Nastya writes:

Dear TWiV team,

I am an AAV engineer at Caltech, and I’ve been an avid listener since a professor recommended the podcast two years ago. Your banter has kept me company through many dissections and made me feel connected to the greater scientific community — you guys are the central nervous system of the virology tribe. Thank you for the incredible service you do for science and scientists alike.

I am writing not with a virology question, but with a request to the virology community at large. I and several other Ukrainian-born students, post-docs, and professors have recently formed a nonprofit organization, Scholars for Ukraine. Our aim is to raise money among our colleagues around the world and send it to small, carefully vetted volunteer groups in the worst-affected areas in Ukraine. We focus on providing food and medical supplies to civilians on the front lines, niches that larger organizations seldom manage to reach in time. We ask you to please consider supporting our cause through a donation — even a small amount goes a long way. For more information, please visit 

Someday TWiV will have the opportunity to visit Ukrainian virology institutes under a peaceful sky — until then, we humbly ask this wonderful community for help.

Yours truly,

Nastya (NUH–stee–uh)

Dan writes:

Hi TWiV folks,

Long time lurker of both the TWiM and TWiV podcasts. The mere mention of Twort’s paper in episode 898 brought back a flood of memories. I have had an appreciation for our bacterial virus friends since learning more about them in my early college days. My undergrad degree is in microbiology and phage research became one of the few long term topics I follow to today. Even though my career has long since shifted away as I work in food and beverage quality (brewing/alc but some non-alc as well), I still love to re-examine old works as I try to keep up with new work between current career related learning. I have had success buying or obtaining copies of d’Herelle’s work but not as much Twort. Would Dr. Condit be able to share a copy? I understand if not as it seems he was able to obtain one through a friend.

On to wider praise! Thank you TWiV team for all the work put in, especially in the last two years. I am happy non-covid topics are being sprinkled back in but the help during the pandemic bringing out forgotten knowledge and providing new information was extremely helpful. More than a few times I had to have conversations about COVID policies in offices and manufacturing environments. The nuance gained was useful and very appreciated, even when it meant I had to jump into a few hours of research to confirm a position after the kid went to sleep. 

Cheers to you all with whatever beverage you prefer!

Best wishes,

Dan W.

Rowin writes:

Hi team,

It’s 11.3 C here in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. We are in the middle of the lead up to an election between our version of Trump and a more serious politician, hopefully we can get the current team out and have some action on climate, covid, economics, and so on.

Anyway, on episode 898 you had a listener letter about a point being an infinitesimal, a concept from mathematics, and therefore saying a data point was not correct. I wanted to throw in my 2 cents and say that the same word means something different depending on the context. The point of a knife is definitely not infinitesimal nor is the point of an argument or the point of a policy. In the case of a point of data we are generally referring to a single record, and single value within a table, or a single recording. In these ways a point really means a single discrete sample rather than a trend or a conclusion. A plurality of points go into “the data” and can then be analysed to come to a conclusion.

Hopefully we can have someone in the Prime Ministership who can see what the point of office is and stop attacking trans kids, alienating allies, and funneling cash to friends.

Thanks for the awesome show!


Jeff writes:

Hello TWiVers,

In TWiV 898 you read a letter from Charles asking whether vaccination provides short term sterilizing immunity and whether there may be reduced seroconversion rates.  Coincidentally, I was researching this seroconversion question this week and found some results from the Moderna Phase 3 vaccine trial.  They concluded as follows:

“Among participants in the mRNA-1273 vaccine efficacy trial with PCR-confirmed Covid-19, antinucleocapsid antibody seroconversion at the time of study unblinding (median 53 days post diagnosis and 149 days post enrollment) occurred in 40% of the mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients vs. 93% of the placebo recipients, a significant difference. Higher SARS-CoV-2 viral copy number upon diagnosis was associated with a greater chance of anti-nucleocapsid antibody seropositivity (odds ratio 1.90 per 1-log increase; 95% confidence interval 1.59, 2.28). All infections analyzed occurred prior to the circulation of delta and omicron viral variants.”


Best Wishes,


Greg writes:

Hi TWIV Team,

Thank you for all your good work.  

Prof. Racaniello has mentioned the book “The Death of Expertise” by Tom Nichols in at least one TWIV episode and in his Richard Ernst Lecture. Along the same lines I would like to recommend the podcast “Against the Rules” by Michael Lewis, author of several best selling books such as “Moneyball” and “The Big Short”.  

The third and most recent season of this podcast series focuses on how and why expertise tends to be underappreciated. He provides examples of 1) large organizations in which people with critical expertise often work six layers down from the top; 2) experts who are focused on solving a problem but not boasting or claiming credit; 3) experts who are overlooked because they are female.  

In the first season of this series, Lewis did a couple of episodes on how sports umpires and referees have also suffered from declining trust even though they have much better training and tools than in the past. There may be some relevant parallels to the distrust of scientists. 

Michael Lewis is an expert and compelling story teller.  

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis on Apple Podcasts

best regards, 


Champaign, IL USA