonder if anyone is watching for seals that might be sick with influenza?

Matt writes:

Howdy TWiVumvirates,

LTLFTW here (not sure if someone’s already used that acronym, or initalism, to be pedantic.. see if you can figure it out ;-)).  I don’t have any specific comments, as I sadly don’t get to listen to your show regularly anymore, but I wanted to express my gratitude for what you guys do.  I believe science communication to the general public is perhaps tantamount to the science, itself (especially in today’s sociopolitical environment), and it is inspiring that you and the other hosts in the world have taken on this role in your busy lives, going strong with still new shows.

I am a first-year graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, doing my PhD in human genetics, but I’ve been listening to your show since Dr. Chris Sullivan over at UT-Austin put me on it (Hi Chris, if you’re listening!!).  I was actually at your live show (TWiV 255) at UT, too, in October 2013, as I was a wee undergrad taking Dr. Sullivan’s introductory course in virology. My apologies I am just now reaching out, four 1/2 years later!

After my PhD, I wish to stay in academia, but I’ve toyed with the prospect of having a career or at least some involvement in science communication, since I’ve been listening to your shows.  I’d imagine there are many overlaps with the traditional university lecture and am sure you can comment on this. In any case, you might just get a request from me for insight and wisdom on your experiences in this line of work, many years down the road from now.

If I may submit a listener pick: my favorite TWiV episode, “443: On a leaf, no one can hear you scream”, to those who haven’t yet listened.  The findings discussed here is a hauntingly beautiful example of the driving force viruses can play in parasitism, and it’s just phenomenal.

Finally, if you are still accepting CD4 Hunter scores for the Hotez book giveaway, I’ve attached my screenshot [4680].  I hardly think it will be the highest, but I was surprised to learn that one could get such thing as phone-screen finger burn, from constantly shaking off those darn antibodies!  I got to a point where I had to alternate between my pointer and middle fingers, and at times even my thumb!

Thanks again to each of y’all (and your guest hosts!) for everything you do.

Kind regards,


Vinayaka writes:

Hi Vinny,

Greetings from Einstein! Considering all the science education and advice to young scientists that you are podcasting these days, I thought this was an apt pick for your listeners:

Code of Ethics – for Young Scientists – from the World Economic Forum

By the way, I listened to Immune podcast and I am also hooked! Both Cindy and Steph are fabulous co-hosts! Great choices.


Vinayaka R. Prasad, Ph. D.

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Albert Einstein College of Medicine