Posts

April 09, 2015

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11:48 AM | UK: 2015 Civil Risks Register
  # 9917   Since 2008 the UK government has produced, and updated every two years, a National Risk Register For Civil Emergencies – essentially a short list of disaster scenarios (man-made & natural) that the Cabinet Office believe to be genuine threats.  The Cabinet Office describes it as:   The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies (NRR) is the unclassified version of the National Risk Assessment (NRA), a classified assessment of the risks of […]
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7:26 AM | Market microbial food safety at retail and stop hucksterism: Brisbane campaign to buy local produce
It’s not a new superbug, it’s an outbreak of super stupidity. A Brisbane TV station finally woke up to Australia’s egg problem, and titled their investigation (bottom), Scientists fear super strain of bacteria behind food poisoning outbreak. This refers to … Continue reading →
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6:00 AM | Pictures Considered #25. Getting A Ride
by Elio | A recent review article deals with the fascinating phenomenon of pathogens exiting from their host cell. Sometimes, one pathogen helps another one in transmission to the next host. In one case, a Candida albicans hypha caught in the act of fleeing...
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5:52 AM | New rules for Dubai shawarma shops coming up
New food safety rules for Dubai shawarma shops are expected soon and will cover the way eggs are used in mayonnaise for shawarmas as well as the space, layout, cooking, and storage standards for the outlet, among other points. Their … Continue reading →
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4:59 AM | Listeria in low moisture foods? Sure. Sabra hummus recalled; I chucked mine
My kids don’t eat much. Their staples include bagels, buns, peanut butter, carrots, apple sauce. And hummus. Their brand of choice is Sabra. I just got home from a hockey game (a 7-2 loss, we got smoked) and opened up … Continue reading →
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1:28 AM | Seafood Safety 101: Vibrio in Shellfish
I’m collaborating with Matt Shipman, public information officer at NC State University and curator of The Abstract, on a set of food safety-related posts from other NCSU folks as we roll toward WHO’s World Health Day on April 7– which is focused this year on … Continue reading →
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1:17 AM | More microbe-themed art - the Eden Project's "Human Biome"
Just got pointed to this Wired article by Katie Collins -- Eden Project's 'Human Biome' is a gross, musical microbe showcase (Wired UK)Fascinating project that I actually don't think is gross in any way.  From the articleInvisible You: The Human Biome will explore the community of microbes that live in and on each and every one of us. Artistic and interactive displays will show bacteria, fungi and viruses, with 11 artists commissioned to create works for the exhibition.I want to just […]

April 08, 2015

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8:38 PM | CFIA: Ontario HPAI Outbreak Identified As H5N2
  # 9916   We’ve been awaiting the results from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) which is investigating a farm in Southern Ontario, near Woodstock, which tested positive for an HPAI H5 virus on April 6th.   This afternoon the verdict was announced, and not unexpectedly it is HPAI H5N2. This is the same strain that appeared in British Columbia in December and has hop scotched across a dozen American states over the past several months, infecting […]
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7:19 PM | APHIS: 9th Minnesota Turkey Farm Hit By H5N2
  # 9015 Today APHIS announced that Meeker becomes the 6th Minnesota County to report an HPAI H5N2 outbreak, as the 9th commercial turkey farm in the state has been hit by the virus.   While migratory birds are being eyed as having brought the virus to Minnesota, exactly how this highly pathogenic avian virus is entering, and infecting these farms hasn’t been determined.   According to media reports a team of USDA  epidemiologists arrived today to […]
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5:44 PM | Chimps and Humans are Less Similar than We Thought
Mary Claire King, as much as any individual scholar, has changed how we think about what it means to be human. She did so using genetics as a lens through which to see what was otherwise invisible. In her hands this lens offered many insights. It was King who first identified a key gene in breast cancer. It was King who helped to identity the missing dead in Argentina in the 1980s. It would also be King who, in 1975, first compare the genetic similarity of humans and […]
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4:36 PM | Glass Anchors Strengthen Sponges and Enlighten Engineers
It must be the Year of the Sponge here at The Artful Amoeba, because I can’t seem to write enough posts about sponges and their amazing micro-scale architecture. Below is the Sponge of the Day,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:28 PM | Catching Up With Egypt’s H5N1 Case Count
      # 9914   Egypt’s Ministry of Health has been less than enthusiastic about publicly releasing details on their (now historic) H5N1 outbreak, and updates have only sporadically appeared (without YTD totals) on their website since late January.   They have even publicly downplayed a study that appeared last week in the Journal Eurosurveillance (see Emergence Of A Novel Cluster of H5N1 Clade 2.2.1.2) – denying that any changes have appeared in […]
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12:27 PM | FluTrackers: Zhejiang Province Reports 10 H7N9 Cases In March
Zhejiang Province – Credit Wikipedia #  9913   With the exception of a couple of cases reported out of Shanghai over the past week, we’ve heard almost nothing out of China regarding H7N9 cases since early March (see H7N9: No News Is . . . . Curious).  Compared to the first two waves, reporting this year has been more sporadic and less detailed, and so the hope has been that some end of month `bulk announcements’ might be forthcoming.   Today […]
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11:42 AM | EID Journal: Rapid Emergence Of Novel HPAI H5 Subtypes
How viruses shuffle their genes (reassort)   # 9912   After more than 17 years of relative stability (1996-2013) - during which time we only had one major HPAI H5 avian virus (H5N1) to concern ourselves with - we’ve seen a sudden and unprecedented expansion of highly pathogenic H5 avian subtypes around the globe. The first minor crack in H5’s veneer appeared in 2008, when two mallard ducks in Eastern China tested positive for a new subtype H5N5 (see Novel […]
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11:09 AM | Blogger's Desk #5- Alarming difficulties for Research(er's) in India
GreetingsIn the light of recent progress and attitude of the governing bodies to research and researcher’s in the country, the situation has been described as “degrading”. The issue of “cost of science research” in India is being discussed at great lengths in the columns of prestigious journals, newspapers and scientific talks. I have previously openly written about the problems and concerns (Link). The letter met with a lot of nods, but there seems to be no […]
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9:44 AM | Hong Kong Stands Down From `Serious’ Influenza Response Level
# 9911   On December 27th, 2014 we saw Hong Kong Raise Influenza Pandemic Response Level to Serious after their first detection of an imported H7N9 case from the Mainland for the 2014-15 winter season.  This made the 11th such case detected since the virus emerged in the spring of 2013, and would be the first of three cases imported this year.   From the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (2014) […]

April 07, 2015

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7:35 PM | 25 Powerful Images Of Animal Love That Can Teach Us About Ourselves
We can learn so much about love and ourselves by observing animals. Their interactions are a sure sign of that expression through body language without verbal communication. One look at these pictures is all it takes to appreciate not only the love between… The post 25 Powerful Images Of Animal Love That Can Teach Us About Ourselves appeared first on Just Science.
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6:12 PM | APHIS: HPAI H5N2 At 8th Minnesota Turkey Farm
# 9910   The USDA’s APHIS has announced that another Minnesota farm has been hit by the Highly Pathogenic H5N2 virus, bringing to 8 the number commercial flocks hit so far in that state.   This is the second outbreak reported in the past 24 hours from Kandiyohi county.   Although Minnesota has been the hardest hit, with 8 commercial poultry operations infected, H5 viruses (including H5N2, H5N8 and H5N1) have now been reported in 12 states, and 2 Canadian […]
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1:26 PM | Pregnancy, Flu and The Next Pandemic
Photo Credit – CDC   # 9909   During the 1918 pandemic an abnormally high number of pregnant women died from the influenza, and those that survived endured a very high miscarriage rate.  Again, during the much milder 1957 Asian Flu, pregnant women reportedly suffered disproportionately higher mortality rates than non-pregnant women of the same age.   Historical reviews of both events are available in a Perspective, written by 3 CDC physicians (Sonja A. […]
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11:21 AM | Those “illegal” school science kits and our illogical Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act
The Dominion Post recently ran an article about “Glowing GE bacteria” which were “produced illegally in New Zealand using mail-order kits from America”. Perhaps unsurprisingly given that the phrase ‘genetically engineered’ was mentioned, Green MP Stefan Browning and GE Free New Zealand spokesperson Jon Carapiet chimed in to share their dismay that people/kids were fiddling [...]
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10:50 AM | Outbreak News Radio Show
  # 9908   Although we recorded it Thursday night (April 2nd) for Broadcast on Sunday, Robert Herriman’s latest Outbreak News This Week Radio Show is now online.  Robert’s guests included CDC researcher Dr. Ivo Foppa discussing a recent CDC Study: Lives Saved By the Flu Vaccine, along with this humble blogger.   Robert, a microbiologist, runs the Outbreak News Today website.    The link to the show can be found below, and an archive of […]
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10:12 AM | CFIA: H5 Avian Flu Found On Ontario Turkey Farm
  # 9007   The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating a farm in Southern Ontario, near Woodstock, which has experienced recent elevated turkey mortality.  Preliminary testing indicates an H5 virus, and further testing is being done to determine the subtype and pathogenicity.  A neighboring farm is also under quarantine.    Given the events of this winter, with the rapid eastward spread of HPAI H5, suspicions are running in that […]
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9:42 AM | Shanghai Reports 2nd Recent H7N9 Case
Location Shanghai China   # 9906     After nearly a month of no news regarding H7N9 in China we’ve our second report out of Shanghai in three days, this time regarding a 37 year-old woman who is reportedly in critical condition.    Although not mentioned in this CHP notification, the statement on the Shanghai Municipal Commission On Health And Family Planning  lists this woman from neighboring Jiangsu Province.   This from Hong […]
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9:39 AM | Biolumination II: Meet Gareth Baston!
Meet Gareth Baston, chief petri dish wrangler for Biolumination II.
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7:19 AM | Researcher's see HIV hiding spots
Greetings    HIV has been one of the most devastating and frustratingly difficult virus to tackle. It stuck my attention in a recent talk, that there have been to date nearly 80 different vaccine strategies being tried, ending up as a failure. Treatment options have definitely improved over the years, but nothing that has yet been promising enough for a complete cure. By the end of 2014, studies have concluded that the HIV has most probably toned down its virulence. The latest […]
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5:09 AM | US wants egg executives punished for Salmonella outbreak
A judge should consider the “widespread harm” done by a major 2010 salmonella outbreak and the food safety lapses that preceded it in sentencing two egg industry executives whose company was responsible, prosecutors said Monday. In punishing them next week, … Continue reading →
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5:05 AM | Why breast is best: Some online breast milk might contain cow’s milk
I’m grateful that all five of my daughters were breast-fed for varying lengths of time (because, every kid is different). For those who can’t breast feed, for whatever reason, I can see the appeal of buying breast milk from another … Continue reading →
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4:37 AM | World Health Day 2015, Food Safety – the Global View
The message bears repeating: On World Health Day 2015, the World Health Organization and Europe estimates that levels of foodborne disease are much higher than currently reported and underlines the need for improved collaboration among sectors to lower the health … Continue reading →
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3:20 AM | The Magic Seeds of UCONN EEB
The amazing thing about trees is that they start as seeds. Some small enough for ants to carry. Others that ride in the guts of bats. Others still that float in the wind, tumbling across fields and continents. Similarly, the amazing thing about the best scientists is that they start as students. As I say this, I am not thinking about my own students (though my own students have been wonderful, the highlights of my professional life), I am thinking about the young people with whom I started […]
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1:57 AM | Street food vendors in Hyderabad, India have some food safety issues
I’m a food truck kind of guy, but I prefer to eat from places that have to follow the basic rules of sanitation. In North Carolina mobile food vendors have to be linked up with a physical kitchen (for cooling … Continue reading →
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