TWiV 244 letters

Annie writes:

I’m glad that my email amused you when you read it during TWIP #57. But i am thrilled that you will be at Beth Israel on August 2nd. If I can get my night shift covered i will worm my way into Boston and crash the podcast. If not, I will catch it when it airs.

My daughter, Caroline, will be in the audience. After 3 productive years with Dr Dolin and Dr Seaman she is heading to med school in Grenada where, I hope, she will encounter many viruses, microbes and parasites. My job as a mother is complete!

You and Dr Despommier have a loyal following at CVS Pharmacy.

With great fondness and admiration, Annie

Robin writes:


A difference between zoonotic


came AS A PATHOGEN from animals “once upon a time”. NOT those that came non-pathogenic to humans from animals and later became pathogenic in humans.


still hopping PATHOGENIC from animals to Homo sapiens; may or may not still be hopping from person to person (pathogenic or not); may or may not still be hopping from persons to animals (pathogenic or not).

It is to be remembered that EVERYTHING (including Homo sapiens, creationists notwithstanding) arose from animals).

Joe writes:

Hello TWIVcats,

An FU to Vince’s suggestion that all viruses are zoonoses – to clarify, on this occasion I do mean “follow up”.

Although I agree that this is probably the case for the majority of viruses, we cannot assume it is the case for all. Could there not be some viruses that have joined us for the evolutionary journey from primates to people. We, as a species, did not appear as fully formed humans one day, naive to all the sniffles and sneezes only to be colonised as time went on, unless you subscribe to creationism. As animals, we evolved from other animals and inevitably carried some viral baggage along the way.

Thanks again for your time, effort and attempts at humour,



Kathryn writes:

Why do bats seem to be such a good mixing bowls for viruses?

~ Kathryn ~

Ryan writes:

Dear TWiV Team,

While this was a relatively small point in the context of your discussions of the hepacivirus/pegivirus discoveries discussed in the last podcast, you had discussed the conserved miR-122 binding site of HCV and other hepaciviruses and how this may be linked to its tissue tropism. In general do viruses often take advantage of host microRNAs as an attribute of their pathogenesis? I realize that micro RNAs play broad roles in antiviral defenses and countless other host pathways, and as such I apologize if the question is itself too broad.

Thanks for making the show and best wishes ,