8-year-old Twinkies

8-year-old Twinkies

I’d always hoped my 15-minutes of fame would be about something less embarrassing, but whatever.

Here’s my original Tweet, the first of 11 posts in a thread started on October 4th. Click to read the full sequence on Twitter.

At some point, my postings got the attention of Drs Brian Lovett and Matthew Kasson, researchers at West Virginia University. So I packed the Twinkies up and sent them via USPS. Please click on the Tweet below to read Dr Kasson’s thread on Twitter. My favorite part is the movie they made of the Twinkie being bored into with a bone marrow biopsy tool — the sound it makes is priceless.

The collaboration eventually resulted in a story, “A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science” by science reporter Nell Greenfieldboyce that aired on All Things Considered. The Daily Mail also picked it up.

The story is not over, of course. The fungus growing on the center Twinkie (above) is apparently in the genus Cladosporium, but hopefully they will be able to determine the exact species. And I’m hoping that if they can’t culture the fungus in the mummified Twinkie that they’ll be able to sequence it to get an ID. I cannot wait.

And they are also working on the moldy Ho Hos I sent them.

3 thoughts on “8-year-old Twinkies

  1. Hannah Nendick-Mason

    You are even more famous today – your Twinkie story, including your name, just showed up in an answer on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” in the limerick round!


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