Posts

August 15, 2014

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3:12 PM | WHO Warns Of `Unrealistic Expectations’ Over Experimental Ebola Drugs
    # 8958     Yesterday, the World Health Organization released a statement updating the Ebola situation, and warning that `Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.’   Today, the WHO has emailed out another news statement, warning of `unrealistic expectations’ regarding the availability, effectiveness, and impact of  experimental vaccines […]
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2:56 PM | EID Journal: Three Decades Of MERS-CoV Antibodies In Camels
Credit FAO     # 8957     Although it certainly seems longer, it has been just over a year since we saw the first real evidence linking camels to the MERS-CoV virus (see Lancet: Camels Found With Antibodies To MERS-CoV-Like Virus).  Since then, as testing procedures have matured and been deployed, we’ve seen a steady stream of studies showing that many Middle Eastern dromedaries either carry the live virus, or antibodies indicating prior infection. […]
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2:01 PM | Today's YAMMM (Yet Another Mostly Male Meeting) Brought to You by CIFAR & NAS
Well, just got an invite to this meeting: Symbioses becoming permanent: The origins and evolutionary trajectories of organelles.  The topic seems of direct interest to what I work on.  And, it is relatively close (Irvine is a short hop away).  So this could be a way to go to a meeting without having to travel too far.  And maybe I could see my younger brother Matt who lives in LA and just graduated from UC Irvine's Masters program in Sound Engineering. Then I looked at […]
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1:49 PM | Vietnam Gears Up To Detect, Fight Avian H5N6
Photo Credit – FAO   # 8956   Although its track record in infecting humans is limited to only one known case (see May 2014 Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu), the emergence of a highly pathogenic H5N6 virus on a poultry farm in China earlier this spring has raised concerns that we might have yet another avian flu threat to contend with.  Similarly, last January we saw a highly pathogenic H5N8 virus appear in South Korea, which […]
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11:05 AM | NH Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over `Spice’ Overdoses
  # 8955   For a state with a pastoral reputation and a population of just over 1.3 million, reports of more than 40 serious overdoses on `spice’ (an illegal synthetic cannabinoid) over a span of just 72 hours isn’t just unsettling, it has prompted their Governor to declare a 21-day state of emergency in order to identify and quarantine the product.   While sold as herbal `incense’ or `bath salts’ and labeled `not for human […]
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5:14 AM | Microbial highlights from ESA 2014
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual conference, once dominated by discussions of lions, tigers and bears (or so I’ll pretend), has become a convergence point for microbial ecologists. From amphibian skin microbiomes to biological soil crusts and more, the diversity of microbial talks this year was astounding. As the conference winds down, I wanted…
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4:28 AM | Bumble Beer Science
I’ve always had a hard time taking bumblebees seriously. While wasps dance through the air, and honeybees zoom from one flowering bud to another, bumblebees seem to … well … bumble along. I think they look more like moldy strawberries who found themselves shocked at the capability of flight, rather than an insect which natural selection has carefully sculpted for million of years. However, looks can be deceiving. When I look at a bumblebee visiting a flower, I see a bee […]
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2:41 AM | Peanut Salmonella outbreak plant manager comes clean
A former manager of a south Georgia peanut processing plant blamed for a deadly salmonella outbreak lied to federal investigators to protect the company he worked for but decided to come clean after realizing how many people had been sickened, … Continue reading →
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1:29 AM | Use of social media to identify foodborne illness — Chicago, Illinois, 2013–2014
An estimated 55 million to 105 million persons in the United States experience acute gastroenteritis caused by foodborne illness each year, resulting in costs of $2–$4 billion annually (1). Many persons do not seek treatment, resulting in underreporting of the … Continue reading →
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1:21 AM | Coachella Calif., home of all things groovy and where 8% of food businesses fail inspection
While the vast majority of Coachella Valley food establishments received “A” grades, about 8 percent failed unannounced health inspections in the past two years, according to a Desert Sun analysis of data from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. … Continue reading →
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1:11 AM | Brisbane food court operator fined $15,000 after rat infestation
In the Tampa of the south – Brisbane, they’re equidistant from the equator — Queen Street FantAsia owner Yuk Lin Wong, 56, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to five charges, including failing to take measures to eradicate pests … Continue reading →
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12:57 AM | ‘I don’t want to be on TV’ Florida: restaurant owner after closure
As 10 News walked into China Gate, 12049 Anderson Road, Tampa, there was an apparent employee “lifting weights” instead of cooking in the kitchen. This, just a week after health inspectors found a long list of health code violations while … Continue reading →
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12:48 AM | There’s Bacillus on Mars (Chocolate Drinks)
The UK Food Standards Agency has been informed by Mars Chocolate Drinks that it is recalling certain date codes of its milk drinks. This is because they contain elevated levels of a type of bacteria known as Bacillus, which can … Continue reading →

August 14, 2014

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8:15 PM | Access window trapped on disconnected screen
If you use a laptop computer in dual-screen mode with Windows, you might experience the problem of losing access to a window on the external monitor when you leave the office and restore your session without the extra screen. Most programs seem to cope with screen disconnection OK but many …
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7:00 PM | An important read: Emma Pierson on gender and authorship position in science
This is a fascinating read: In Science, It Matters That Women Come Last | FiveThirtyEight.  By Emma Pierson, who works at 23 and me.  It has all sorts of references of use and details on authorship position in scientific publications and how gender and author position are correlated.  Definitely worth a read. -------- This is from the "Tree of Life Blog" of Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and Open Access advocate at the University of California, Davis. For short […]
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6:41 PM | Eurosurveillance: Anthrax Encounters Of The 4th Kind
Credit CDC    # 8954   Traditionally there are three ways to contract anthrax.  Cutaneous, or through openings in the skin (the most common form of infection) Gastrointestinal from the consumption of infected meat And inhalational anthrax, from inhaling the spores.   Two years ago in UK: The High Cost Of Getting High we looked at the emergence of a rare 4th way in which people were getting infected with Anthrax in the UK, and across Europe; through the […]
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4:48 PM | WHO: Ebola Poses `Low-Risk’ To Air Travelers
    # 8953   Frustrated by the increasing number of airlines canceling service to the Ebola stricken countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – and today’s announcement from Korea Airlines that they would soon halt service to Kenya (where Ebola has not been detected) – the World Health Organization has gone on offensive today on twitter, and via an emailed statement to journalists, to reassure that the risks to air travelers are very small.   […]
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3:50 PM | 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Washing Food (via Quest)
My friend, Matt Shipman, a science writer and public information officer at North Carolina State University writes in the below Quest North Carolina post about washing food (reprinted with permission): Everybody eats, and no one wants to eat something that … Continue reading →
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3:45 PM | Maine food boat shut down, and reopened due to food safety issues
One of the more compelling subplots on the was-AMC-now-Netflix series, The Killing, is one of the character’s broken relationship with her former case worker and parent figure – who lives on a house boat in Seattle. That’s how much the … Continue reading →
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2:49 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Eefjan Breukink
In planning a trip to the Netherlands for some secret missions for Your Wild Life, I reached out to area scientists to get a different perspective on middle school life. Motivated after reading about his involvement in a scientific debate, I contacted Dr. Eefjan Breukink at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Read on to learn about how this accomplished scientist decided he did not want to become a vet, has a fresh perspective on the meaning of “right” and “wrong” in […]
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1:35 PM | Thebulletin.org: Making Viruses Deadlier – An Accident Waiting To Happen
The Doomsday Clock from TheBulletin.org   # 8952     The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – founded by former Manhattan Project scientists after the end of WWII -  covers a variety of global security issues ranging from nuclear technology, to climate change, to new emerging technologies.   It is perhaps best known for its Doomsday Clock, which represents how close they believe we are to seeing a technologically induced disaster.   Currently […]
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1:00 PM | Deespsea Challenge Hits Theaters; Here’s the Biology Behind the Film
Note: James Cameron’s National Geographic film “Deepsea Challenge 3D” documenting his trip to Challenger Deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench has been released at last —... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:00 AM | Pictures Considered #19. The Basal End of Bacterial Flagella
by Elio | The end of bacterial flagella that is near the cell is a marvel of mechanical miniaturization — a molecular wheel that turns, just like the axle of a car. The assembly consists of a stator, the part that holds it in place, and a rotor, the part that…
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9:36 AM | Fair food linked to foodborne illness in Montana
Missoula Health workers are investigating four potential cases of foodborne illnesses that could be linked to vendors serving tainted food at the Western Montana Fair. So far food inspectors say two of the cases are most likely related to the … Continue reading →
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9:16 AM | Why HIV Virions Have Low Numbers of Envelope Spikes: Implications for Vaccine Development
A theoretical basis why artificial virus-like particles (VPLs) with a high density of envelope spikes might make a safe and efecting prophylactic vaccine against HIV. Continue reading →
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8:28 AM | Ex-peanut plant head testifies on Salmonella
Wednesday marked Samuel Lightsey’s fourth day of testimony in the trial of his former boss at Peanut Corporation of America, Stewart Parnell, and two others. Peanut Corporation is blamed for a deadly 2008-09 salmonella outbreak that caused one of the … Continue reading →
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5:44 AM | My Kardashian Index is 0
Earlier this year, I blogged about metrics for measuring scientific output such as a H-index, AltMetric, etc. I just came across an entertaining little paper in Genome Biology by Neil Hall about a new metric- The Kardashian Index. Neil was wondering whether there are scientists who are like Kim Kardashian- famous for being famous. Or more specifically, whether there were scientists who are famous for their twitter feeds or blogs, but have not produced much in terms of published research papers […]
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12:33 AM | How to Study to Remember
Want to learn how to make your studying time more effective? Make things stick faster to your brain? Well this is the post for you. Let’s begin! Your memory works in three stages: Attention Encoding : Storing/associating with other info Retrieval…The post How to Study to Remember appeared first on Just Science.
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12:33 AM | What if your feelings were scientifically measurable?
When I walked into the historic, townhouse storefront in downtown Frederick, the smell of essential oils immediately relaxed me. Kileigh handed me two, sky-blue, plastic foot coverings to slip over my shoes. She then guided me to the salt cave in the…The post What if your feelings were scientifically measurable? appeared first on Just Science.
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12:33 AM | Watching the Perseids: A Guide
See our guide to watching the Perseids, which peak Tuesday night. Sky-watchers at Edlingham Castle in Northumberland, England, saw a brilliant Perseid meteor shower, with as many as 60 shooting stars an hour, on August 12, 2013. The most famous of all…The post Watching the Perseids: A Guide appeared first on Just Science.
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