Gaelen writes:

Hello TWIVers,

I’d like to present this paper for the TWIV Team to consider presenting on a future TWIV, as it reports on a particularly extreme example of a category of virus that I hadn’t previously heard of: the multipartite virus. Surprisingly, this publication came to my attention when my mother (who is distinctly not a scientist, and usually barely tolerates when I talk about my own work) sent me an article she stumbled across in the Atlantic.

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.43599

Over the last several years, I’ve come to really enjoy the TWIX cohort – as I am now a second year microbiology graduate student at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, these podcasts have certainly helped me think about my own work and have inspired consistently interesting discussions. I’m working to characterize ways in which host lipid factors play roles in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. The dulcet tones of the various TWIX team members help keep me happy (and thereby uninfected) in the BSL3!

Please keep up the good work, and I look forward to continue hearing the weather reports!



Martin writes:

Have you seen this? Peter Hotez getting the message out again on YouTube…

Best wishes

Martin Keats

Sam writes:

Dear TWiV team,

Your discussion in Episode 539 of plant grafting reminded me of my favorite science joke. Now that I’m in law school, and no longer surrounded by scientists, I never find myself in the company of people who would understand it, so I thought I’d share it with you:

Q: What was the greatest biology experiment of all time?

A: When Luther Burbank crossed the Rocky Mountains with his wife.

Thanks for all the work you put into the podcast!


Sam Matthews

J.D. Candidate 2019

Columbia Law School

P.S. I also wanted to submit a listener pick, but because it’s a shameless self-promotion, I wanted to leave it to your discretion whether it was appropriate to mention on your show.

The Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (an academic law journal staffed and edited by students at Columbia Law School) now has a podcast, STLR [pronounced “stellar”] Conversations! This podcast will explore the intersection of Science, Technology and the Law, and will feature a mix of in-depth interviews with authors published in our journal and surveys of legal topics from industry experts.

Our first episode, released earlier this month, discusses a law most people have never heard of (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act), but is ostensibly responsible for allowing the internet to exist. If you’ve ever wondered why Facebook doesn’t get sued every time someone posts something illegal on the site (e.g. bogus medical advice), this law is what prevents that from happening. Later this year we will have an episode about discarded DNA and its use in criminal prosecutions.

Our objective is to present complex legal topics in a format accessible to a lay audience. We are available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, as well as on our blog,

Anthony writes:

Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her

# # #

The Washington Post has an article on Amazon removing anti-vacc titles, but — as I’ve used up my free access — I’ve not read it yet.


# # #

The character should have been committed, not elected.

Why isn’t the intentional exposure of children to disease prosecuted as abuse?

Islam writes:

Dear TWiV team,

I just wanted to tell you a quick story. My wife, Randa, is a preschool teacher and curriculum coordinator at a private school in MA. She has a master’s degree in early education and is always willing to try new fun things at her class. She was curious about the book that I was translating to Arabic: Paul has measles, which you guys talked about previously in multiple TWiV episodes. She passed by my desk last weekend and saw the lovely illustrations on my computer’s screen. Are you reading a book for kids, she asked 🙂

No, I am actually translating a children’s book about vaccines to Arabic. She flipped through the pages of the PDF and asked if she can read it to her students. Absolutely, I said. I gave her the link and next day she sent me pictures of her students reacting to the book’s content projected on a big TV screen. This was the cutest thing ever! Kids really loved it and wanted to spend more time going over this interesting material. So, she decided to print and laminate the book, which is now available for the kids to touch, read and ask more questions. She was amazed by how engaging the content was for them. It seems that this experiment is worth replicating with other scientific books geared towards this young age! I thought that this story could inspire some of the TWiV listeners to do the same. If you are a teacher or know one, please don’t hesitate to spread the word.



Bob writes:

In view of your TWiV (#503) on citrus greening, I thought you might find

interesting this astounding story:

Josh writes:

Hi Twiv,

I was reviewing visualizations at D3.js and thought that you guys may enjoy this. I am incapable of checking this for accuracy of representation but I believe the code below the picture could be employed to accurately present the data if it is not already accurately displayed here.



Tree of Life