Harold writes:


Here in cubicle land it is a comfortable 74 degrees F with 60% relative humidity. Bright LED lights provide constant indirect illumination

I have been reading about the recent increase of cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis in the popular press. Is it caused by a virus?

The press has been hyping the Polio like symptoms. There seems to be clusters of cases in Seattle and Pittsburgh

An opinions on what this might be?

I’ll hang up and listen to your response.

Richard writes:


I was just listening to the latest TWIV episode and wanted to raise several points that I think are interesting about mitochondria.

– the 37 genes you refer to are for humans – as I understand it there is some variation and plant mitochondria dna can be a lot larger

– there has been reports of a 14th human mitochondrial protein, Humanin encoded in the 16s gene.  I don’t think we know its function yet although it has been implicated in one form of Alzheimer’s

– finally and most interestingly there can be more than one type of mitochondria in a person (although rare).  The last Tsar famously had heteroplasmy – as did his brother which helped to identify his remains.

Many thanks for the interesting podcasts.


Rich (7oaks, Kent, England)

Gonzalo writes:

Hello Vincent and the rest of the team,

I’m a biology student at University of Tsukuba, Japan, and I have been listening to the show for a long time now.

So the reasons for me writing to you guys for the first time are:

First, I want to thank all of you for the time you take to make this incredible show, I’ve been very interesting and useful to learn about the newest topics, which are not covered in class. Also, I want to thank Brianne for uploading her Immunology course, since watching Vincent’s I have been wanting to find a similar one regarding Immunology. I just started listening to it, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching all of them.

Second, probably you have been suggested this before, or not, but here in Japan there is an animated show that all my biology classmates (and me included)  really like. It is called “Cells at Work” (or Hataraku Saibou in Japanese) and is about how cells work inside the body. Most of the episodes are focused on the immune system so if not for Twiv, I think it could be a Pick for Immune.

Thanks again for all your work.