Jean-Michel writes:

Dear Vincent,

I am amazed (and flabbergasted) by the incredible buzz that my very last paper triggered.

There was nothing new, except that I was just emptying my drawer from all these ancient viruses we never had time to characterize in detail and publish.

With an altmetric attention score of 1700+, this preprint is among the top 0.1% of all bioarxiv preprints.

Just try to search “Claverie Permafrost virus” in Google news, and you will see that basically all media with the slightest interest in Science ran a piece on it.

Sure, I cannot imagine that TWiV would not devote 30 seconds of its broadcast time, to mention how a non-event such as that can suddenly make the news worldwide! 😊

Here is the link:


Proud to become finally famous after 42 years of anonymous career! 😊

Bien amicalement,

Jean-Michel Claverie, Dr. Sc.

Dear TWIV Team and Daniel Griffin,

We, a group of friends, have made a TWIV/Microbe.TV donation today in honor of Joanne (Jody) Schultz  who lived in Boise, Idaho. 

Our dear friend Laurie Schultz, a pediatrician in San Francisco, and twice had her letters read on TWIV, was very close to her sister Jody and held her in great admiration.  Jody and hence Laurie were instrumental in leading us to TWIV and turning us into big fans.  Early on in the pandemic during 2020, Laurie was insistent that we all listen to TWIV and that her sister Jody loved it and had been listening to it prior to the pandemic.   She told us so many times that we finally started listening! We are now loyal listeners too.  Laurie’s sister Jody passed May 27, 2022, from terminal cancer and before she passed, Laurie wrote in those letters to TWIV.  When the letters were read on air, just within days of Jody’s passing, Laurie was overwhelmed with emotions.  

Given the impact TWIV has had on all of us and our gratitude from what we have learned, we wanted to make this donation today.  Given the role it has played in Laurie and Jody’s lives we are making this donation in honor of Jody Schultz.

Thank you to all you at TWIV for your hard work and wonderful insights and for helping us get through this pandemic. 

Janet Arnesty, MD
Judith Jones, MD *
Suzanne Tuchler
Nanci Tucker, MD *

* donations sent in these names

Jane writes:

Dear TWiV team,

It is a cool 64F/18C and overcast tonight. The clouds are blocking off my view of the night sky in Tallahassee Florida. I just finished the absolutely delightful episode 962. As an amateur astronomer (the kind with less math), I was cheering along the entire time. Although I spend most of my days thinking about molecular biology and viruses, I still enjoy a good conversation on black holes and this episode was extra special to me. 

I was inspired by the episode and picks to give chatGPT a virus related task. Here is a poem that chatGPT generated when I put in the prompt “write a poem about viruses in winter”. I was impressed by the results and wanted to share it with you:

In winter’s cold and bitter air 
Viruses thrive and multiply
Spreading sickness everywhere
A constant threat to you and I

We wrap up warm to shield from cold
But still the viruses find their way
Into our bodies, young and old 
Causing misery, day by day

Yet still we hope and still we pray
For the end of this dark season 
When the warmth of spring will come our way
And bring relief and good reason

So let us all be cautious and aware 
Of the dangers that winter brings
And do our part to stay healthy and fair 
To protect ourselves and those we hold dear

For though the viruses may be strong
We are stronger when we stand together
And when winter is finally gone 
We can breathe a sigh of relief, forever.

After generating the poem, I went to Dall-E 2 (an art AI made by the same company as chatGTP) and promoted it to make an image of a virus in space with a galaxy and nebula as a way to celebrate astronomy on TWiV. I am attaching my two favorite images that it produced. 



p.s. Congratulations to Angela on joining the TWiV team. I look forward to hearing you on future episodes!

links to chatGPT and Dall-E:

Jane Benoit (she/her)
PhD Candidate Dennis Lab
Cellular and Molecular Biology
FSU Department of Biological Science

Judy writes:

Dear Vincent,

I had to share this story with you. I’ve been listening to TWIV since Mar of 2020. I’m a loyal listener of TWIV, Dr Griffin and love yours and Amy’s Q & A every week.

I  have shared many TWIV insights with my family. Thanks for making me look so smart in front of my adult children and their partners. They would often ask me for a weekly update during the pandemic.

We are fortunate that they come to our house for ‘Sunday suppers’ each week.  Its wonderful to have this time to catch up and we always talk about current events. 

Tonight my son in law asked us all to be quiet and he played the beginning of Malcolm Gladwell’s Podcast.

He was so excited for me to hear Malcolm say “TWIV” was his favourite podcast and that he was wearing a TWIV T-shirt.   It was pretty special for me that they were so impressed and excited.

Thank you to you and all the team for all you do to teach us and for your dedication and hard work.  TWIV is definitely part of the family!

Kind regards,


Edmonton, AB


Alex writes:

Dear TWiV team,

A big thanks again for all the work you put into the various podcasts. They are an exemplar of public science communications.

I thought you might be interested in the following.

An e-book entitled “ANIMAL AND HUMAN CORONAVIRUSES: Evolution and pathogenicity of the virus and disease prevention” has been published here;

This is one of the deliverables from the EuroScitizen EU COST Action which is just finishing up three years of excellent multinational research into evolution education. The book has been translated into 7 languages and has been awarded a prize as best education resource by the Cas das Ciencias science education portal in Portugal. In addition, an accompanying game was developed (also translated into multiple languages), a video about which can be found here;

If you have the time and space to, it would be wonderful if you could let your viewers know about it.



University of Bath

Philip writes:

I was on a Colombian government website helping my daughter enter information regarding Covid exposure and vaccine status this weekend.   Required for entry.  I did this for my wife in May.

They asked for travel details and asked the usual Covid stuff.  A new question asked about Smallpox exposure.  I chuckled and thought that was an easy one.

I selected English although I could have done it in Spanish.

I did a bit of research.

In Spanish, moneypox is Viruela de Simio or Viruela de Monos.   Viruela can be any of the poxes.  Specifically, Smallpox is the plural form or Las Viruelas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah for all the folks at TWIV.  And of course, Happy New Year!

Brooke writes:

Hey TWIV Team!

Long time listener, and throughout the past couple years I’ve wondered what else the ACE 2 receptor is used for, why we have it, and if it’s not critical if there is a way to develop a therapy that binds to the receptor, which doesn’t change rather than the spike protein which does.

Side question: What do the other common coronavirus attach to?

Side question #2: Is there any part of the spike protein that doesn’t charge often- that a monoclonal antibody could attach to (and prevent the protein from attaching to the ace 2  receptor?

Side question #3 does the sars cov-2 virus attach itself to any other receptor?

PS: 12.22° C, bright and sunny here in Phoenix AZ

As always, thank you for being a resource based on principle and spirit of science. Non virologist here, but high risk. Captured by your coverage of COVID, and staying around for everything else! Always scratches that itch of curiosity and am now in awe of the complexity, variety , and depth of these things called viruses. Completely captivated!



James writes:


I just saw your last podcast with Paul Offit. Sadly, Novavax was not covered. I was hoping for some information, specifically why it is only authorized as a first booster after the “primary” series? I am not finding any rationale for this, either with the FDA or CDC. 

Those that had issues with mRNA vaccines boosters, this seems a likely alternative. Especially since the bivalent mRNA boosters appear to be underwhelming.  

Thank you both for those updates and listen every week!  Even mentioned  your podcasts to a number of folks. Keep up the good work.


Jimmy writes:

Dear Drs,

Thank you for your efforts at science education. They are much appreciated.

However, I cringe every time I hear the phrase “severe disease”. The broader public wants as much protection as possible from disease, even the cases you may classify as non-severe.

My poor analogy.. if you get a shock everytime you use a light switch in the incubator, you would call an electrician. If that electrician started by asking if the shock was lethal, and then asked if you were hospitalized for the shock, you would likely find that annoying. Similarly “enough to keep you out of the hospital” is not the standard of care I’m looking for.

Thanks for your time and attention!


Blue Pilgrim writes:

If we don’t do a lot of basic research then we will never develop warp drives, transporters, tractor beams, synthesizers, subspace radio, tricorders, phasors, or star ships like the Enterprise — and the Klingons and Romulans will win all the wars and take over the Earth until the Vulcans get some spare time eventually and decide to rescue us, and take over themselves.  Someone should tell Congress and the Pentagon. 

Science fiction generally precedes reality. 

Ted writes:

I am struck by the lack of guidance for the old people! Those of us over 75.

Many of us are spending these days still hidden away, fearful of getting COVID, Rsv, and in the dark as to whether we will ever see the light of day again.

Is there any resource that will tell us by ailment grouping what we can do, what to do when our md isn’t vaccinated and is anti Paxlovid, and getting to a new pcp is a 6 month wait here in old people land. How can we know if our immune system is good? If you are diabetic what is the prognosis? If you have had a stroke what is prognosis?

One gets the feeling that over 75 is in danger, but let’s not tell them how to evaluate their danger level… just stay hidden away forever. Not a great life to look forward to.

Any resource help would be a public service.

I’ve watched TWIV since March 2020. You have kept me sane. Now I hope you can help me calculate how I can emerge.

Many thanks, 


Sun city, South Carolina

Rona writes:

Dear Dr Vincent,

It was fun listening to your esteemed Canadian guest, on episode 946.  Wow her parents raised a pack of amazing children. 

I am looking forward to the reveal of the GOAT of jazz 

Dr Vincent, I have a pick for you. You need to familiarize yourself with jazz.  It’s sitting right under your nose.  You’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Columbia’s Phil Schaap‘s Birdflight? How about you listen to WKCR, fm 89.9 Columbia‘s radio station, the oldest jazz station in America. I know this because I volunteered there during my time at Barnard.



Alan writes:

Hi Vincent et al.,

This XKCD just leaped out at me as a great listener pick for TWiV.


Alan “J. Clinical Ambivalence” Gilbertson