Posts

October 14, 2014

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9:50 PM | Salmonellosis outbreak linked to North Carolina church conference
Earlier this year, the Food Safety Summit, an annual gathering of food safety nerds dealt with an outbreak of foodborne illness amongst attendees. Over 100 became ill with C. perfringens  after eating a buffet meal. Conferences provide a nice environment for an outbreak – … Continue reading →
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8:49 PM | Combination antiviral therapy for hepatitis C
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a single pill containing two different antiviral drugs for the treatment for hepatitis C. It is the first combination pill approved for the disease, and also the first treatment that does not contain interferon or ribavirin. The new hepatitis C drug, called Harvoni, is a mixture […]
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8:15 PM | Johns Hopkins Ebola Symposium Video Now Online
    # 9195   A quick note, today’s Ebola Symposium at Johns Hopkins – featuring a terrific Keynote address by CIDRAP’s Dr. Michael Osterholm – plus a lot of other not-to-be-missed content, has now been posted (in two parts) online.   http://www.jhsph.edu/events/2014/ebola-forum/webcast.html   The first video runs about 3 hours, and features the individual presentations.  Dr. Osterholm’s remarks come at about the 2 hr 24 […]
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8:04 PM | CDC Announces A Faster EV-D68 Lab Test
  # 9194   The number of confirmed Enterovirus D68 cases sits at 691 people from 46 states, but due to the complex and lengthy testing process, there has been a huge backlog of samples awaiting testing. Anecdotal reports from around the nation suggest the actual number of infections is many times higher, but patients with mild or moderate symptoms rarely get tested. Today the CDC has announced their development of a faster, more streamlined lab test, which should help […]
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4:31 PM | Saudi MOH Reports Another MERS Case In Riyadh
  # 9193   For the 4th day in a row the Saudi MOH has announced a fresh MERS case, and for the second day in a row this case hails from Riyadh.     As we’ve seen with several other recent cases, today’s case has a history of contact with camels or camel products, although that doesn’t necessarily nail down the mode of transmission.   This is the 19th case announced by the Saudi MOH in just over a month.
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3:26 PM | CDC COCA Call : What U.S. Hospitals Can Learn From Emory & UNMC On Ebola
    # 9192   We’re having a busy day for online streaming on Ebola issues,  with the Johns Hopkins symposium this morning, and later this afternoon we’ll have a COCA Call entitled:   Preparing for Ebola: What U.S. Hospitals Can Learn From Emory Healthcare and Nebraska Medical Center Date:Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Time:2:00 – 3:00 PM (Eastern Time) Participate by Phone: Registration is not required. 888-603-9630 […]
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2:59 PM | CDC Q&A: Ebola & Pets
  # 9191   The decision last week of the Spanish government to euthanize a dog owned by their Ebola-infected Nurse Teresa Romero Ramos has caused huge outcries online, particularly given there was no evidence that this dog had been infected.   This week, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has promised that recently diagnosed Nurse Nina Pham’s dog will not suffer the same fate, and her pet will simply be quarantined and monitored.   Nevertheless, these recent […]
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2:34 PM | Microbirth: Why We All Need to Know About Seeding and Feeding a Baby's Microbiome | Toni Harman
Microbirth: Why We All Need to Know About Seeding and Feeding a Baby's Microbiome | Toni Harman: The preview to the movie “Microbirth” is full of folks making pretty grandiose claims about the potential of the microbiome and impending global health doom if we ignore it. Not that I’m entirely disagreeing, but there’s definitely a touch of Hollywood in it. I’ll have to add it to my movie queue.
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12:06 PM | Cytomegalovirus
New state of the art therapies for cytomegalovirus. Continue reading →
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11:05 AM | UNMC: The Complex Procedures To Don & Doff PPEs For Ebola
  # 9190   Although we don’t know by what mechanism the nurses in Texas and Madrid were inadvertently exposed to the Ebola virus, investigators are looking for possible flaws in the complex procedures of donning or doffing  PPEs as a possible point of contact.    These breaches have some experts calling for more PPEs, while others suggest less complex or cumbersome procedures may be safer.   A review is underway by the CDC, and infection […]
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7:00 AM | Biologic!
I’ve heard these lyrics before but this is the first time that I’ve actually seen the song performed in such a way that I question the sobriety of the participants! Looks like they were having fun making this video. Tweet This Post
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1:22 AM | Is doggy doo-doo polluting your water?
The stuff is everywhere.We know we’re supposed to clean up after our best friends—but a lot of us don’t. According to Take Part, scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed new DNA testing to determine how much … Continue reading →

October 13, 2014

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11:53 PM | King Harvest has Surely Come: Everything you need to know about Canadian Thanksgiving
We decided to forgo the Canadian Thanksgiving this year for the first time – ever. Two intense weekends of hockey, jobs, school, and turkey about $5 a pound (although they walk around the neighborhood and Amy could take one out … Continue reading →
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11:52 PM | Interviewing people about genetic engineering: Kimmel has a better production team
This one time, in graduate school, I visited an anti-genetic engineering event in Toronto with a fellow student and whiz video editor Christian. And took a video camera.  The idea to was to interview folks about why they were there. … Continue reading →
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3:52 PM | BioBlitz at the New York Botanical Gardens
How many plant, mammal or invertebrate species live in the New York Botanical Garden? While it seems like there should be a straightforward answer – it is a well-known, carefully maintained and studied garden, after all – the truth is, nobody really knows. Along with the plants and animals that are deliberately planted, maintained and tracked, there are a slew of other organisms, including other plants, insects, fungi, mammals and microbes that might take up residence without being […]
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3:50 PM | Live Streamed Johns Hopkins Ebola Symposium – Oct 14th
Image Credit: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)     # 9189   Considering the line up of experts, this live-streamed event looks like it will be very much worth watching.     Dean’s Symposium on Ebola: Crisis, Context and Response Tuesday, October 14, 2014 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Sommer Hall Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is hosting a symposium on the Ebola […]
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3:26 PM | Saudi Arabia Reports MERS Case In Riyadh
    # 9188   For the third day in a row Saudi Arabia has announced a new MERS infection, this time being treated in a hospital at the Capital Riyadh.   While not exactly a deluge, this makes the 18th case reported by the MOH over the past month.
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2:47 PM | BacterioFiles 186 - Matched Mice, Mismatched Microbiota
This episode: Gut microbes can be different even in genetically identical mice in similar conditions! Download Episode (7.4 MB, 8 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Bacteria could make building materials using less energy Even in placenta bacteria can be important for health Seeing if algae (and thus, plants) can survive in space Bacteria can make plastic out of methane gas Some fungi could adapt to Mars-like conditions within a few days (paper) Post questions or […]
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2:33 PM | Talk for UC Davis Pre-Health Meeting (#UCDPHSA): Opening up to Diversity
Sunday I gave a talk at the "12th National UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions Conference".  I normally try to not give talks on weekends (to spend time with my family) but I made an exception here since this meeting has a strong commitment to issues relating to diversity in health and STEM fields.  This mission statement for the meeting reads:The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance’s objective is to introduce and support academic, […]
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12:28 PM | WHO Issues Ebola Home Care Advice For Sierra Leone
# 9187   Given the need to isolate patients in order to reduce the spread of the Ebola virus, the news on Saturday that due to badly overburdened Ebola treatment centers - Sierra Leone’s Ebola Battle Shifts To Facilitating Home Care - is considered to be a major (although hopefully, temporary) setback.   While more assets are being sent to the region, the number of patients continues to rise faster than beds can be set up and staffed, which has led today to […]
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11:36 AM | ‘Safest food in the world E. coli in sprouts; just want to be misunderstood
Just days before his sister’s wedding, Alumnus Wilson Criscione was lying on a hospital bed, his body seemingly withering away and his arm impaled by an IV needle. “I didn’t really think it was food poisoning,” Criscione  told of Aaron … Continue reading →
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11:05 AM | A Dire Ebola Assessment By The WHO
@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea   # 9186   The World Health Organization has circulated the following text of a keynote speech delivered to the The Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, Sixty-fifth session in Manila, Philippines, on  13 October 2014.   Of particular note, the speaker’s choice not to provide current numbers (which are quickly changing and highly suspect), and stressing instead their exponential growth.  […]
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9:31 AM | Monday Micro – frozen poop pills!
It’s still Monday so time for a very quick post about a paper just out in the Journal of the American Medical Association. I’ve blogged before about faecal transplants – giving a patient a dose of faeces from a healthy donor to resolve infection with the diarrhoea-causing bacteria Clostridium difficile. One of the problems with [...]
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7:33 AM | University College London Professor Wins Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
Professor John O’Keefe, Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits & Behaviour and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences at UCL, has been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the […]
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3:50 AM | Chromosome Organization the Pseudomonas Way, Part2
by Christoph Weigel | Over the last twenty years, molecular biologists developed and refined a downright cute method to study bacterial chromosome organization in life cells. Briefly, a cluster of binding sites for a DNA-binding protein is introduced at a chosen locus of a bacterial chromosome via genetic engineering (=cloning). A plasmid is introduced with the gene...
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12:41 AM | Food porn isn’t food safety: Williams-Sonoma sauce recalled for potential botulism risk
Williams-Sonoma always sounded a bit fancy pants to me. My introduction was through a decent turkey recipe Amy had in one of those glossy catalogues — the catalogues made obsolete by the Internet. But it looked pretty, as most food … Continue reading →

October 12, 2014

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11:41 PM | What are the bugs – or the fabrics — that make hockey equipment smell?
Nothing has quite the stench of (ice) hockey equipment. Entire cleansing cabinets have been created to lessen the smell. When I played hockey I’d wash my jersey maybe once a year. The stench imparted by the gloves is equivalent to … Continue reading →
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8:41 PM | CDC Confirms Texas HCW Ebola Infection
  # 9185   There wasn’t a whole lot of doubt, but confirmatory tests were carried out today by the CDC, and the CDC has announced that they have come back positive for the Texas nurse currently being treated for Ebola in Dallas (see  CDC Press Conference & Media Statement On New Texas Ebola Case). This press release from the CDC.     CDC Confirms Healthcare Worker Who Provided Care for First Patient Positive for Ebola Patient isolated and […]
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7:11 PM | Frozen Poop Pills Fight Life-Threatening Infections : Shots // NPR
Frozen Poop Pills Fight Life-Threatening Infections : Shots // NPR
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6:14 PM | KUNA: Qatar Announces MERS Case
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 9184   Technically, this is a Qatari who fell ill while visiting Saudi Arabia, and was air-ambulance evacuated back to Qatar for treatment.   Crof has another version of this report in his blog  Qatari man in hospital after contracting MERS. Over the past 30 days Saudi Arabia has reported 17 MERS infections, 9 of which were from the Taif region.   Qatar announces first MERS-CoV case for '14 […]
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