TWiV 849: Arc of the epitope

January 7, 2022

TWiV kicks off 2022 with a review of the virology highlights of 2021, from three virologists, one immunologist, a science writer, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker

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Download TWiV 849 (61 MB .mp3, 102 min)
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Links for this episode

Weekly Picks 1:47:58

Brianne Don’t Look Up
RichVideo of a Green Flash  (wiki)
Alan Fungally-modified violins
Vincent This Old Tony especially this segment

Listener Picks

PaulDeep Mind and AlphaFold
GrantSARS-CoV-2 reproduction cycle

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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2 comments on “TWiV 849: Arc of the epitope

  1. Just adding my 2cts to your discussion, by reminding everyone of Alan Dove’s intervention in TWiV 663 (September 13, 2020).

    Alan’s contribution went for about 44 mins (01:00:00 – 01:44:40), and contained some very wise pointers to the vaccination’s primary endpoint:
    =”Preventing or mitigating disease” = NOT “Preventing or mitigating infection”. (cfr. 01:02:50-01:10:30).

    Obviously, this was a major industrial-scientific insight that was clearly shared with TWiV listeners from the summer of 2020 onwards; but that has been unfortunately neglected by almost every journalist, politician, doctor or other talking head on T.V. No wonder the general public ended up being confused (and disappointed) about the need/use of vaccinations and/or testing.

    Recently a similar phenomenon can be observed in the field of the short v. middle v. long term ‘NEED vs IMPACT’ of the so-called 3rd vaccination (=booster?) shots; e.g. the general confusion between neutralizing antibody ‘infection protection’ vs. ‘long time overall immunity’ (once again in the field of ‘protection’ against infection v. ‘protection’ against disease/death).

    Vincent Racaniello’s and Brianne Barker’s online virus and immunology MOOCs come to mind. A quick theoretic overview might therefore be in place; at least it would offer the panel an opportunity to provide its TWiV listeners with some advanced theoretic perspective, insights or informed forecasts/guesses.

    In Brussels people are still being called in by mail for a so-called free/voluntary booster shot (=1x Moderna after 2x Pfizer), relatively shortly (= 4 to 5 months) after their 2nd Pfizer dose.. However, we are allowed to repeatedly roll-over our assigned ‘booster’ date by a maximum of 3 weeks at a time; which is what I have decided to do – – for the time being, e.g. until more information about Delta v Omicron becomes available. Question: Could the TWiV-panel pls. enlighten its listeners about the best ‘academic’ time-table for getting one’s ‘booster’ shot; e.g. as a function of vaccine-platform and age (e.g. by comparing and contrasting with other vaccines / viruses) ??

    Thank you & Keep up the good work !!

    • Jennifer Swartz Jan 12, 2022

      I agree 100% that, despite our intrepid TWiVvers’ and Paul Offit’s best efforts, the media has completely dropped the ball on infection vs. serious disease prevention. People (except my family and closest friends, whose brains have been beaten about with this concept for nearly a year and a half now) look at me like I’m an alien when I try to explain this, THE ONE most important concept to understand about vaccination.