Posts

October 16, 2014

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7:59 AM | Mixing in a bit of education
This season we are fortunate to have a local middle school science teacher taking part in our field season thanks to the PolarTREC program.  This program connects educators with polar scientists to communicate the scientific method and excitement of exploration to their students.  We are working with Lucy Coleman this year, who teaches in Natomas, not too far down the road from Davis.   […]
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4:04 AM | 127 sick with Yersinia in NZ: When should public health types go public with food safety risks?
Early findings into a severe gastroenteritis outbreak were withheld to avoid causing a public scare with limited information, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says. I’ve heard the same shit for 20 years – we can’t tell the … Continue reading →
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3:43 AM | Fine Reading: Trans-kingdom Cross TalkSmall RNAs on the Move
by Elio | We have lived with the discovery of small RNAs as regulatory molecules for nearly 30 years, so for most readers of this blog this is old hat. But some of us oldsters are still reeling from the novelty and importance of the findings. It seems odd that a subject of this significance, one that has so many ramifications, should have been...
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3:38 AM | Harvard, hope and hype: the sad reason behind overselling diabetes stem cell work - raising money
Earlier in the week I got all fired up - not in a good way - about a press release and news stories relating to a new paper from Doug Melton on a insulin producing STEM cell studyExceptionally disappointed in Doug Melton of @HHMI for publishing new important diabetes paper as #closedaccess pic.twitter.com/DefoWwmiBR— Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) October 10, 2014 With a little more discussion I just got more angry .@HHMINEWS and publishes the groundbreaking paper behind a paywall so […]
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2:49 AM | Epidemiology, just trying to do this jigsaw puzzle: Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with lettuce served at fast food chains in the Maritimes and Ontario, Canada, Dec 2012
Background: Identification and control of multi-jurisdictional foodborne illness outbreaks can be complex because of their multidisciplinary nature and the number of investigative partners involved. Objective: To describe the multi-jurisdictional outbreak response to an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada that … Continue reading →
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2:28 AM | Plant-adapted Escherichia coli show increased lettuce colonizing ability, resistance to oxidative stress and chemotactic response
Escherichia coli is a widespread gut commensal and often a versatile pathogen of public health concern. E. coli are also frequently found in different environments and/or alternative secondary hosts, such as plant tissues. The lifestyle of E. coli in plants … Continue reading →

October 15, 2014

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9:12 PM | TWiM #89: Microbial handoffs
Vincent, Michele, and Michael discuss how a gene from bacteria protects a tick from plant cyanide poisoning, and enhanced transmission of Streptococcus pneumoniae by influenza virus co-infection in mice.
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8:38 PM | Flying south, and further south
As I write this I am on a C-17, flying south to McMurdo station …. Time for a bit of a catch-up on the season launch!Our journey down to Antarctica began with a flight south to Christchurch, New Zealand.  All of us departed from San Francisco the same day, though our actual flights were scattered across the evening with different itineraries depending on the flight requirements of funding sources.We arrived in Christchurch without incident and were able to spend a couple of days […]
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8:14 PM | Students Discover Celebrates National Fossil Day!
To celebrate, we here at Student’s Discover, and especially me the resident paleontologist, want to give a quick update on the incredible results that middle school kids have already made on the Shark Teeth Forensics project through the Paleontology and Geology lab at the Nature Research Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences. First, I need to give a huge “Wow, I’m impressed” to the three Kenan Fellows teachers working on this project (Kimberly, Kerrie, Juliana) because […]
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7:04 PM | WHO assessment of experimental Ebola virus vaccines
The World Health Organization held a conference to assess the status of testing and eventual licensing of two candidate Ebola virus vaccines. The agenda and list of participants and the final report are available. I was interested in the following list of key expected milestones: October 2014: Mechanisms for evaluating and sharing data in real time must be […]
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6:52 PM | Rosettas Comet Landing Gets Its Own Cinematic Trailer
This trailer for the Rosetta comet mission was just released. And well if you aren’t already excited about the first human made probe landing on a comet, then you surely will be after seeing this. Enjoy Few things could be more fascinating or demanding…The post Rosettas Comet Landing Gets Its Own Cinematic Trailer appeared first on Just Science.
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6:51 PM | What Are The Best Toys for Kids with ADD or ADHD
  Kids with ADD or ADHD have a tough time keeping still and/or concentrating on a specific task. Some of them have a lot of trouble learning new things or accomplishing schoolwork because of this. Investing in some toys for kids with ADD or ADHD…The post What Are The Best Toys for Kids with ADD or ADHD appeared first on Just Science.
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6:24 PM | Would we have an Ebola virus vaccine if not for NIH cuts?
Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, believes that we would have an Ebola virus vaccine if not for the past ten years of flat budgets for life science research: NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, […]
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4:46 PM | Dallas: Ebola Town Hall Meeting Tonight (Webcast)
    # 9200   With the events of this morning no doubt raising additional concern in Dallas, tonight ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser will join other experts in a web-streamed (WFAA TV ) event called:   Ebola: Facts Not Fear Town Hall Meeting WHAT: Facts Not Fear Town Hall Meeting: A panel will answer community questions about Ebola WHERE: Lakewood Theater at 1825 Abrams Parkway in Dallas (Click here for map and directions) WHEN: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 […]
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4:13 PM | Enterovirus D68 infections in North America
An outbreak of respiratory disease caused by enterovirus D68 began in August of this year with clusters of cases in Missouri and Illinois. Since then 691 infections have been confirmed in 46 states in the US. The number of confirmed infections is likely to increase in the coming weeks, as CDC has developed a more rapid diagnostic […]
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3:47 PM | CDC: Newest Ebola Patient Flew On 13th – Passengers To Be Notified
Credit CDC       # 9199   Although the latest Ebola case, reported this morning in a Healthcare worker in Dallas, was likely asymptomatic two days ago when she flew a domestic airline (and therefore unlikely to have been infectious) the CDC is taking steps to contact fellow passengers on that flight, as we learn from the following media statement.     CDC and Frontier Airlines Announce Passenger Notification Underway On the morning of Oct. 14, the […]
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1:34 PM | Nurses Claim Lack Of Safety Protocols For Dealing With Ebola
Credit CIDRAP     # 9198   Five years ago, when the H1N1 influenza pandemic was big news, we saw a number of hospitals charged with taking shortcuts in protecting their staff by issuing surgical masks  instead of N95 respirators, despite CDC recommendations to the contrary (see Nurses Protest Lack Of PPE’s).  While the H1N1 virus proved to be less deadly than first anticipated, this led to great debate over whether Healthcare Workers (HCWs) […]
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1:22 PM | 25 Hilarious Ig Nobel Prizes
The Ig Nobel Prize was established in the year 1990 to “celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.” The official ceremony is a lot of fun and it is great to see serious scientists having a blast all in the name of science. In honor of […]
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11:34 AM | Dallas PD & FD On Site At Second Ebola Victim’s Residence
  # 9197   We expect a live press conference at the hospital at around 8am (EDT) this morning, which ought to be carried live by local TV stations including WFAA, regarding the second local HCW diagnosed with the Ebola virus.  Meanwhile, Dallas Police & Fire Departments are at this second HCWs residence, beginning a decontamination of their apartment and common areas, and notifying neighbors.     The follow tweets and pictures come from the […]
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9:45 AM | Don’t you eat that yellow snow — or wild mushrooms
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is advising people not to eat mushrooms they find growing in the wild as the foraging season begins. Last year, 19 cases of poisoning relating to wild mushrooms were notified to the National Poisons … Continue reading →
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9:11 AM | Texas DSHS: Second HCW Tests Positive For Ebola
  # 9196     The news that no one wanted to hear – that a second Healthcare worker in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola virus – has just been released by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This will no doubt raise concerns over there having been a procedural flaw in the infection control protocol used during the care of the index patient, Eric Duncan, rather than an isolated error by a single HCW.   I expect we’ll see […]
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7:19 AM | Reader’s Digest nosestretcher alert: 13+ things you shouldn’t eat at a restaurant
In it’s futile quest to compete in a 140—character universe, Reader’s Digest (Canada) included meat with the bone in as a restaurant no-no. And I quote: “small cuts of meat, like bone-in pork or chicken breasts, are harder to cook … Continue reading →
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6:43 AM | 33 S. Korean students sickened with E. coli O157:H45 linked to tuna bibimbap
Background: In May 2013, an outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred in a high school in Iuncheon, South Korea. We investigated the outbreak in order to identify the pathogen and mode of transmission. Materials and Methods: A case–control study was performed using … Continue reading →
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2:56 AM | Market food safety at retail so consumers can choose: Not training or technology
Maple Leaf Foods hosted its Sixth Annual Food Safety Symposium last week in Mississauga (that’s in Canada). According to The Poultry Site, this year’s event was themed ‘People or Technology’, asking participants to debate which was the best investment to … Continue reading →
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2:15 AM | Ebola: Now is the time for discreet barfing
Sometimes I can handle vomit like a pro. Landing from a three-hour flight and when the plane touched the tarmac, my daughter was spewing. I had the bag and calmly departed the plane. Other times, the smell is enough  to … Continue reading →

October 14, 2014

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9:50 PM | Salmonellosis outbreak linked to North Carolina church conference
Earlier this year, the Food Safety Summit, an annual gathering of food safety nerds dealt with an outbreak of foodborne illness amongst attendees. Over 100 became ill with C. perfringens  after eating a buffet meal. Conferences provide a nice environment for an outbreak – … Continue reading →
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8:49 PM | Combination antiviral therapy for hepatitis C
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a single pill containing two different antiviral drugs for the treatment for hepatitis C. It is the first combination pill approved for the disease, and also the first treatment that does not contain interferon or ribavirin. The new hepatitis C drug, called Harvoni, is a mixture […]
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8:15 PM | Johns Hopkins Ebola Symposium Video Now Online
    # 9195   A quick note, today’s Ebola Symposium at Johns Hopkins – featuring a terrific Keynote address by CIDRAP’s Dr. Michael Osterholm – plus a lot of other not-to-be-missed content, has now been posted (in two parts) online.   http://www.jhsph.edu/events/2014/ebola-forum/webcast.html   The first video runs about 3 hours, and features the individual presentations.  Dr. Osterholm’s remarks come at about the 2 hr 24 […]
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8:04 PM | CDC Announces A Faster EV-D68 Lab Test
  # 9194   The number of confirmed Enterovirus D68 cases sits at 691 people from 46 states, but due to the complex and lengthy testing process, there has been a huge backlog of samples awaiting testing. Anecdotal reports from around the nation suggest the actual number of infections is many times higher, but patients with mild or moderate symptoms rarely get tested. Today the CDC has announced their development of a faster, more streamlined lab test, which should help […]
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4:31 PM | Saudi MOH Reports Another MERS Case In Riyadh
  # 9193   For the 4th day in a row the Saudi MOH has announced a fresh MERS case, and for the second day in a row this case hails from Riyadh.     As we’ve seen with several other recent cases, today’s case has a history of contact with camels or camel products, although that doesn’t necessarily nail down the mode of transmission.   This is the 19th case announced by the Saudi MOH in just over a month.
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