Posts

August 21, 2014

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4:20 AM | A chocolate toilet? A $133,000 bathroom suite made out of Belgian chocolate
When I think chocolate toilet, I’m thinking of some 50-something digestive issue that explodes way too fast. Bathrooms.com, a bathroom furniture retail site, and U.K.-based chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah have gotten together to create a bathroom furnished with Belgian chocolate. The set … Continue reading →
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3:28 AM | TWiM #85: Oscillation in the ocean and a Verona integron
Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michele discuss the diel transcriptional rythmns of bacterioplankton communities in the ocean, and extensively drug resistant Pseudomonas in Ohio.
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2:09 AM | No #AAAS and ASM you do not deserve good PR for freeing up a few papers on Ebola
Saw a PR from AAAS about how they were freeing up all of ~ 20 papers on Ebola In light of what has become the largest Ebola outbreak on record, Science and Science Translational Medicine have compiled over a decade's worth of their published news and research. Researchers and the general public can now view this special collection for free.OK. More access is good. But alas, they did not even free up all papers in #AAAS journals with Ebola in the Title or Abstract.And then I started thinking. […]

August 20, 2014

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10:45 PM | Defense attorney grills former peanut plant manager in trial linked to Salmonella outbreak
Defense attorneys for three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak sought to deflect blame and poke holes in the government’s case Tuesday as they questioned a co-defendant, who is a key prosecution witness. The co-defendant, Samuel Lightsey, was a … Continue reading →
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10:34 PM | Bacteria found in water samples from Malaysia’s vending machines
The water you buy from vending machines in Malaysia may not be as clean as you think. Twenty-nine samples of water were drawn from such machines throughout the Klang Valley – and almost all were contaminated. There were harmful E. … Continue reading →
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10:26 PM | 13 dead: Listeria found in another Danish workplace
Another sandwich meat producer has been hit by the Listeria outbreak that has now claimed 13 lives in Denmark. The food product authorities Fødevarestyrelsen ordered the Delika plant near Hammel to close its doors – for 24 hours – so … Continue reading →
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10:20 PM | Belleisle Farms brand cole slaw recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes
Roy Pope and Sons is recalling Belleisle Farms brand cole slaw from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below. Recalled products Brand Name: Belleisle Farms         Common Name: Garden Fresh Cole … Continue reading →
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7:37 PM | Improperly processed low-acid foods sold at Virginia farmers market; health alert issued
In 2011, a 29-year-old man was hospitalized after five days of progressive dizziness, blurred vision, dysphagia, and difficulty breathing. The patient required mechanical ventilation and botulism antitoxin. He remained in the hospital for 57 days and then spent some time … Continue reading →
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7:28 PM | Today's YAMMM (Yet another mostly male meeting): pharma-nutrition #PN2015
Just got pointed to (by Elisabeth Bik) an announcement for a meeting: Home : Pharma-Nutrition 2015 with a focus on "Linking the Microbiome with Nutrition and Pharma".  And alas, the list of confirmed speakers is as follows:Keynote SpeakerMartin J. Blaser, NY University Medical Center, New York, NY, USASpeakersGregor Reid, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada Alain van Gool, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands David Hafler, Yale, New Haven, CT, […]
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7:08 PM | No Belle and No Nobel Prize
This is a fun musical rendition of one man’s quest for a girlfriend and a Nobel prize. To be appreciated by male graduate students everywhere! Tweet This Post
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6:23 PM | NHC: Watching The Tropics
NHC 5 Day Experimental Outlook   # 8979   With the caveat that this is 5-day experimental outlook, and that it is far to early in the game to begin thinking about what areas of the United States might be impacted, the National Hurricane Center has nonetheless increased the odds that a disturbance now approaching the Windward Islands will organize into a tropical cyclone to 60% over the next 5 days.   TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER […]
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5:01 PM | WHO Ebola Update – August 20th
  # 8979   The World Health Organization has just released their latest Ebola update, covering cases reported between Aug 17th-18th, and with it comes the biggest 2-day jump in numbers that we’ve seen to date.    We’ve known for some time that the numbers being posted were likely undercounts, and with more resources making it into the region over the past two weeks, this huge jump may – in part – simply reflect improvements in local […]
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4:38 PM | FAO: Animal Health `Weak link’ In Preventing Human Diseases
Source CDC – How Ebola likely jumped to humans     # 8978   Although we’ll never know the exact route of its spillover, the Ebola outbreak tragedy in West Africa likely began when a bat (or perhaps some other small forest mammal), passed the virus on to some kind of bushmeat animal, which was then captured, killed and consumed by a human.    MERS-CoV, which has killed hundreds in the Middle East, likely also originated in bats, and moved on to […]
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4:00 PM | Nice Art and Science example - UC Davis Medical School molecule sculpture
Quikc post here.  A month or so ago I went to the UC Davis Medical School in Sacramento for a meeting and got to see this amazing new sculpture for the first time.For more about this and the Artist Roger Berry see this article.  It is always inspiring and uplifting to see nice architecture and nice art in a science building.  -------- This is from the "Tree of Life Blog" of Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and Open Access advocate at the University of California, […]
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3:31 PM | If I have seen further than others it is because I have a bloody big microscope
Advanced microscopy has emerged as a powerful tool in microbiology. Here's why. Continue reading →
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3:02 PM | Barðarbunga Update & Webcams
Source Icelandic Met Office    # 8977   Two days ago, in Iceland: Watching Bárðarbunga,  I wrote about the swarm of (mostly small) earthquakes close to Iceland’s second tallest volcano, and the raising of the aviation warning status for the volcano to Orange. Monday morning saw the largest quake – an M4.5 – but since then well over a thousand smaller quakes have continued to rumble. Yesterday, local authorities – out of an […]
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1:48 PM | Hong Kong Launches Ebola Preparedness & Response Plan
  #8976   Although there have been dozens of suspected Ebola infected travelers tested in countries outside of Africa, thus far, none of them have tested positive for the virus. Although I’m not attempting to keep track all of these media reports, for the best day-to-day coverage, I would highly recommend checking in with Crofsblog several times a day.    Despite our current lucky streak, governments around the world are understandably preparing for the day […]
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1:00 PM | Pikas on Ice
Adorable and fuzzy, American pikas (Ochotona princeps) have become the spokes-critter for the consequences of climate change in alpine areas. These little fuzzballs, more closely related to rabbits than rodents, are specialized for living on the rocky slopes of mountains. They’re very sensitive to hot summer temperatures, and so, as temperatures are predicted to rise, pikas face a perilous future. Researcher Jennifer Wilkening from the University of Colorado is concerned about the future […]
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11:38 AM | PNAS: A Vaccine Evading Variant Poliovirus
Photo Credit WHO   # 8975   For those born after 1960, it is probably difficult to understand the kind of fear that Polio generated in the United States and around the world during the 1950s.  While only one infection in a hundred resulted in paralysis or death, polio was extremely infectious, and the United States routinely saw between 18,000 and 25,000 paralytic cases each year – mostly among young children.   Hospital wards were filled with paralyzed […]
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9:18 AM | CDC Interim Ebola Guidance: Environmental Infection Control In Hospitals
Credit CDC PHIL     # 8974     The CDC continues to roll out new interim guidance documents for health care professionals and facilities that at some point may be called upon to deal with an imported Ebola case in the United States.  As always, these are `works in progress’, and are subject to revision over time as more is learned about dealing with this virus.   Although laboratory experiments have shown that the Ebola virus can remain viable on […]
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2:13 AM | 122 sick: Alberta health officials trying to pinpoint cause of E. coli outbreak
A spike of E. coli cases in Alberta has health officials trying to pinpoint the cause. There have been over 120 cases reported over the last few weeks across the province. Officials say since July 15 there have been 59 confirmed … Continue reading →
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2:09 AM | Alberta Health Services investigates E. coli O157:H7 outbreak: over 120 ill
There’s something big going on in Alberta (that’s in Canada). Alberta Health Services is investigating over 120 cases of E. coli illnesses with no known source. Canadian Press reports that there have been 59 confirmed cases in Calgary, 48 cases in Edmonton … Continue reading →
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12:07 AM | Food fraud: It’s what’s for dinner?
David Edwards of the Scientific American Blog Network writes that beef that’s horsemeat, grouper that’s actually tilapia—thins the global economy every year by an estimated $49 billion. That’s a lot of bogus burgers and suspect sushi.  Yet containing the problem … Continue reading →

August 19, 2014

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8:45 PM | A Call for Transparency and Objectivity in European Science Policy Making
Let’s talk politics. Politics and science. The European Commission (EC), according to its own description, “represents the interests of the EU as a whole. It proposes new legislation to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and it ensures that EU law is correctly applied by member countries”. Part of its mandate […]
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8:35 PM | From the Salmonella in low moisture foods file: Trader Joe’s almond butter edition
At the 2007 IAFP annual meeting in Florida, CDC foodborne illness outbreak guru Robert Tauxe told symposium audience that the next big thing for food safety was low-moisture ingredients. Salmonella is hardy, especially when stressed through drying, so it sticks around … Continue reading →
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6:40 PM | 2 dead from Vibrio in raw fish in Korea
Health officials in Incheon are on alert after two vibrio sepsis patients died there while receiving treatment. They contracted the disease after eating raw fish. This year, 10 cases of vibrio sepsis have been reported throughout the country, most of … Continue reading →
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6:04 PM | One dead and two others ill from botulism-linked fermented fish in Alaska
Fermented fish isn’t for me. It’s not just a quality/taste thing, I also worry about the safety of the fermentation process – especially if it was carried out at home. Deviating from the prescribed steps can create the perfect environment … Continue reading →
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3:30 PM | NPPTL N95 Day Webinar: Respirator Preparedness in Healthcare
  # 8973     A follow up to yesterday’s post (CDC Guidance: Donning & Removing PPEs), two weeks from this coming Friday (Sept 5th), NIOSH and NPPTL (The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory) will hold a webinar designed for Health care workers on Respirator Preparedness as part of their annual  N95 day promotion.   For details on how to register (attendance is limited), and for more on other N95 day activities, here are some excerpts from […]
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12:54 PM | VDU Blog: How To Support Ebola Relief Efforts
    # 8972   Dr. Ian Mackay has just posted a blog on how you can help to get PPEs and other needed supplies to those on the front lines battling the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.   I’ll not delay you any further, and simply ask that you go visit – and then take to heart – his appeal.     Protect the healthcare workers>>save lives>>stop Ebola virus disease
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12:45 PM | Behind the Science: Painting ants and cracking acorns
Stepping into the lab last week, you would have no idea that the summer — for our undergraduates, at least — is winding to an end and that the academic school year is about to start. Last Tuesday I found Joe Karlik and Hanna Moxley, both rising seniors, busy running research trials and starting new experiments in the lab. Joe Karlik has been trying to figure out why Temnothorax curvispinosus (also known as acorn ants) often stick their larvae and pupae, known as “brood,” […]
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