Hibiscus writes:

Hello Vincent and Co.,

I am a Microbiology student from Southern California, and have been listening to twiv and twim for quite a number of years now. The weather has been drying up since that much needed rain storm. Almost time for electric blankets to be put away, with temperatures varying between 71 – 42 °F (20 – 6 °C). I apologize ahead of time if this email is extremely long.

I have finally taken my first Microbiology class, and I loved every bit of it. Happy to say that I am looking forward to my Medical Bacteriology class even more than ever. My school does not have a lab equipped with the proper equipment required for a Virology lab, so I am on the fence about taking Virology when it will only be a lecture course.

My family and I recently had an incident with what I believe was Norovirus, and I was wondering if there were any preventative measures we could take until the vaccine is finally available. I know a 5 year trial has recently concluded, and have been checking in on it every so often. Would not suggest Norovirus to anyone, it’s not fun.

I know it’s been a while since the episode was released, but I disagree with the alternative options presented in the nuclear physics discussion in twiv episode 958. I believe that hydrogen peroxide, sugar, and some kind of catalyst will be the best fuel source because the resulting waste will be water. My dad’s friend came up with an engine for this fuel in cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpg4g47ssFY . Sadly, he died; however, his patent is still kicking around on the internet. My dad, on the other hand, believes that the best alternative is wave generators because not only will the waves be indefinite, but there could also be a positive ecological impact due to the availability of areas where sedentary marine life can settle. Unfortunately, the additive in paint on large boats has all but eradicated free swimming embryonic marine life. There are many excellent textbooks on alternative energy that can explain the production process better than I can, and understanding that process is extremely important when choosing which is best. I so dearly wish public transportation could be more efficient, then we wouldn’t have to worry about such things as much.

Also, I agree we should always close the lid before flushing. Furthermore, all those hand drying blower thingies should be removed because I’m pretty sure they spread just as much fecal matter. Bring back paper towels please.

My parents and I have been very thankful for the twiv team during the pandemic. The Clinical updates have been very helpful. I was also fascinated by the prion disease discussion. I did not know that a prion protein was a specific type of protein.

Thank you for reading,



Please reprimand my dad. He keeps thinking Vincent’s last name is Dragon Yellow.

I don’t recall who sent this in writes:

A basic observation of immunology is that the second exposure of an antigen produces a more rapid and robust immunological response. This left me wondering why we only get one injection of the seasonal influenza vaccine each year-even in years when we have a major antigenic shift like the 2009 H1N1 strain. Wouldn’t we get a more robust response and better protection from illness and severe disease with a 2 dose regimen?

VR asked Florian Krammer, here is his reply:

Good and valid question. I think in some cases this may be a good idea. The general assumption is, that one shot is enough to bring titers up if people have seen related strains. But we know from vaccination with pandemic vaccines (e.g. H5N1) that two shots are needed to induce good immunity if the person hasn’t seen this virus subtype before. The same is true in small children with seasonal vaccines. They get two shots of the regular flu vaccine (at reduced dose) because only if they see the virus twice they make a good response.

In a way, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus was an exception. Initially, two shots were planned. But one shot did the job. The reason for this is likely that older people had seen viruses with a related HA already and there is also some epitope similarity with some of the H1N1 viruses circulating in the 1980ies.

But yes, it may be good to do a trial and see if that works better, especially if a significant drift occurs.



Cynthia writes:

Dear TWiVers,

I just had a great interview with a game developer and TB survivor I thought you all would enjoy, especially Alan;).

You’re Sick (and it’s your fault) by David Moskowitz

A solo-journaling game (Wretched & Alone hack) exploring the stigma of illness.

Thanks you so much for all your amazing work!



Cynthia Tschampl, PhD 

Stop TB USA, Chair-Elect

Massachusetts Medical Advisory Committee for the Elimination of TB, Member

Stop TB Massachusetts, Chair

Donna writes:

I watch this a lot and have learned a great deal. I am a 64yr old with Primary Immunodeficiency as well as Lupus. One of the things that bother’s me is the use of ‘tech speak’ as I was not trained in virology and so terms like ‘Enterovirus’ are unfamiliar to me and when asked to talk about it, there is sort of an impatience with the idea that anyone who doesn’t know is unworthy of being in the conversation. I was trained in diagnostic medical psychology so I know how easy it is to fall into this habit esp. when it is how one speaks to others also trained thus, but I feel it is also important to be able to break things down for those not trained thus. I guess it is much like having to become bilingual, (smile).

I just wanted to try and get this feedback to you as I have followed you since the ‘Pandemimic’ and found all the ‘ This week in …) and enjoyed them greatly. 

Thank You.


Megan writes:

Hi TWiV crew,

Thanks as always for your fantastic video/podcast. While not traditionally a jazz listener, I have been enjoying Dickson’s pick and learning more about the history (and love anecdotes!).

If no one has shared this with you yet, I recommend the following podcast episode from One Year: 

“The Day The Music Stopped: How a 1942 recording ban changed America forever.:

It was fascinating to hear a bit more about the historical context that gave rise to many of the names adorning Dickson’s list. Hope you enjoy it!


Then, as a silly funny thing- a second pick- my favorite Jazz “Album”: The Weather Channel presents the best of smooth Jazz”


This was the music that played during “the locals on the 8s” on the weather channel. I remember being so disappointed when they swapped to using regular pop music- I lost my one spot of jazz exposure at that time. 

Keep on making that infectious podcast,