TWiV 654: TWiVering with excitement

August 16, 2020

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19 and the convalescent plasma trial, then we answer listener questions about the Russian vaccine, choir practice, face masks (wear them!), Mina testing, transmission, and much more.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, Rich Condit, and Brianne Barker

Guests: Daniel Griffin and Chuck Knirsch

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Download TWiV 654 (93 MB .mp3, 156 min)
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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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17 comments on “TWiV 654: TWiVering with excitement

  1. Bob Callaway Aug 16, 2020

    Some good news. Los Angeles officials have embraced fast, frequent testing! They are in contact with Dr. Michael Mina.

  2. Is there any logical reasoning that might reccomend a trial utilizing bacterial phages? Months ago, a healthwatch USA (YouTube) featured its use as a measure of last resort for a case involving an adult male who was near death from an exotic virus contracted while out of country.
    He recovered from his illness without complications.
    I realize that this wasn’t covered in this episode. But it’s something I have been thinking about as a curiosity for the last several months.

  3. “But as I realized on that August afternoon, we don’t have to look up to feel insignificant in the face of the infinite. Biology just hides its inifinities better than astronomy. Instead of extending across the sky in brilliant points of light, the wonders of life extend across time and scale, into dimensions we can only glimpse fleetingly. When we do, though, they’re no less amazing than the expanse above us.”

    • David Smith Aug 17, 2020

      If you can read that whole piece and NOT feel moved, you don’t need a PCR, you need an EKG 😉
      (Thanks Alan!!!!)

  4. With the advent of other respiratory viruses that create cold symptoms, if there is insufficient Rapid Antigen testing for Covid, should there be more Respiratory viral panels run so people can return to work/school? Tighe

  5. Randy Vipond Aug 16, 2020

    Daniel commented that “when people go back indoors” things might get worse. Don’t forget the half of the country that goes outdoors early in the morning and during the winter!
    I am not surprised that our half of the country are suffering a major wave of Covid. The mystery is why we still get winter flu, even though later than colder areas. Must be kids in school!
    Randy Vipond, Loma Linda, CA.
    95 degrees Fahrenheit and indoors!

  6. Pamela Trochesset Aug 16, 2020

    Dear TWiV,

    As a mere happy home gardener, I cannot pretend to correct information I’ve heard on TWiV, only to issue a mild clarification. Regarding a letter read on TWiV 654 concerning “sprouts”, the letter writer was wondering why he should avoid sprouts since brassicas are such healthy vegetables. The letter writer was also from the UK. Perhaps there is a slight language difference at play here. I think of the brassicas as the “stinky vegetable” family: cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, Vincent’s favorite – arugula, and of course Brussels sprouts. Maybe in the UK it is common to just call them sprouts? Maybe the UK has been spared the scourge of mung bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts entirely? Both of those sprouts are part of the legume or bean family (Fabaceae), whereas Brussels sprouts is a member of the Brassicaceae. No, I can’t really pronounce any of that either.

    Thank you for your wonderful podcast and all that you do!

    I think also that the Georgia high school with the crowded hallways and the Covid outbreak had 900 students and staff quarantined due to exposure, but not actually infected. So far, 59 students, teachers, and staff have tested positive across the entire Cherokee County School district, and the 900 quarantined are also spread throughout the school district. This was reported on August 11th, and has surely changed since then. Thank you again! I love listening.

  7. Elise Aug 17, 2020

    Hello Twiving Team

    I very much appreciate the knowledge that you share so freely and professionally. I reside in Auckland, New Zealand and wanted to shout out to Alan Dove, who I believe got it ‘spot on’ that our new outbreak was border related. Returning citizens to NZ have a government paid fourteen days of managed isolation in some of Auckland’s five star hotels. Still some have been resourceful enough to ‘escape’ for a trip to the supermarket or liquor store or maybe just a stretch of their legs. Also it appears our testing for airport and port staff was weak and not carried out as required.

    Usually I would never suggest micro management but in these cases I think we need people to check the people who check the people checking the people. It’s not in my blood to be able to comprehend this disregard for other human beings, particularly as our Maori and Polynesian communities may prove to be particularly vulnerable.

    I am a long long way from understanding statistics Professor Racaniello but I am pretty good at intuition and every time I hear mention of grumpiness I feel somewhat frustrated because I don’t see you as grumpy at all! I see one of those people who have a very strong sense of responsibility and a wish to see intelligent behaviour, particularly in our current circumstances. Maybe, that was behind the sharing of the knowledge way back in early Twiv days. Very grateful to you all.

    Kind regards, Elise Gillard-Allen

  8. David Smith Aug 17, 2020

    You might call this a listener pick – this is “spreading” fast (wink) and this is how you get a meaningful message quickly to the world
    There has been some critique about the precision of the graphs, etc. but the basic message and the number of points covered is fantastic.
    There are also a lot of great MEMEs showing up on the Facebook group – another way to spread the ideas. Clever things include this one:
    Fast At-home Ubiquitous Contagious Indicator (hint: acronym)
    Keep getting the word out Team TWiV !!!

  9. Benjamin Thompson Aug 17, 2020

    Hi TWIV,

    Please comment on where research cell lines originate.

    Are aborted fetuses are the sources for some cell lines?

    I appreciate your view and continue to learn & listen to your precise insights weekly.

    Thank you very much Vincent for the facts.

  10. Jeffery Biss Aug 18, 2020

    About that sheriff, the Deplorables are the reason that we can’t have nice things. Those that don’t want you to get political really need to shut up because it is those that support the GOP that are THE problem. They have been anti-intellectual and anti-science for decades now, starting with Reagan and we are reaping the rewards of them having so much political power.

  11. Richard Cornell Aug 18, 2020

    Being young.
    It is nice to be young knowing that if you pick up this COVID-19 it will pass as a common cold. If they pass it on to their parents who will also pass it on as a cold. It is those over 60 that needs to worry about. Even if they are healthy this virus could be a death sentence to that old age group, but to the young ones can not dream what being old is like.
    It is like trying to explain to a person what Polio was like if they are young than 60, or Small Pox and how it deform those who got it.
    I would think that when this virus rear up in China it only attack the old people and was passed on as a common flu until the bodies of those older people overwhelm the hospitals.
    Who will continue to spread this virus it will be the young ones.
    If this type of virus occur when I was young I also would pass it on as a common cold, while killing my grandparents.

    • A friend at work has a shriveled hand. His mom is (or maybe was – too late now) an anti-vaxxer. South Korea did a good job of containing the outbreak, and I have no doubt largely because of the recent (our lifetimes) SARS and MERS outbreaks. I’m continually amazed at how we can not believe the stove is hot unless we actually touch it.

  12. Richard Cornell Aug 18, 2020

    Your program brings back memories, the good type, the funny type and the type that if I did them today would be seem as Biologic Warfare.
    I can reflect to those on this panel who head covering is thinning gray. That when I was in Grad school studying subjects that would make sane people cringe if I did them today.
    One of my professors was rather strange, secretive, and since I was not a science major I was just the naive guy to be in his class. 6 credit hours made my day. Just sign on the dotted line.
    One set of classes were on plant virus, the ones that killed plants. He had a large grant from the DEA to developed a new or improve virus that could writhe plants growing. That would kill only on type of plant and not kill any other plant around the infected fields.
    I learn a lot about plant viruses, insect viruses, touch on animal viruses as well.
    Needless to say that project was the one to writhe on the vine as no new type of plant virus was created nor any plant virus could be improve upon.
    I did get my credits.
    Now Dr. Vincent what mad things did you do in Grad school that you smile about.

  13. Jennifer A Pedrali Aug 25, 2020

    Dear TWIV team,

    On Episode 654, a listener wrote in about “a face needed a palm” due to the Florida sheriff banning face masks.

    I’d like to offer up a word describing a similarly abhorrent person:
    backpfeifengesicht – “a face in need of a fist.”

    Just keeping it light. I love the break your podcast gives me from all my “doom scrolling.” The information is relevant, the banter is great and yes, I was still listening at the end of the podcast. I am especially delighted to hear Brianne curses. Sometimes those are the only words for the situation.

    Jennifer Pedrali