Posts

August 02, 2014

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4:17 AM | Multistate US outbreak of hepatitis A infection linked to pomegranate seeds from Turkey
In 2013, an outbreak of hepatitis A made 162 people in 10 states sick after they ate a berry blend product purchased at a national chain store. CDC detected the outbreak on May 15. Scientists promptly applied whole genome sequencing … Continue reading →
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4:03 AM | 20 sick from bakery in Oran
No summary available for this post.
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3:32 AM | Is it really that strong? There are reptile cafes in Japan and handwashing is strongly encouraged
Most people lose their appetites when they hear that a snake or salamander is crawling around near them. Not Japan, though. While it seems taboo in most places around the world, the country is the home to more than one … Continue reading →
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12:17 AM | Who are the contaminants in your sequencing project? (crosspost from #microBEnet)
This was originally posted on microBEnet: Who are the contaminants in your sequencing project? Well, been having many discussions recently about PCR amplification happening from "negative" controls where no sample DNA was added. Such amplification is alas pretty common - due to contamination occurring in some other material added to the PCR reaction.  Obviously it would be best to eliminate all DNA contamination of all reagents and all PCRs.  But if that does not happen, it is […]

August 01, 2014

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11:16 PM | Hoffmann’s An Environmental History of Medieval Europe
Originally posted on Heavenfield:Richard C. Hoffmann. An Environmental History of Medieval Europe. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge University Press, April 2014. $25 paperback, $12.50 e-book. History roots in time and place — establishing situations, telling stories, comparing stories, linking stories. Environmental history brings the natural world into the story as an agent and object of…
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10:33 PM | 24 sick with E. coli in Edmonton; sprouts link suspected
Thanks to the reporting of Coral Beach of The Packer, that E. coli outbreak in Edmonton, Alberta (that’s in Canada), is possibly linked to fresh bean sprouts from a local grower, according to a public health official. The Alberta Health … Continue reading →
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8:03 PM | E. coli cluster in Edmonton
From the completely useless press release files, Alberta Health Services is warning Edmontonians of the dangers of E. coli following a cluster of cases in the area. They have nothing else to say.
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7:20 PM | Still a failure to communicate and, says CDC, sprouts still suck
After a series of outbreaks associated with sprouts in the mid-1990s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published guidelines in 1999 for sprouts producers to reduce the risk of contamination. The recommendations included treating seeds with an antimicrobial agent … Continue reading →
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6:42 PM | USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections
Inspections and audits are never enough, because most of us don’t have bacteria-sensing goggles. But, given the tax dollars shelled out for inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they can do better. The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant … Continue reading →
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6:26 PM | Food safety inspections and audits are never enough, in China and elsewhere
When inspectors visited Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd earlier this summer, the production line at the plant now at the centre of an international food scandal appeared in good order, with fresh meat being handled by properly-attired workers and supervisors … Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | Blastocystis in ICOPA2014
The PRE-ICOPA Workshop on Molecular Parasitology that will take place at CINVESTAV, Mexico City, is only one week away! You can download the program here. There will be sessions on local databases, genomes resources, qPCR, High Resolution Melting Curve Analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics and more, using Toxoplasma, Giardia, Leishmania, Trypanosoma and Blastocystis as model organisms.I will be heading the 4 h session on molecular epidemiology of Blastocystis, including a 2 h dry lab session […]
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5:53 PM | Is that an African or European swallow? Can’t kill all the birds, but can manage risk
Zoonotic enteric pathogenic bacteria can live in the intestinal tract of birds and can be transmitted to food animals or humans via fecal contact. In the present study, cecal samples were collected from 376 migratory birds from species often associated … Continue reading →
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5:43 PM | State Dept. On Ebola Medical Evacuation & CDC Infection Control Guidance
  # 8904   With two American Missionaries infected with Ebola expected to arrive in the United States as soon as this weekend (see State Department statement below) – and the possibility that infected international travelers might find their way to our shores – it is not altogether surprising that the CDC today has issued Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for health care facilities treating suspected or confirmed Ebola cases.   First, the […]
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4:14 PM | Wonderful Things: Parasite Shoots Tiny Animals with Harpoons Launched from Guns
The most complicated fungal cell known to science belongs to a parasite called Haptoglossa mirabilis first lured into a rotifer-baited trap in the soil of a tropical greenhouse in a Toronto suburb on... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:56 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Rob Dunn
It seems kind of shocking that I’ve interviewed 32 scientists and science writers for our “Before They Were Scientists” series, and yet somehow our fearless leader, Dr. Rob Dunn, has escaped my probing questions about life in middle school. We’ve rectified that today. Read on to learn about the origins of Rob’s curiosity, his obsession with chasing critters (that’s him holding the two fish in the photo above), and his estimate for how many species live on and […]
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2:33 PM | A quickie on C difficile
Greetings   I have previously posted on C difficile infections  (Link) as an important point of research especially in the context of noscomial infections. There is currently a lot of research devoted in trying to find a good defence. Faecal transplantation has been an attractive candidate. However, development of drugs and the best probiotic combination is also in research.Fig 1: Action of CRS3123. Source    Several antibiotics such as fidaxomicin, REP3123, […]
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2:11 PM | WHO To Convene IHR Emergency Committee Meeting On Ebola
@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea   # 8903   Although WHO Director Margaret Chan announced it earlier today in a speech delivered today to the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d’Ivoire, the World Health Organization has sent out a notice to journalists that the IHR Emergency Committee will meet next week to discuss whether the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a “public health emergency of international […]
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1:24 PM | A Revision In the List Of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases
Photo Credit CDC PHIL   # 8902   Eighteen months ago, in EID Journal: A Brief History Of Quarantine, we looked at the long and successful use of quarantine in the United States, and around the world, to contain highly infectious diseases.    Contrary to Hollywood’s draconian portrayal, quarantine usually consists of  having an exposed person stay home, and report to a healthcare worker by phone each day, during a disease’s incubation period. […]
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12:16 PM | Nosestretcher alert: reusable grocery bags are a direct threat to public health
Brad Gertsman, lawyer, lobbyist and co-founder of the New York Association of Grocery Stores writes in a New York Post op-ed that reusable grocery bags are a health risk. New York City’s do-gooders are at it again, this time looking … Continue reading →
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11:27 AM | Two cases of botulism in Ohio investigated, may be linked to California pesto
Mrs. Kalisz, my grade 7 and 8 family studies teacher warned of the dangers of botulism by showing our class a bulging can of beans (which she kept in a ziplock bag). What I took away from that story was … Continue reading →
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11:16 AM | Fair Biosecurity & H3N2 In North Dakota Show Pigs
  # 8901   County and State Fair season is underway in the northern states and will continue across the nation well into fall. One of the highlights for many visitors are the agricultural exhibits, including livestock exhibitions.  While educational, entertaining, and financially lucrative, there are admittedly some downsides. Bringing together animals from farms all over the region provides unique opportunities to swap pathogens amongst themselves, and potentially […]
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9:32 AM | The academic publishing scam – how much research funding are we losing to journal subscriptions?
Currently doing the rounds on twitter is this on the massive profits made by academic publishers: If you are in Australia or New Zealand and want to know how much is spent just on purchasing subscriptions to academic journals then there is a very handy tool on the Council of Australian University Librarians website. In [...]
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9:00 AM | Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea: Ecology Meets Economy
Ebola virus is back - but why? Continue reading →
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7:38 AM | Salmonella prompts hamburger recall in Sweden
Swedish supermarket chain Coop has recalled its in-store brand of fresh hamburger meat after a routine check revealed traces of salmonella in the meat. Coop halted sales of its hamburger meat on Wednesday evening. The recall applies to Coop Hamburger … Continue reading →
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7:16 AM | 50 sickened with E. coli last year in Brisbane; state fair risks poorly managed
For some reason, this colony of convicts refers to its mayors as “The Lord Mayor.” “It’s almost that time of year again for one of the city’s most loved annual events to roll into town. The Ekka will light up … Continue reading →
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6:47 AM | E. coli O157 strikes UK boy in 2012; specialist recalls little Bo’s ‘darkest days’
Ian Ramage, consultant nephrologist at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, has treated Bo since he first arrived from Aberdeenshire in May 2012. He said the “darkest days” in the youngster’s treatment were when it became clear how seriously the infection … Continue reading →
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2:55 AM | UK court fines butcher for food safety breach
A mobile butcher who operates in Littlehampton has been fined £2,100 for breaching food safety standards. On Wednesday, July 23, Jeremy Ireland, of I & J Meats, pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 at … Continue reading →
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2:27 AM | Q Fever Epidemic in Hungary
We investigated a Q fever outbreak with human patients showing high fever, respiratory tract symptoms, headache and retrosternal pain in southern Hungary in the spring and summer of 2013. Seventy human cases were confirmed by analysing their serum and blood … Continue reading →
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1:21 AM | Chipotle, repeat sanctimonious violator
I don’t tire of trashing Chipotle, because sanctimonious, self-centered assholes deserve to be called out. Erin Van der Bellen and Russ Ptacek report for WUSA that health inspectors temporarily closed: Chiptole, 13501 Connecticut Avenue, Aspen Hill, Md. and Karen’s Deli, … Continue reading →

July 31, 2014

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9:11 PM | Q & A with Tyler Vitone
It’s always fun to have visiting scientists come to our lab — it gives us a chance to show off our beautiful campus and city and, mostly, reinvigorates us and reminds us why we do what we do. Plus we get to eat ice cream in the middle of the day using the thinly veiled excuse: “It’s made right here on campus!” Tyler Vitone, a master’s student in Andrea Lucky’s lab at the University of Florida, drove up to Raleigh this week to meet with the Dunn Lab and […]
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