Anthony writes:

The Vanquisher of Polio Also Stood for Jewish Rights

He insisted that if they wanted his clinic, the redlining had to stop.

May 24, 2019 12:42 p.m. ET

Regarding Bob Greene’s “Vaccines Made the Iron Lung Obsolete” (op-ed, May 14): Jonas Salk made his mark on the world by developing the polio vaccine, but few know his other accomplishments in the area of civil rights.

After he became famous in the 1950s, he wanted to build a clinic in La Jolla, Calif. Yet he found that realtors excluded Jews from the city. He insisted that if they wanted his clinic, the redlining had to stop. Because of his stature, the city opened to Jews and he built his clinic as promised. I was able to live there for many years because of the strength of his will.

Kathy writes:

I had to stop listening immediately to write in…

I’ve visited the Vasa twice; 1985 & 2012. It’s worth a several hours-long visit. 

Fact-checking Dickson:

Story of why it sank, etc. 

Key point:

Restoration and Lessons from Vasa

“The ship had sunk in the shallow waters of the Baltic sea, and due to the salinity of the water, the wooden vessel survived infestation and degradation.”

Facts relating to why it sank:

(It was top-heavy). 

“Admiral Fleming and Captain Hannson (Vasa’s captain) ran a test with 30 men running side-to-side (a “lurch” test). After three rounds by the men, the test was stopped as the ship rocked so violently that it was feared that it would heel. However, no one had any ideas to help stabilize the ship. 

…Even knowing that the ship had stability issues, it was given the go-ahead, which was the result of three factors: (a) pressure from King Gustav, (b) the king of Poland had started a war campaign, and (c) no one knew what else to do.”

Ruan writes:

Dear Twiv 

Hepatitis D without Hepatitis B? I guess we’ll have a look… you’ll hear what we find first at Twiv 🙂 


Medical virology Cape Town

Wink writes:

Dear TWiV Professors,

I love TWiV! … even though, not being a basic scientist, I’m barely understanding most of the discussion. As a clinical HIV investigator, I have one clarification that relates to the introductory remarks from TWiV #552. No surgeon has ever been reported to have acquired an HIV infection by doing their job — not even trauma surgeons in communities with a high incidence of HIV. And trauma surgeons often sustain lacerations from bone chips and the like. However, many nurses and blood-drawers have seroconverted following needlesticks at work. This is thought to be due to the larger volume injected via hollow-bore needles and the smaller volume of infected blood on scalpels and shards. Thought you’d be interested.

Wink Weinberg, Atlanta

Ed writes:

Hi TWiV gang-

It’s 71F/22C in SLC where the sun sets at 9PM MST, and as of writing, is the last day of spring.

552 was a really fun episode and features some delicious bon mots from Rich Condit: “You have to be accurate, and you have to hang on” he says referring to the fidelity/processivity of DNA polymerases–good advice for scientists too.

The discussion of primer independent DNA polymerases focused on recently discovered prim-pols, and the papers’ DNA polymerases from phage/transposons.

I didn’t hear you mention it, but we’ve known about primer-independent DNA polymerases since the 1960s[1]: namely the exceptionally weird Terminal Transferase, which in addition to being template-independent, is also primer-independent [2]. Not just for 5’ RACE, as you know TdT is important for random incorporation of dNTPs during V(D)J recombination, allowing for “antigen receptor diversity”.

Thanks again for a wonderful podcast,

Ed Grow

(Patreon supporter, Twitter: @ControlllingLMNT)

Literature cited:

  1.  (Karkow JS, Kamen LHO. DNA synthesis in thymus gland. 1966;2:307)

  2.  (Ramadan K, Shevelev IV, Maga G, Hübscher U. J Mol Biol. 2004 May 28; 339(2):395-404.).

Anthony writes:

My father told of seeing a contemporary newsreel about FDR’s personal car having been modified for use with hand controls.  I can’t find that film Online, but the car indeed does exist:

With the coarsening of all things, I can just barely remember it, but there was a time when people were polite. 

Anthony writes:

‘Brady Bunch’ Episode Fuels Campaigns Against Vaccines — And Marcia’s Miffed

Ryan writes:

As the number of measles cases nationwide rises to levels not seen since before the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, some people who oppose vaccines cite an odd cultural reference as evidence that the concern about measles is overblown: a 1969 episode of The Brady Bunch.

Some former Brady Bunch cast members aren’t happy about it.

The episode “Is There a Doctor in the House?” features the whole family sick with measles. First, Peter gets sent home from school. Mother Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson, describes his symptoms as “a slight temperature, a lot of dots and a great big smile,” because he gets to stay home from school for a few days.

Once the rest of the six kids come down with measles, the youngest two Brady siblings fool around, with Bobby trying to color Cindy’s measles spots green.

“If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles,” sister Marcia says, as the older Bradys sit around a Monopoly board on one of the kid’s beds. All the kids are thankful they don’t have to take any medicine or, worse, get shots, the thought of which causes Jan to groan.

This stuff is happening while states like California are in the middle of a vaccine debate over how to reduce exemptions though. 

Ryan writes:

The measles debate continues:

This is when more states report measles and various states continue protests and debates over vaccine laws

Several listeners sent this story:

Justin writes:

The Washington Post: Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement.

They’re in NY, maybe it’s worth trying to reach out to them?

Ryan writes:

The Washington Post is reporting this given that the Measles is going to remain a major issue going into the 2020 elections. Also they talk about the Selz lead in to the Vaccine movement. Its a good read. 

Fernando writes:

Where antivax comes from

Fernando writes:

Hi TWiV team,

I’m a few weeks behind in my listening so I don’t know if anyone already picked this, but if not, it goes well with a frequent theme in your conversations about mice (or ferrets) vs humans.

Love the show(s), thank you for so much education at such a low cost (I’m a contributor, BTW). Even the bad puns have started to grow on me. And I love the weather banter, now that I live in the weather-boring Bay Area.