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This Week in Evolution


This Week in Evolution is a podcast on the biology of what makes us tick. Hosts Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello take you through the new evolution that has been revolutionized by the field of genomics and molecular biology.

Popular episodes

TWiEVO 72: Echoes of evolution both shallow and deep

Oct 26 • 01:15:22

Nels and Vincent discuss evolutionary evidence for an epidemic of coronavirus infection over 20,000 years ago in East Asia, and reconstruction of the membrane differences between bacteria and Archaea reveals unexpected differences in permeability....

TWiEVO 71: Faster than a speeding coronavirus

Sep 27 • 01:27:35

Nels and Vincent explain a method to calculate the mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2, and the role of a single amino acid change in spike in enhancing fitness of the delta variant and enabling it to out-compete the alpha variant....

TWiEVO 70: On Life's Edge with Carl Zimmer

Aug 3 • 01:21:11

Carl Zimmer joins Nels to talk about science writing, science communication, viruses, and his new book, On Life’s Edge....

TWiEVO 69: Swimming in SARS-CoV-2 sequences

Jun 30 • 01:30:13

Nels and Vincent discuss the identification of novel bat coronaviruses that shed light on the evolution of SARS-CoV-2, dating the first cases of COVID-19 to mid-November 2019, and recovery of deleted genome sequences from early in the Wuhan outbreak....

TWiEVO 68: Stepping through time with SARS-CoV-2

May 29 • 01:33:34

Nels and Vincent explain a new method for calculating the most recent common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, which concludes that the ancestral virus was circulating in October/November 2019, before its first detection in China....

TWiVEO 67: Corona chameleon

Apr 22 • 01:36:35

Nels and Vincent review evidence for recombinant SARS-CoV-2 genomes arising in the B.1.1.7 lineage within the United Kingdom....

TWiEVO 66: SARS-2-mouse

Mar 25 • 01:33:45

Nels and Vincent review a preprint demonstrating that changes in the genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 variants B1.351 and P.1 allow the viruses to reproduce in mouse cells in culture and in laboratory mice....

TWiEVO 65: Variants in the mist

Feb 25 • 01:26:27

Nels and Vincent review evidence that a single amino acid change in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has driven adaptation to humans, followed by an update on the status of variants of concern....

TWiEVO 64: Seeing the lineages for the variants

Jan 22 • 01:48:43

Nels and Vincent consider evolution of antibody immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and update the situation on novel virus variants of concern with potentially altered fitness and reactivity with antibodies....

TWiEVO 63: Year of the coronavirus

Dec 31 • 01:30:33

Nels and Vincent wrap up 2020 with a discussion of novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have emerged in the United Kingdom and South Africa, how to interpret the rapidly emerging genome sequence data and what to look for in the coming weeks as these variants spread across the globe....

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