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This Week in Evolution

This Week in Evolution is a podcast on the biology behind what makes us tick.
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Now displaying: 2023
Dec 26, 2023

Nels and Vincent discuss the origins of two modern day agriculturally important plants: a role for two different wild teosintes in making modern maize, and the origin and evolution of the triploid cultivated banana genome.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks

Nels – Why we need an academic career path that combines science and art – Nature Careers Podcast
Vincent – Science’s 2023 Breakthrough and Breakdown

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

Send your evolution questions and comments to twievo@microbe.tv

Nov 14, 2023

Nels and Vincent discuss how the rewetting of seasonally dried soils, a critical event in Mediterranean grasslands that reactivates dormant soil microorganisms, leading to pulses of carbon and nitrogen mineralization, and is accompanied by a bloom of viral diversity, followed by extensive viral community turnover.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks

Nels - Bluesky
Vincent - Cancer Virus Hunters: A History of Tumor Virology

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

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Sep 29, 2023

Nels and Vincent take apart an amazing symbiosis consisting of two bacteria, one bacteriophage, and seven different genomes all within a single-celled alga.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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•A single crowded cryptomonad cell (Curr Biol)
Letters read on TWiEVO 94

Science Picks

Nels – What happened at NIH during the last government shutdown
Vincent – Geneticist J. Craig Venter: ‘I consider retirement tantamount to death’

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

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Aug 25, 2023

Nels and Vincent review a collision of synthetic biology and experimental evolution, using a minimal synthetic bacterial cell with only 473 genes, the smallest genome of any known organism that can be grown in lab culture.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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• Evolution of a minimal cell (Nature)

Science Picks

Nels – Life magnified stamp collection

Vincent – Matters Microbial

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

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Jul 21, 2023

Nels and Vincent explain a study of how interspecies competition between two algae influences evolution of metabolism and size.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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• Metabolic evolution during competition (Curr Biol)

Science Picks

Nels – How amino acids got their names (Source)

Vincent – EVs Fix One Pollution Problem—And Worsen Another

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

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Jul 17, 2023

Nels and Vincent discuss new findings using phylogenetic approaches about how complex eukaryotic cells emerged from prokaryotic ancestors, which firmly place eukaryotes as a clade nested within the Asgard archaea.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent RacanielloS

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•Heimdallarchaeial ancestry of eukaryotes (Nature)

Science Picks

Nels – Juneteenth issue of Cell – collection of essays from black and brown scientists

Vincent – Tara Oceans

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May 12, 2023

Nels and Vincent provide insights into the mystery of mouse mummies on the summits of >6000 m Andean volcanoes, including whether they were living there and if so why?

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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•Mystery of mouse mummies (bioRxiv)

Science Picks

NelsZoonomia
VincentSeaPhages

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

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Apr 25, 2023

Nels and Vincent discuss the observation that cells on a boundary of a solid tumor have higher growth rates compared to those in the center and how to model this difference using genome sequencing data.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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•Join the MicrobeTV Discord server
•Evolutionary models of solid tumor growth (Nat Ecol Evol)

Science Picks

NelsTWiV 1000
Vincent The dream of wiping out polio might need a rethink

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Mar 26, 2023

Nels and Vincent review a study of the dogs of Chernobyl which reveals that genetically distinct populations with different amounts of western breed contributions to their genomes, the first step in assessing the effects of exposure to long-term ionizing radiation.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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The dogs of Chernobyl (Science Adv)
•What the dogs of Chernobyl can teach us (Stat)
Letters read on TWiEVO 88

Science Picks

Nels – Hellbent documentary and Insufficient evidence for natural selection associated with the Black Death
Vincent – BioRender

Listener Pick

Walter – Oded Rechavi and interview

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

Send your evolution questions and comments to twievo@microbe.tv

Feb 21, 2023

Nathan joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his approach to understanding how species adopt novel traits to overcome challenges, and its application to identifying coding and noncoding sequence changes that underlie mammalian hairlessness.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Nathan Clark

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•Gene loss in marine mammals (TWiEVO 34)
•Gene change underlying mammalian hair loss (eLife)
Letters read on TWiEVO 87

Science Picks

Nels – Local news coverage of Amanda, Maria, and Nathan’s paper
Vincent – Discovering Retroviruses by Anna Marie Skalka
Nathan – Genomics of Secondarily Temperate Adaptation in the Only Non-Antarctic Icefish

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

Send your evolution questions and comments to twievo@microbe.tv

Feb 5, 2023

Nels and Vincent discuss how evolution of changes in stop codon assignment might occur, and a novel mechanism for altering the meaning of translation stop codons discovered in a trypanosomatid with the apropos name, Blastocrithidia nonstop.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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•Join the MicrobeTV Discord server
•Novel stop codon reassignment mechanisms (Nature)

Science Picks

NelsProtein Synthesis: An epic on the cellular level 

VincentWidespread stop-codon recoding in bacteriophages may regulate translation of lytic genes discussed on TWiM 277

Music on TWiEVO is performed by Trampled by Turtles

Send your evolution questions and comments to twievo@microbe.tv

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