Posts

October 14, 2014

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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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5:06 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 2 MERS Cases (1 today, 1 Yesterday)
    # 9183   While reassuring that the Hajj went off without seeing any MERS cases among pilgrims (the incubation period is still running), the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia has announce two new MERS cases over the past two reporting days. Yesterday’s case: And yet another case from Taif, the 9th over the last month from that city.
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4:38 PM | CDC Press Conference & Media Statement On New Texas Ebola Case
  # 9182   The CDC held a press conference this morning to address reports of a Health care worker who has been infected while providing hospital care to Eric Duncan in Dallas (see Dallas Ebola Press Conference & Hospital Statement).  The CDC has been pretty quick to get the transcripts and audio files up on these pressers – and so I expect to see those later today on the CDC’s  Media Website. First stop, however, is the CDC’s statement […]
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2:33 PM | New Yorkers like their science from scientists
I cannot pass up the opportunity to point out this wonderful quote by Ginia Ballafante in her NY Times piece, Fear of Vaccines Goes Viral. The article starts by noting an article on plummeting vaccination rates in Los Angeles: The piece had the virtue of offering New Yorkers yet another opportunity to feel smugly superior to […]
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2:29 PM | Shooting the messenger: small RNA as a target for antibiotics
All living cells contain DNA; the code for producing every protein needed by the cell. As DNA is important it needs to be kept safe. Plants and animals keep their DNA tightly twisted and organised... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:22 PM | TWiV 306: This Week in Ebolavirus
On episode #306 of the science show This Week in Virology, the Grand Masters of the TWiV discuss Ebola virus transmission, air travel from West Africa, Ebola virus infectivity on surfaces, the Dallas Ebola virus patient, and Ebola virus in dogs. You can find TWiV #306 at www.twiv.tv.
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1:29 PM | Dallas Ebola Press Conference & Hospital Statement
  # 9181   A clearly subdued Dallas County Judge (highest ranking county official in the state of Texas) Clay Jenkins, in a press conference this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, provided additional details on the first nosocomial transmission of Ebola in the United States. What we know (some details are being withheld to protect the family, and observe HIPAA regulations), is that a healthcare provider at Texas Presbyterian Hospital – who was involved in […]
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10:12 AM | Secondary Transmission: Dallas HCW Tests Positive For Ebola
Credit CDC PHIL    NOTE:  A press conference is scheduled for 8:30 EDT, where we hope to learn more details.   # 9180   We don’t have a lot of details yet, particularly regarding when this hospital worker was exposed (before or after the index case was isolated), but the State of Texas sent out the following statement a few minutes ago to regarding the first secondary transmission of the Ebola virus in the United States.     Texas […]
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2:02 AM | The most promising treatments for ebola are based on basic immunology-part 2
One of the more peculiar, historic and almost cinematic treatments being discussed in the midst of the ebola crises is the use of blood transfusions. In movies, the blood of a survivor or someone special is often supposed to have some sort of mystical effect on the (usually villainous) recipient. It turns out, blood transfusions […]

October 11, 2014

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12:29 PM | Sierra Leone’s Ebola Battle Shifts To Facilitating Home Care
  # 9179   In some of the bleaker flu pandemic scenarios that floated around during the middle of the last decade – with 30% (or more) of the population expected to fall ill with a comparable-to-1918  flu – at some point hospitals would be overrun, healthcare worker infections (and defections) would degrade their ability to provide services, and 90% of those infected would end up being treated in their homes by family and friends (see Alabama Pandemic Drill & […]
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6:00 AM | Mexican tomatoes Salmonella positive
Fresh-cut roma tomatoes grown in Mexico and distributed to Costco by Boskovich Farms Inc. may have been contaminated with salmonella and are part of a voluntary recall Expo Fresh LLC initiated in September. Coral Beach of The Packer reports Boskovich was … Continue reading →
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5:48 AM | Don’t eat moose organs: Quebec health agency
A health agency in Northern Quebec is providing some, uh, Northern Quebec advice:  don’t eat moose organs because of cadmium found in samples collected last fall. Moose kidneys and livers are considered a delicacy among the Cree First Nations of … Continue reading →
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