Posts

July 14, 2014

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11:00 AM | Animating the Inanimate
by Marcelo Barros and Brana Vlasic | Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world, with untold amounts being produced yearly. It has always been regarded as a strong, solid, impenetrable, almost indestructible material yet it can make cracks that are vulnerable to penetration by water. As the result, structures of great economic and…
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8:58 AM | Does E. coli persist in strawberry fields (not forever)
Irrigation water quality is one of those nagging issues for on-farm food safety and fresh produce: it’s difficult to model how persistent E. coli is and just how much of a threat is present. Or as my farmer friends say, … Continue reading →
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8:47 AM | Can chlorine dioxide improve the microbiological safety of frozen blueberries?
Blueberries are prone to microbial contamination, with growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds during bulk freezing negatively impacting quality and marketability. As a follow-up to our previous work, the combined impact of ClO2 gassing and freezing rate on the microbiological … Continue reading →
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8:24 AM | Australian mother finds lizard in baby formula
A mother has called on a leading baby formula brand to recall a batch of one of their popular product lines after she opened a tin and discovered a dead lizard rotting inside. Artilina Castanares, a 30-year-old mother-of-two from the … Continue reading →
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8:02 AM | Yeast 2.0 at Macquarie
I've blogged before on Synthetic Biology, particularly with respect to the success of Macquarie University's iGEM teams- for instance, here and here. Synthetic biology is a new scientific field that combines engineering principles with molecular biological approaches to design and construct biological devices and systems. The rational synthesis of “designer” organisms has the potential to revolutionise biotechnological applications in areas such as bioenergy and […]
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1:25 AM | Norovirus: it’s everywhere and you still don’t want it
Ingeborg et al. report in Food Control that Noroviruses (NoV) are among the most common causes of viral gastroenteritis (GE) worldwide and can be transmitted from person-to-person, via food or contaminated surfaces. The present study aimed to examine the prevalence … Continue reading →
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1:03 AM | French goat cheese recalled for E. coli O26
The LHT Company withdraws from the sale of the following products: Name: Dung de Chavignol Trademark: Dairies H. TRIBALLAT Type of packaging: For 2 fresh tray packed fresh packed radius Lot #: L 161.12 DLC / Shelf life: 08/07/14 Veterinary … Continue reading →

July 13, 2014

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5:09 PM | Fussy eaters: the favoured food of Salmonella
As antibiotic resistance increases the search for new anti-bacterial treatments becomes more and more important. One way to design anti-bacterials is to find specific biochemical pathways that the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:59 PM | Family Pets, Zoonoses & An Upcoming COCA Call
The undisputed ruler of my house   # 8829   An oft-repeated factoid in this blog is that 70% of the infectious diseases plaguing humans began in other species, and then adapted to people. Most of these diseases only began to appear in humans after we – as a species – began to domesticate animals roughly 10,000 years ago (see The Third Epidemiological Transition).   That process continues to this day, with new zoonotic diseases emerging practically every […]
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6:10 AM | Suitable for dog poop: don’t marinate chicken wings in plastic newspaper bags
Mike Much in Upper Saucon Township, apparently saves the bags in which his newspapers are delivered for marinating chicken wings. Irene “Toilet Lady” Zalutsky, who shared her homemade concoction for clearing a clogged toilet in 2009, responded, “I just wanted … Continue reading →

July 12, 2014

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6:28 PM | Colorado restaurant to remain closed for weeks following hepatitis A incident, bad inspection
A Fort Collins, Colorado restaurant has chosen to remain closed for at least six weeks to address numerous food safety issues highlighted in a poor inspection coupled with a food handler being diagnosed with hepatitis A. According to The Coloradoan, … Continue reading →
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1:47 PM | Is this a new form of #OpenAccess Spam - spammy blog comments pointing to Bentham
Well, this is very very weird and not sure what to make of it.  In the last week the filter that Google runs for Blogger Comments has picked up a slew of highly spammy comments coming from one account.  And all of the comments include a link to Bentham Science publishers - one of the annoying Spammy new publishers. See some of them below (note I have removed the links to Bentham but trust me, this went to a Bentham site).  Anyone else getting Spam comments pointing to Bentham? […]
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12:46 PM | Kansas DHE Reports Naegleria Fowleri Fatality
L & R: Trophozoites of N. fowleri in brain tissue, stained with H&E. Center: Ameboflagellate trophozoite of N. fowleri. Credit: DPDx   # 8828   Of the many and varied infections reported in North America each year, Naegleria Fowleri is among the rarest, and almost certainly one of the deadliest, that we know of.  Sometimes called the `brain eating amoeba’ in the media, this parasite lurks in warm, often stagnant fresh water, and is usually responsible for […]
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11:31 AM | CDC: Press Conference Transcript, Audio & Timelines For Lab Incidents
H5N1 Photo Credit – CDC PHIL     # 8827   For those who missed yesterday’s bombshell press conference on recent government lab biosafety incidents involving anthrax, smallpox and  avian H5N1, the CDC has posted the audio file, transcript, and some timeline graphics.    While there has been a great deal of excellent media coverage over the past 18 hours (including Helen Branswell’s  What happened at the CDC’s flu lab? & […]
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7:12 AM | Horror stories on the menu in south New Zealand
Vermin, food past its best before date and no hand-washing facilities in kitchens are just some of the horror stories uncovered in Invercargill eateries and shops. A report commissioned by the Invercargill City Council has uncovered the dirty secrets in … Continue reading →
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6:40 AM | Children vomit after lizard found in midday meal in India
Barely a week after 54 students of a government middle school in Sitamarhi district fell ill after eating midday meal (MDM) in which a snake was found, some children were taken ill in Siwan district on Friday after eating midday … Continue reading →

July 11, 2014

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11:39 PM | Workers at trendy NYC brunch spot forced to poop in cup
The New York Post reports that workers at the trendy Manhattan restaurant, Freemans, were forced to hand over stool samples to the Department of Health — after a pregnant customer reported she contracted a foodborne illness at the eatery. The … Continue reading →
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11:17 PM | Chobani disputes Duke researchers’ paper about fungus
Duke (or Dook as it’s known around here) is waging war on multiple fronts this week: with John Wayne’s estate over bourbon, and with the equally powerful yogurt community over nuances of pathogenicity. Here’s the shortened story: Chobani receives complaints … Continue reading →
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10:28 PM | Giant, Ancient Chirping Pill-Millipedes of Madagascar: Irresistible
http://www.pensoft.net/news.php?n=394&SESID=5eebde6fd8471b050adfb405b7a280b9 http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/7730/integrative-revision-of-the-giant-pill-millipede-genus-sphaeromi... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:20 PM | Mystery of kitchen’s ‘clean bill of health’ in Malta
St Vincent de Paul home for the elderly was “in constant breach” of health and food hygiene regulations and it was difficult to understand how it was given “a clean bill of health” in previous months, a report by the … Continue reading →
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4:36 PM | CDC Announces Another Serious Biosecurity Incident
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8826   It’s been a bad summer for US government labs, with two high profile biosecurity incidents involving `select agents’ – the most dangerous types of pathogens – reported over the past couple of weeks.  First, there was the potential anthrax exposure incident (see CDC Statement On Possible Lab Exposure To Anthrax), reported on June 19th, followed last week by the discovery […]
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1:45 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Joan Herbers
I had the wonderful opportunity to [virtually] meet Joan Herbers this past week and talk about her life as a middle school student and pick her brain about her winding career path. Read on to learn how this preeminent social insect ecologist maintained her individualism while growing up with 12 brothers and sisters, gained a strong appreciation for educators and mentors, and how, at six-years-old, she taught math to nuns. Lea: Just to set the scene for middle school let’s think about […]
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1:44 PM | WER: Update On Human Cases Of Influenza At Human-Animal Interface
H5N1 activity by year – Credit WER     # 8825 This week the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) is devoted to a detailed review of human infections by novel (swine & avian) flu viruses over the course of 2013. As in the past, a good deal of time is spent on the H5N1 virus, but last year also saw the emergence of a new contender for the dominant avian flu throne – H7N9 -  the return of H3N2v and H1N1v swine […]
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11:21 AM | Wolbachia, West Nile Virus & An Unexpected Result
Credit Wikpedia   # 8824   Three years ago the mosquito-disease control world was abuzz with news of a promising new method to prevent mosquitoes from carrying, and passing on, dengue to humans. It involved infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia, a bacterium commonly carried by a variety of insects around the world, and then releasing them into the wild. Scientists discovered that when mosquitoes are infected with Wolbachia, their lifespan was halved and their ability to […]
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11:00 AM | TWiM #82: Betrayal and Compromise
Vincent, Michael, Elio and Michele discuss how an endosymbiont betrays its aphid host to alert plant defenses, and a new immunosuppressive cell that allows infection of neonates.
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10:01 AM | It’s Canada: how to make love in a canoe and shit in the woods
Canada is rich in parks and trails – but not all of them are equipped with washroom facilities. Of the 24 nature reserves in Ontario, for example, only two have outhouses. A third has a port-a-potty, but only in the summer … Continue reading →
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9:38 AM | Hundreds of faulty septic systems identified in Wainfleet
I once owned a cottage in Wainfleet, Ontario (that’s in Canada). I had helped set up the alternative University of Guelph student newspaper, The Peak, and then went off to be the editor of the Port Colborne News in 1988. … Continue reading →
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9:11 AM | WHO Epidemiology & Surveillance Update On Ebola – July 10th
@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea   # 8823     As we saw in our last World Health Organization update (July 7th), the number of new cases in Guinea continue to tumble, while Ebola continues to spread vigorously in neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Over the past 7 days Guinea has only reported one new case, while 94 new cases have been reported in Sierra Leone (n=66) and Liberia (n=27).     Ebola virus disease, West Africa – […]
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8:21 AM | Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia more likely to transmit West Nile virus
Mosquitoes infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are more likely to become infected with West Nile virus and to transmit the virus to humans. Continue reading →
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8:21 AM | Mosquitoes infected Wolbachia more likely to transmit West Nile virus
Mosquitoes infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are more likely to become infected with West Nile virus and to transmit the virus to humans. The post Mosquitoes infected Wolbachia more likely to transmit West Nile virus appeared first on MicrobiologyBytes.
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