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TWiP Joins TWiV in Podcast Success

Columbia virologist Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., and microbiologist Dickson Despommier, Ph.D., who started a podcast in late 2008 about viruses, have expanded into the realm of podcasting about parasites.

This Week in Virology (TWiV), a podcast hosted by the two Columbia scientists, has more than 6,000 downloads per episode. Their new podcast – This Week in Parasitism – is also doing well. TWiP, like TWiV, is available on iTunes.

This Week in Parasitism is about eukaryotic parasites. The hosts strive for an informal yet informative conversation about parasites that is accessible to everyone, regardless of science background. “TWiP is for everyone who wants to learn about parasites in a relaxing way,” say the hosts.

Dr. Racaniello modeled the podcasts on a popular iTunes podcast, Diggnation, hosted by two, sometimes inebriated, hosts. “We’re just two people sitting down and talking, except we don’t have the beer.”

When P&S Journal reported on TWiV in the Fall 2009 issue www.cumc.columbia.edu/news/journal/journal-o/fall_2009/, Dr. Racaniello said the idea came to him after he started listening to podcasts during his long commute to work. “I’d been thinking for years about how to teach virology outside the classroom, and podcasting seemed like the perfect solution,” he says.

This Week in Virology can be found at iTunes or by going to www.twiv.tv. This Week in Parasitism can be found at www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=99&Itemid=259. Dr. Racaniello’s blog, www.virology.ws, contains links to both podcasts.