Posts

September 22, 2014

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11:34 AM | Recent developments linking retroviruses to human breast cancer
Do retroviruses cause breast cancer? Continue reading →
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7:31 AM | Staphylococcus Paradox
Greetings      "Staphylococcus aureus" or more commonly known as "The Staph", is a gram positive cocci in clusters, famous everywhere in the world for a subtype called as MRSA. It has been a really long time since i have blogged something about this organism. Perhaps this is the right time for me to get back talking about this paper.    One of the most common infections caused by S aureus is skin infections, with an array of virulence factors involved. There are […]
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4:00 AM | Shigella Steals Host Nutrients... Economically
by S. Marvin Friedman | Intracellular pathogens face many daunting problems, among them how to obtain enough energy and nutrients for active growth while, preferably, keeping the host cell alive for as long as possible. This issue is especially acute for pathogens that grow at a fast rate and reach large numbers. When they succeed…
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3:03 AM | There is no I in team, but there is one in Ian
On Friday, I took the labgroup out for a team building exercise, and nothing builds team spirit like shooting each other with lasers! So we went out and played lasertag and ten-pin bowling.So what did we learn from this outing-- running around like a maniac with a laser is a good workout, my muscles still ache 3 days later- being a sneaky sniper does not work as a lasertag strategy- after I was shot by Liam five times in the first 30 seconds or so, I realised running around like a kitten on […]

September 21, 2014

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10:07 PM | Sushi restaurant in Jerusalem closed due to Listeria risk
An immediate closing order was issued on Sunday by the Municipal Court for Local Affairs and the Health Ministry against Sushi Garden, a restaurant at 21 Rehov Yirmiyahu in Jerusalem’s Romema quarter. Ministry inspectors said the restaurant presented an immediate … Continue reading →
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8:30 PM | Going public: Salmonella, tomatoes (not) and court
Summer 2008 was adventurous for us: Amy was pregnant, we were in Quebec, and I was handling endless media calls about Salmonella in tomatoes that sickened at least 851 people in the U.S., including a sorta creepy middle-of-the-night chat fest … Continue reading →
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7:42 PM | Lizard in food? 350 school children hospitalized in India
Around 350 children of a government-run Urdu Primary School were hospitalised on Friday for suspected food poisoning after partaking mid-day meal. The children with complaints of head ache, stomach ache and vomiting were taken to Dr Ambedkar Medical College Hospital … Continue reading →
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6:52 PM | The safety of donkey milk in Italy
There is a growing interest in donkey’s milk as food for sensitive consumers, such as infants with cow’s milk protein allergy and elderly people. The aim of this study was to carry out a survey on the dairy donkeys farming … Continue reading →
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5:30 PM | Monday Micro II – lockdowns, manslaughter and murder
The Ebola outbreak in west Africa continues. According to the CDC’s website, as of the 14th September the number of reported cases was up to 5,347 including 2,630 deaths. The virus is now in five countries. Here’s the latest: Guinea (942 cases/601 deaths) A team of health care workers, journalists and local officials have been [...]
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5:00 PM | Monday Micro – artificial sweeteners & a dose of bad science
“Sugarcubes” by Pallbo – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. There has been quite a bit of coverage of a recent Nature paper reporting a link between artificial sweeteners and high blood glucose levels (1) – an important finding if true, as high blood glucose levels are a step towards insulin resistance [...]
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3:16 PM | TWiV 303: Borna this way
On episode #303 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiV team discusses transmission of Ebola virus, and inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by viral DNA in the ground squirrel genome. You can find TWiV #303 at www.twiv.tv.
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11:47 AM | NPM14: Giving Preparedness A Shot In The Arm
Photo Credit PHIL   Note: September is National Preparedness Month, and this is one of a series of new or updated preparedness articles I will be running for the occasion.   # 9098   While it is hard to quantify the absolute risks from any of them, in the nearly 9 years that I’ve been doing this blog, I don’t ever recall seeing as many infectious disease threats on the horizon as I do this fall and winter.    In addition to the standard […]
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11:20 AM | Skeptical Thoughts – gendered marketing
I’ve started a new radio slot called ‘Skeptical Thoughts’ on Sunday evenings on Graeme Hill’s Weekend Variety Show on Radio Live. A couple of weeks ago we talked about what a scam gendered marketing is – when companies repackage the same product and market it specifically for men or women, often charging different amounts. Australian [...]

September 20, 2014

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8:17 PM | Notes from 2007 for a blog post I should have written: How many microbial cells in humans?
Well sometimes you just screw up.  In 2007 I attended some planning meetings for the human microbiome project (see for example A human microbiome program? a post I wrote from one of the meetings in 2007).  And at those meetings I kept asking one question.  Where did this "fact" everyone kept citing that there were "10 times as many microbial cells in the human body as there were human cells" come from?  I could not find a citation.  So I started taking some […]
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1:19 PM | It’s Not Just Ebola
Photo Credit- CDC   # 9097   With its exponential growth, high mortality rate, and potential to escape the confines of West Africa, it is admittedly difficult to get anyone to think beyond the expanding Ebola threat right now. Other emerging threats seemingly pale in comparison, but there is nothing that says we are exempt from being forced to fight a viral battle on more than one front.   It wasn’t but five months ago when the outbreak of MERS-CoV on the […]
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4:01 AM | Norovirus chef Heston Blumenthal defends $500 price tag for Fat Duck Australia pop-up
Like I’ve written before, all the hacks are headed to Australia to make a buck (I actually live here, because of my wife’s career). Aging rock stars, actors, and celebrity chefs, they’ve all done, or are doing, the tour of … Continue reading →
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1:16 AM | Don't forget to positively highlight meetings w/ "good" gender ratio of presenters
As many know, I spend a decent amount of effort critiquing conferences that have poor speaker diversity (mostly focus on gender ratio).  Well I am also trying to start calling out in a positive way those meetings that do a good job with speaker diversity. And here is one: 2014 Xenopus Genetics meeting in Pacific Grove.  I was pointed to it in an email that was in response to a Tweet I posted (not sure if I have permission to say who this was from - will post if they say it […]

September 19, 2014

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8:36 PM | Just cook it doesn’t cut it, Italian tragic version
After an 18-month child died of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in Italy, an Italian doctor blamed the eating habits of his family. “You do not understand” – write the family – as such a finding may have relevance in search … Continue reading →
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8:10 PM | 3 found guilty in Georgia Salmonella trial
In a decision that may finally hold U.S. food producers accountable, a federal jury convicted three people Friday in connection with an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number … Continue reading →
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7:38 PM | Illinois website now details restaurant inspections
Decades after other regions figured out how to do it and five years of trying to get restaurant inspection reports on their website, Illinois public health officials finally succeeded this month. The site — c-uphd.org/foodinspections.html — now delivers a wealth … Continue reading →
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4:54 PM | A distasteful & disgraceful "Are there limits to evolution?" meeting at the University of Cambridge #YAMMM
Well, I saw this Tweet the other day Another for @phylogenomics's list of YAMMMs (Yet Another Mostly Male Mtg). Ratio = 1F speaker to 23M speakers. http://t.co/qgEfwtBS2B— Hopi Hoekstra (@hopihoekstra) September 16, 2014 And though there was a bit of a discussion on Twitter I felt I had to follow up with a blog post. When I saw the post I was at a conference (Lake Arrowhead Microbial Genomes) where I could get Twitter access but for some reason very little web access. So I could not […]
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3:40 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Jelena Vuckovic
On our next stop for the “Before They Were Scientists” world tour, I sat down with Jelena Vuckovic, who spends part of her year in Germany and the other part at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Read on to learn about her experiences as a middle school student in the former Yugoslavia where she played with Legos, almost became a French teacher, and was never told it was unique for a girl to love physics. Lea: Can you tell me what comes to […]
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3:14 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 3rd Recent MERS Case In Taif
    #9096   The slow uptick in MERS cases reported out of Saudi Arabia over the past 10 days continues today with the announcement of KSA’s 7th case this month – which is also the third case reported from Taif  in the past 7 days.     
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1:48 PM | Michigan Tough Mudder race organizers share info about avoiding illnesses
Over the past 6 months I’ve been running a few times a week as a way to get some decent exercise while I try to get to a more healthy weight. Not an activity that I liked until I was … Continue reading →
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12:41 PM | TWiM #86: Blurring the Line Between Organelle and Endosymbiont
Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michele consider whether our eating behavior is manipulated by gastrointestinal microbiota, and an aphid gene of bacterial origin whose gene product encodes a protein that is transported to an obligate endosymbiont.
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11:50 AM | NPM14: Your Daily Threats Assessment Briefing
Photo Credit- NOAA Know your Risk   Note: Today is day 19 of National Preparedness Month, and this is one of a series of updated blogs and articles about personal preparedness that I am featuring this month. # 9095   Every day the President of the United States, along busy CEOs, investors, emergency planners, and public health officials receive specialized Daily Intelligence briefings outlining current or anticipated threats, along with other vital information. […]
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11:14 AM | Guinea: Ebola Health Team Members Killed By Villagers
  # 9094     Details continue to emerge on the horrific slaying of (reports range from 7 to 9) members of an Ebola health team this week in Wome - a small village near Nzerekore in the southern part of Guinea - with this latest report from the BBC.   19 September 2014 Last updated at 04:58 ET Ebola outbreak: Guinea health team killed Nine members of a team trying to raise awareness about Ebola have been killed by villagers using machetes and clubs in […]
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10:05 AM | Saudi MOH: Review Finds 19 `Historical’ MERS Cases Prior to June 2014
Saudi Arabia   # 9093   Yesterday there were 732 MERS cases reported by the Saudi MOH, and today that number climbs to 748: all  stemming from of an audit of cases from before June 3rd of this year, and mostly arising from Jeddah.     While 19 cases were added to the tally - 1 duplicate case, and 2 false positives were removed -  resulting in a net gain of 16 cases.   While the number of identified MERS cases has remained reassuringly […]
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9:03 AM | Streptococcus pneumoniae causes cardiac lesions
Streptococcus pneumoniae causes lesions in the heart. Continue reading →
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3:59 AM | A beautiful video on the origin story of microbiology from the...
A beautiful video on the origin story of microbiology from the NYTimes.
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