Posts

February 10, 2015

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2:49 PM | Saudi MOH: `Veros_Korona’
  # 9695   Arabic twitter lit up this morning (hashtag كورونا  aka `Corona’) as reports streamed out of a conference held today by the Saudi Ministry of Health where they announced new plans to deal with the expected surge of coronavirus cases in the coming months under the banner of  #فيروس_كورونا  which translates to Veros_Korana which I take to mean […]
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1:00 PM | Guangdong Province: 1 New H7N9 Case, Issues Seasonal Flu Warning
  # 9694   Guangdong’s string of H7N9 announcements continues today with a brief report of a 33 year-old man from Shantou who was diagnosed on the 9th, and is in critical condition.    Shantou reported one case of H7N9 cases 2015-02-10 16:36:35   Ministry of Health and Family Planning  | Views ( 34 ) | text background color: Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province February 10 briefing, Shantou reported one case of […]
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3:23 AM | I’d barf too: Stench from rotting lamb carcasses at Detroit market makes reporter vomit
Steve Neavling of the Motor City Muckraker writes: The stench was so foul that I vomited. A dumpster at the Eastern Market was brimming with scores of rotting lamb carcasses Sunday afternoon, plainly visible to motorists along Gratiot Avenue in … Continue reading →
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1:24 AM | The Perfect Workspace
What exactly is the perfect work space? For me, the answer is “many.” Since I’m not assigned to a cubicle for my PhD work I have some flexibility as to when and how I get my work done. It’s like that really worn out joke about getting a STEM PhD, “The hours are great! You … Continue reading The Perfect Workspace →
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1:11 AM | Viral supercomputer simulations
Jason Roberts, a virologist at the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, creates three-dimensional simulations of viruses showing how the molecules that make up the capsid and genome might move in very short periods of time. I visited Jason in his laboratory at the newly constructed Peter Doherty Institute, to learn how he develops […]

February 09, 2015

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7:48 PM | It’s a cyclical thing: More awareness, more food safety reporting in Ireland
A razor blade in minced meat is among the items alleged to have been found in food products in 2014, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. 2,783 complaints were received about food safety, while the number of calls … Continue reading →
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7:20 PM | Food fraud: 20% samples had undeclared meat in UK lamb takeaway survey
The Food Standards Agency has today published the results of its survey of undeclared meat in lamb dishes from takeaway outlets across the UK. The testing was announced last year and was prompted by evidence of ongoing substitution of lamb … Continue reading →
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6:39 PM | New Zealand dairy farmers use glass bottles and vending machines to sell raw milk from the farm
While Victorian regulators want to ban the sale of raw milk, in New Zealand it’s sold in on-farm vending machines. Dairy company Village Milk in Golden Bay, on New Zealand’s South Island, is selling up to 300-litres of raw milk … Continue reading →
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5:45 PM | Tuberculosis: Review of The Forgotten Plague by American Experience (PBS)
Now it is the forgotten plague, but in the 1800's through the early 20th century, tuberculosis (TB) was not out-of-mind. It affected everyone; nearly 1 in 170 people were in a sanitarium. Nearly every family, rich or poor, lost family members to TB. Highlighting how the U.S. was affected by TB, American Experience has produced yet another thought-provoking documentary:American Experience: The Forgotten PlagueThe Deadly Story of Tuberculosis in America and the Hunt for a […]
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5:14 PM | WHO Summary & Risk Assessment On MERS-CoV
# 9693   Joining the parade of recently published summaries and risks assessments on the MERS Coronavirus (see ECDC: Updated Rapid Risk Assessment On MERS-CoV & MMWR: MERS Epidemiological Update & Guidance), the World Health Organization has published a 10-page review of MERS cases, recent publications, and the risk assessment.   As before, they find both zoonotic transmission and nosocomial outbreaks to contribute to the ongoing stream of cases, as noted by […]
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4:40 PM | OIE Notification On Canadian H5N1 Detection
  # 9692   Although we discussed it at some length yesterday (see H5N1 Detected In B.C. Backyard Flock), we now have the OIE Notification which includes some additional epidemiological and sequencing information that indicates this H5N1 is very similar to the H5N1 virus detected last month in a green-winged teal in Whatcom County, Washington (see OIE: New Reassortant HPAI H5N1 In North America)   Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection Unknown or […]
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3:46 PM | Another "Yet another mostly male meeting (YAMMM)" from BGI
Well just saw an announcement for this meeting on Twitter: The First Announcement of The Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics (ICGAnd I hoped beyond hope that they would have a decent representation of women speakers at the meeting.  Why did I hope this?  Well, in the past, BGI run meetings have had incredibly skewed gender ratios of speakers.  See this post for a discussion of their past record: Kudos to the DOE-JGI for organizing a genomics […]
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3:37 PM | China Reports 3rd H5N6 Case (Fatal) – Yunnan Province
  # 9691   From Hong Kong’s CHP we’ve notification of the third known (and 2nd fatal) infection with the recently emerged H5N6 virus.   Notification of confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Yunnan The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has been notified by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of a confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) today (February 9) affecting a 44-year-old man […]
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2:59 PM | MERS Expectations
CDC MMWR - Number of cases of MERS infections reported by the World Health Organization,* by month of illness onset — worldwide, 2012–2015   # 9690 Although it is far too soon to judge how well the newly appointed Saudi Minister of Health will cope with their MERS problems, in what may be a hopeful sign the MOH is visibly ramping up their public health messaging, while at the same time warning that a spike in Coronavirus cases is to expected over the next few weeks. […]
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2:33 PM | BacterioFiles 201 - Plastic-Producing Prokaryote Process
This episode: Bacteria from wastewater treatment sludge can produce lots of biodegradable plastic! Download Episode (7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Soil bacterium spores could treat tumors when injected In mice, antibiotics early in life disrupt metabolism Figuring out what our microbiome does in the body after we die (paper) Microbes affect geological formations in caves Insect gut microbes may be good source of new antibiotics Post questions or […]
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1:45 PM | Tracking Turtles with Juliana Thomas
“We were tracking turtles today!” Juliana Thomas immediately and enthusiastically tells me after I asked her how her day was going; “We’ve never tracked them during the winter before. We don’t know what they’re doing.” Her turtle earrings, almost a perfect tiny replicate of the Eastern Box turtle, sway side to side as she uses her hands to describe the work of her students. Since 2007 (over eight years at the time of this writing) Juliana’s sixth […]
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11:57 AM | Understanding Ebola Virus Transmission
This short review describes different routes of Ebola virus transmission between people. Continue reading →
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11:47 AM | WHO H7N9 Update – China
  # 9689   The World Health Organization has published a DON (Disease Outbreak News) report on China’s winter outbreak of H7N9, acknowledging 83 recent cases (most appear to be cases we’ve heard about previously), but devoid of the kind of detailed case information we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the first two waves. Previous updates, from both the Chinese MOH and the WHO, have included useful epidemiological details, such as the following case report […]
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10:23 AM | Postdoctoral position, 24 months with a possibility of extension
The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) within the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden Project description:The focus of the project is biochemical analysis of Bacillus subtilis ribosome-associated stress factors. The project addresses questions generated through bioinformatic analysis of ribosomal factors, and will comprise of a biochemical research programme backed up by a complementary set of microbiological and structural […]
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8:45 AM | WANTED! Artists/illustrators needed for glowing art/science project.
Are you an artist/illustrator who wants to try something different? Or do you know anyone who is? I’m looking for 8-10 people to join me for a very special project as part of this year’s thinkScience day being held during the Auckland Arts Festival and White Night. They will need to be free and in [...]
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8:19 AM | ‘Dark logic’ theorizing the harmful consequences of public health interventions
Amy’s been evaluating some potential graduate students, churning up some of her own graduate school missives, and is starting to realize what all writers must face: was that really insightful or just bullshit using fancy words? I’ve been wondering the … Continue reading →
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7:50 AM | Campy in NZ: Just cook it still don’t cut it
The New Zealand Government is, according to the Herald, reviewing what a public health expert calls disgraceful levels of a dangerous bacteria in chicken. Nearly a third of carcasses examined as part of the Ministry of Primary Industries’ testing regime … Continue reading →
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5:00 AM | Wood Digestion with Nary a Microbe in View
by Elio | Eating wood is a way of life for creatures such as termites, bark beetles, and certain mollusks including the infamous shipworms. A few invertebrates make at least some of the enzymes needed digest cellulose...
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2:52 AM | Food safety nerds: 2 methods for risk-based microbiological criteria for Campylobacter in broiler meat
Risk-based microbiological criteria can offer a tool to control Campylobacter in the broiler meat production chain. Recently two approaches have been applied to derive such criteria and to analyse their potential impact in terms of human health risk reduction: the … Continue reading →
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1:37 AM | Presence of mycotoxins in animal milk: A review
Mycotoxins can cause toxicity when ingested by humans and animals. Although the rumen is supposed to be a barrier against mycotoxins, some studies demonstrate that carry-over of mycotoxins to milk is possible. Different studies have found mycotoxin levels in animal … Continue reading →
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1:33 AM | Coaching vs. enforcement: Wash. restaurant inspector says ‘I’m an advocate for public health’
Jerry Caird, the Thurston County environmental health specialist, is one of 6 inspectors who oversee more than 1,000 food establishments in Thurston County. That includes full-service restaurants, grocery store delis, fast food outlets and espresso stands. “I’ve never worked in … Continue reading →
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1:11 AM | Walk the talk: Role of animal husbandry, food safety, MC officials criticized in India
The role of officials of the Animal Husbandry Department, Food Safety Standard (FSS) and Municipal Corporation (MC) is under the scanner for giving a free run to a Shoghi-based private slaughterhouse. Two recent joint inspections during the bird flu scare … Continue reading →
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12:59 AM | Chinese govt says: No rats or bats (or daffodils) on the menu for New Year
With just a few days to go before the Chinese New Year, which people celebrate with an abundance of food and merrymaking, China’s government has launched a campaign to prevent virus infections caused by eating ‘strange food’ such as rats, … Continue reading →
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12:14 AM | Flowers not food: Keep daffodils separate, supermarkets warned
Thanks to our Scottish friend for the tip: UK supermarkets have been urged to keep daffodils away from fruit and vegetable aisles this spring – in case they are mistaken for food. In a letter to major stores, Public Health … Continue reading →

February 08, 2015

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11:59 PM | 170 sick with trichinosis in Argentina
The National Health Service and Food Quality (SENASA) implemented bans and controlled performed tasks for the health operative in response to the outbreak of trichinosis detected in Pehaujó, Buenos Aires. There are an estimated 170 people have been affected and … Continue reading →
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