TWiV 678: Fishing for viruses with Nels Elde

November 5, 2020

Nels joins TWiV to reveal the discovery of a picornavirus of zebrafish by measuring immune responses in the host, genome sequence analysis of the White House COVID-19 outbreak, and a six-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 exposure rate than reported cases in German children.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, and Kathy Spindler

Guest: Nels Elde

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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4 comments on “TWiV 678: Fishing for viruses with Nels Elde

  1. Francois Nov 5, 2020

    I assume this is already in the works, but is some analysis of the Danish mink COVID-19 situation coming to a TWIV in the near future? The expert opinion of virologists seems quite warranted here; I certainly don’t have an educated opinion about how bad this is.

    Thank you for engaging in public outreach.

  2. Richard Stewart Nov 6, 2020

    Thanks for another great episode! It was refreshing to hear about topics outside of the SARS CoV-2 universe. I don’t think that PrePubMed (Vincent’s pick) is operating currently; I think it was a two-year project that covered 2014-2016. But NCBI.NLM’s PubMedCentral does catalog many preprints, including those in bioRxiv and MedRxiv.

  3. Tim Escher Nov 7, 2020

    Great episode, and good to hear some other work going on in the field.

    The discussion on factual vs. value judgements was also good. I’m not sure Vincent got it, but Rich sure did. Must come from his Buddhist training. I find his rational and introspective wisdom refreshing in these episodes.

  4. Paula Nov 12, 2020

    A paragraph in this article caught my attention:

    “Pierret got the idea from some of his work with InSciEd Out, a Mayo-affiliated nonprofit aimed at reforming science education to encourage doing research—not just memorizing facts and figures. One way the organization does that is to partner with schools and help their students and teachers conduct experiments with zebrafish, a model organism commonly studied by developmental biologists. A couple of years ago, one Minnesota school went all-in on the idea. Administrators installed fish tanks in classrooms and the school’s high-traffic computer lab. That winter turned out to be especially dry, which got to be a problem for maintaining all that new fish habitat. The dry air was sucking up moisture from wherever it could—including the newly acquired collection of aquaria. One of the teachers called Pierret to tell him how exhausted he was. “I’ve been doing nothing but filling fish tanks every day!” Pierret recalls him saying. It also turned out to be a bad year for respiratory infections. The majority of schools in the area reported higher-than-average student absenteeism due to flu symptoms. Only one school didn’t: The one with the fish tanks. “It really stood out,” says Pierret. “That was the hypothesis-driving event for us.” He and his colleagues went on to test that hypothesis in a local nursery school, publishing the results in the journal PLOS One.”