Posts

December 19, 2014

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1:24 PM | Study: H5 Clade 2.3.4.6 Receptor Binding
# 9460     Unlike in mammals, where influenza viruses generally produce a respiratory infection, influenza in birds is a gastrointestinal malady. The virus attaches to - and replicates in – the avian gut,  and is spread primarily through infected droppings.   As you might imagine, avian flu viruses are well adapted to attack the kind of cells found within the avian intestinal tract; a2,3-linked sialic acid  avian receptor cells.   Humans, and […]
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11:09 AM | It was the raw milk that sickened 40 in Wisconsin: Report
State health officials Thursday made public more evidence that raw milk was the cause of a foodborne illness outbreak that sickened nearly 40 people associated with the Durand High School football team, including many players. In an investigation report from … Continue reading →
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10:58 AM | 2 dead, 2 sick: Minnesota links caramel apples, 2 listeria deaths
Minnesota health officials say two people died and two others became ill this fall after eating prepackaged caramel apples contaminated with the bacterium listeria. The Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture are warning consumers to wait for more information before … Continue reading →
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10:27 AM | Careful with that dead calf: Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis among responders to a rollover of a truck carrying calves — Kansas, April 2013
We saw a lot of weird stuff on I-70, usually bathtubs for cooking meth. But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in April 2013, the Thomas County Health Department notified the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Infectious … Continue reading →
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1:43 AM | Zooneses: are we too clean?
Hygiene hypothesis; we really don’t know much;on a recent episode of the TVO current affairs show “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” explores the topic of “Our Relationship with Cleanliness” – an informative, yet fun look at the topic of germs. … Continue reading →

December 18, 2014

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9:50 PM | Instant noodles recalled as Taiwan food scare widens
Taiwanese authorities on Thursday (Dec 18) ordered a leading food company to recall two flavours of instant noodles over fears they contain a banned dye as the island’s latest food scandal deepened. Health officials said sauce packages in the two … Continue reading →
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8:29 PM | Scrapie from lambs could infect humans like ‘mad cow disease’, research suggests
Or not. Creuzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD), known more commonly as ‘mad cow disease’, caused a major scare in the 1990s. But now it’s lambs rather than cows that some are concerned about. A question mark over the safety of lamb … Continue reading →
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7:38 PM | Campylobacter in petting zoos; we’ve done this
Here’s an example of terrible story-telling. According to news reporting out of Bilthoven, Netherlands, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, “The significance of petting zoos for transmission of Campylobacter to humans and the effect of interventions were estimated. A stochastic QMRA … Continue reading →
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7:21 PM | Georgia Waffle House fails restaurant inspection
Food at the Waffle House is gross. But that’s where Sorenne wanted to go for her birthday as we drove to Florida a couple of years ago so we obliged. A Peachtree Corners-area Waffle House in Georgia was cited for … Continue reading →
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7:08 PM | Poisoned food found at Gina Rinehart’s Pilbara mine
Australia’s Gina Rinehart was once the world’s richest woman, making a fortune on mining (now she is sixth). A police investigation into possible attempted poisoning is underway after a worker at a remote mining company construction site in Western Australia … Continue reading →
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6:54 PM | Idiocracy: The rise of the Food Babe
Idiocracy is a special kind of 2006 movie, vastly underrated but all too prescient. Real Clear Science writes that it takes a special sort of nonsense to land the top spot on our annual list of junk science. Last year, … Continue reading →
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6:39 PM | Food porn trumps food science, again: Carl’s Jr. to sell grass-fed burgers
For years, Carl’s Jr. has stuck to a tried-and-tested method to market its hamburgers: Enlist blond women (in one case, for equality, a brown-haired male) to peddle them—in slow motion—on TV. But it seems that sex is no longer enough … Continue reading →
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4:50 PM | Gene Therapy Has Potential for Increasing Survival of Heart Attack
A 2012 statistic from the European Heart Network found that each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4 million deaths in Europe and over 1.9 million deaths in the European Union (EU). It is the cause of 40% of deaths in the EU and is the main cause of death in women in all countries […]
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3:24 PM | Canada: CFIA Statement On Genetic Sequencing Of H5N2
Credit CFIA   # 9459 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), has posted the follow statement characterizing the HPAI H5N2 virus that was first detected on a Fraser Valley poultry farm 18 days ago.   It is confirmed to be a reassortant between the Eurasian H5N8  virus and a North American avian flu virus.   The number of farms affected in Canada remains steady at 10 (see Infected Premises Chart), affecting nearly 240,000 birds.     […]
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2:42 PM | Great idea from Nicole King - Lists of Women Speakers - more examples wanted
Just been pointed to this compilation from Nicole King (a brilliant professor at Berkeley): Lists of Women Speakers | The King Lab.She has put together a collection of a few links:As a resource for those who are interested in increasing the number of female speakers at their scientific conferences, seminar series, etc., I offer here a compendium of female speakers from diverse fields.  I've started with lists that I could find easily, but if you know of additional lists, please feel […]
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2:00 PM | Plague in Surat: 20 Years Later
I can’t let 2014 pass in a few weeks without mentioning that this fall was the twentieth anniversary of the plague outbreak in Surat, India — a major turning point in modern plague history and in the development of the (re)emerging infectious disease paradigm. In the final accounting, 53 people died of plague, mostly pneumonic, … Continue reading Plague in Surat: 20 Years Later →
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12:42 PM | H5N1 In Northern India’s Sukhna Lake
Source Wikipedia   # 9458   Sukhna Lake is a man-made recreational area and wild bird preserve located at the foothills of the Himalayas, and since its construction more than 50 years ago has become a favorite overwintering ground for a variety of migratory waterfowl.    In recent days local authorities have reported an unusual die off of birds, and today it has been announced that the India’s NIHSAD Lab in Bhopal had detected the H5N1 virus in a dead duck. […]
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11:58 AM | H5N6 Resurfaces In Vietnam
   Credit Wikipedia    # 9457   While H5N8 popping up in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Japan, and now Italy has garnered most of the avian flu headlines over the past six weeks, H5N6 – the other newly emerged HPAI H5 virus of 2014 (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu) – hasn’t gone away.    Unlike H5N8, which to date has not been reported to have infected humans - H5N6 has a track record of […]
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10:03 AM | Lessons learned from a textbook outbreak: EHEC-O157:H7 infections associated with the consumption of raw meat products, June 2012, Limburg, Belgium
On 5 June 2012 several enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, EHEC, O157:H7 infections were reported to the public health authorities of Limburg. Methods We performed a case-control study, a trace back/forward investigation and compared strains isolated from human cases and food samples. … Continue reading →
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9:58 AM | Couple sue Whole Foods in son’s E. coli death
I’ve said it many times: Whole Foods is too concerned about food porn and not enough about food safety. According to the Boston Herald a Braintree couple whose 8-year-old son died after allegedly eating ground beef contaminated with a powerful … Continue reading →
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9:32 AM | It was the C. perfringens in the turkey; and why I avoid holiday potlucks
Turkey bacteria has been confirmed as the cause of illness at a recent fatal community supper in Nackawic, says the Department of Health. Lab tests of turkey samples revealed the presence of Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus, acting chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell … Continue reading →
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9:06 AM | Auckland eateries pass food hygiene tests
Auckland diners should feel reassured heading into the holiday season, with almost 98 per cent of the region’s eateries practicing good food hygiene practices. Auckland Council said since it implemented the Food Safety Bylaw last year, which covered inspection, staff … Continue reading →
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4:21 AM | Pictures Considered #22. Viva La Resolución!
by Christoph Weigel | Why should we consider this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, and why in our 'Pictures Considered' section in the first place? A hint comes from one of the many press releases: "... for improving the resolution of optical microscopes." Aha! Microscopes are at the heart of microbiology since...

December 17, 2014

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10:41 PM | It’s in all ruminants: E. coli confirmed in Igloolik after several illnesses
Nunavut’s health department (that’s in Canada) is trying to find out what caused a number of people in Igloolik to come down with severe, sometimes bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Health officials says several children were among the cases and some became very … Continue reading →
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10:33 PM | 111 sick; US outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to bean sprouts
We count 61 outbreaks associated with raw sprouts, sickening at least 11,179. http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-12-8-14.xlsx The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that as of December 15, 2014, a total of 111 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have … Continue reading →
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9:33 PM | Virus gifts
Looking to give a virus-themed gift to someone this year? Here are some suggestions. As expected Ebola virus dominated. Where are the EV-D68 items? An Ebola Texas shirt from VineFreshTees: Virus tree ornaments made of wood at BuenoMarket: Viral mugs at Thefty: Artologica always has fabulous microbe art, including this swine flu watercolor: A favorite […]
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8:10 PM | These are the top tech gifts of the past 20 years
I remember growing up there were certain gifts that I would prefer more than others. Like any average young kid, most of the presents I wanted were either gaming consoles, games to go with the console, toys, or some sort of gadget. That was the common…… Read More The post These are the top tech gifts of the past 20 years appeared first on Just Science.
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8:10 PM | Top 5 Tech Toys for Kids 2014
As we all know around the holiday season kids are going to go crazy over all the new toys and gadgets that are being sold. I have collected up a few tech toys that I’m sure any kid would enjoy for a great gift. Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote Control Flying…… Read More The post Top 5 Tech Toys for Kids 2014 appeared first on Just Science.
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7:35 PM | Criminal Charges Filed In Fungal Meningitis Case
  # 9456   In early October of 2012 we became aware of a growing medical crisis involving contaminated preservative-free MPA steroid injections distributed by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.  In all, more than 700 patients developed infections from these  tainted injections, and more than 60 died.   Among the survivors, many have suffered serious ongoing disability.  I blogged at some length in 2012 and 2013 on this […]
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6:15 PM | Do you really want that holiday potluck?
I’ve got a new gig. I’m the head of food safety for the school tuck shop that is run by volunteers at daughter Sorenne’s school. The pay is lousy (non-existent) but the discussions are gold, and gets me back into … Continue reading →
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