Michael writes:

Hi all,

Long time listener. I came to TWIV looking for factual and truthful info when the Ebola outbreaks happened in Africa several years back.

Love listening to you. Thanks for all the wonderful discussions and banter. Thanks especially for all the COVID19 info over the past (almost) two years.

Just thought I’d send a link through that you may want to share with TWIV listeners.

This is a fairly lengthy and detailed article on the history of mRNA vaccine development.


A lot of folks seem to think (inaccurately) that mRNA tech was whipped up in the last ~18 months to solve the COVID problem, and thus is risky due to being new. This article may help shed some light on the truth and background.

Thanks once again, and I look forward to many more episodes of TWIV. 



Adelaide, Australia

Fernando writes:

Hi TWiV team,

Weather in Palo Alto: 83F, light breeze from NNW, AQI 117 (no) thanks to the widespread Northern California fire smoke. Earlier today I went hiking on the hills above the smoke, Silicon Valley was a pool of dirty haze while I listened to TWiV 801. It showed the team at its best, ranging widely without over-speculation. All of the papers discussed were interesting, but I was taken especially by discussion about ancient viral genomes in Mexico. I resonated with Vincent’s complaint about “Guns, Germs, and Steel” so I’d like to recommend a more scholarly, less facile alternative, Charles Mann’s “1493” https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/107179/1493-by-charles-c-mann/ (which also discussed monetary disruption from New World gold and silver, incidentally). The companion “1491” is highly informative as well.

On exploration, trans-oceanic commerce, and what preceded the Portuguese-Spanish-English-Dutch colonial exploration and exploitation of the Americas, I recommend Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s “Pathfinders,” which answers several other questions posed by TWiV team in this excellent episode.

Please consider those books as my listener’s picks for a future episode.

Thank you so much for the best journal club I’ve ever learned from.

— F