Posts

October 06, 2014

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9:16 PM | How to Be An Involved Parent at School
Why and How to Get Involved in Your Child’s School   Want to know what’s going on at your child’s school? Getting involved with some of their everyday and special events is a great way to immerse yourself in your child’s school world. However, for…The post How to Be An Involved Parent at School appeared first on Just Science.
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7:16 PM | The Sophisticated European Scientist
Another example of how European scientists are more sophisticated than their American counterparts. Tweet This Post
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7:10 PM | MSF Statement On Norwegian Staff Member Infected With Ebola
  # 9154   Although stringent infection control and proper PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) have proven their ability to protect Health Care Workers against infection with the Ebola virus, one of the realities of life is that achieving 100% compliance - 100% of the time - is a daunting task.    Earlier today we learned of a Spanish Nurse who was infected while treating a patient in Madrid, and now we have the following statement from MSF (Médecins Sans […]
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6:33 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Science Program at Lake Vanda
Once the full field team was out on site at Lake Vanda, we started the science program.  Water sampling and measurements of the lake’s physical properties came first, and diving operations began a few days later.  Everything was scheduled to make the most of our short time on site – we didn’t want to have a backlog of samples to be processed when microscopes were tied up or use up the nicest parts of the day with tasks that could easily be done inside the […]
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6:21 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Setting up camp at Lake Vanda
For all the drama that went into getting this field season started, everything went very smoothly once we were able to get down to the ice.  Antarctica New Zealand did a phenomenal job picking up the bits of operations that had originally relied on the United States Antarctic Program.   This is an overview post on the field season as a whole, and I plan to revisit specifics of the work in later posts.We had a quick transition in Scott Base, made a bit quicker than we had planned […]
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6:08 PM | Return to Lake Joyce -- kicking off the 2014 field season
In just a few short days, I will be heading to New Zealand to start up my fourth Antarctic field season.  This year we are planning to spend two months on site at Lake Joyce, making up for time we lost to the government shutdown last year.Our current plan is to fly south from New Zealand on October 15, making our way in to McMurdo Station to work through the US Antarctic Program.  It will be a bit of a transition to go through the US rather than the New Zealand Antarctic program this […]
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5:52 PM | Media Reports: Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain
    # 9153 This story has been making the wires for perhaps an hour now, with more details beginning to filter out.  Based on multiple media reports (I find nothing yet on the Spanish MOH site), one of the nurses who attended the Spanish Missionary who was evacuated to Madrid  and subsequently died in late September has apparently tested positive for the virus.   At this time, we don’t have any information as to what kind of breakdown in infection […]
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4:45 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 7th Recent MERS Case In Taif
# 9152   Although the overall number of new MERS cases reported in Saudi Arabia remains far below the kind of level we were seeing last spring, today the Saudi MOH announced their 7th case from Taif since September 12th.     Two have involved health care workers, and at least two have reported animal (camel) exposure. Of particular concern, Taif is located just 60 miles to the east of Mecca, where 2 million religious pilgrims have gathered for the […]
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4:12 PM | The WHO Weighs In On The Modes Of Ebola Transmission
  Credit Dr. Ian Mackay’s  VDU Blog    # 9151 A topic we’ve revisited often over the past couple of months are the ways that Ebola might be transmitted among humans.   While clearly not an airborne virus in the classic sense – else we’d have seen this virus already spread to every continent – there are potential routes of infection that do not involve actual direct physical contact with an infected, symptomatic individual. […]
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3:30 PM | Cosmic Karma: Mosquitoes Have Flying, Blood-Sucking Parasites of Their Own
In 1922, a scientist named F.W. Edwards published a paper describing a remarkable thing: a flying, biting midge collected from the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia that he named Culicoides... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:25 AM | 11 Salmonella cases linked to hospitality at Celtic Park in Scotland
A Salmonella outbreak in the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Highland areas has been linked to hospitality at Celtic Park. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said 11 people who had eaten at the stadium on 21 September, the day Celtic played … Continue reading →
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9:09 AM | Brief Hiatus
    Into every life a little jury duty must fall, and this week, it has fallen into mine.   I don’t know whether I’ll be away for just  a day, or two or all week.   If I’m able, I’ll try to squeeze a blog or two in after hours, or before I report in the morning, but I’m not very hopeful on that score.  While I’m away (or even when I’m here), I’d encourage you to visit Crofsblog, Dr. Ian […]
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9:07 AM | The Flawed Prokaryote
There are two types of biologist - those who think that prokaryotes exist and those who don't. Continue reading →
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6:57 AM | All Nobel Prizes in 2014 Will be Microbially Themed: The Microbes Guarantee It
So - last year I secretly created a microbiome based spying system that can transmit the thoughts and emails of people who they colonize.  I introduced this community into all the people on the various Nobel Prize committees in order to get information in advance about their plans for the Nobel Prizes. After getting such information, and discovering that the Nobel's this year were NOT focused on microbes, I then created a microbiome-behavioral manipulation system and re-infected the Nobel […]
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3:30 AM | Chromosome Organization the Pseudomonas Way, Part1
by Christoph Weigel | Despite the somewhat murky provenance of their name, pseudomonads are everything but "pseudo-" in terms of their metabolic versatility: they are bacterial omnivores, heterotrophs yet far from picky. Members of the family Pseudomonadaceae (Gammaproteobacteria) are ubiquitous and make up a respectable percentage of the microbes in any sample...

October 05, 2014

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7:35 PM | Lab Rat Lecture
Last month I had the privilege of being invited as a speaker for the Blogging Microbes event at the University of Nottingham. Hosted by Ivan Lafayette it was a great discussion of the role of blogs,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:57 PM | South Carolina health officials investigating two outbreaks of salmonelloisis
In 2009 when I had a Campylobacter infection it took me a few days of puking and diarrhea to go to my doctor. Then it took a week for the lab results. And then it took another week for the … Continue reading →
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5:13 PM | Chicken sausages linked to four illnesses in Alberta
My Wednesday night hockey team grills brats after games sometimes. Sort of a late night tailgate – after a shower and a quick in-dressing room beer, a portable grill is fired up in the parking lot. We each bring an … Continue reading →
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5:05 PM | Bay Area Science Festival!
The Bay Area Science Festival is coming up (October 23rd – November 1, 2014)! I’m involved in three different events, all […]
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4:28 PM | Uganda Reporting Apparent Marburg Outbreak
      # 9150   We've word today of what appears to be an outbreak of Marburg Virus – another hemorrhagic fever similar to  Ebola  – coming out of Uganda. That country saw a similar outbreak in 2012 which involved a total of 20 cases, including 9 deaths from 4 districts in Uganda (Kabale, Ibanda, Mbarara, and Kampala) (see Marburg haemorrhagic fever in Uganda – update). First a couple of press reports on the current outbreak, then […]
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12:17 PM | TWiV 305: Rhymes with shinola
On episode #305 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Kathy continue their coverage of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, with a discussion of case fatality ratio, reproductive index, a conspiracy theory, and spread of the virus to the United States. You can find TWiV #305 at www.twiv.tv.
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10:52 AM | CDC Updated Guidance: Environmental Infection Control in Hospitals for Ebola Virus
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9148   The CDC continues to roll out interim guidance documents for dealing with possible introduction of Ebola cases into the United States, and on Friday updated and reworked their previously published Hospital Environmental Infection Control guidance.   As always, these are `works in progress’, and are subject to revision over time as more is learned about dealing with this virus.   While laboratory experiments have shown that the […]

October 04, 2014

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5:45 PM | Nerd Nite East Bay talk
I was recently invited to give a talk at Nerd Nite East Bay! Before the show and during intermissions I […]
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5:20 PM | Saudi MOH Announces Another MERS Case In Taif
# 9147   Over the past three weeks Saudi Arabia has announced a dozen new cases of MERS, with six of those cases coming from Taif – located about 60 miles east of the Holy City of Mecca where 2 million pilgrims are gathered for the Hajj.   Today’s case is a 60 year old male who reportedly had recent contact with camels.   In the most recent WHO DON Update On MERS from Saudi Arabia, 4 of the past 15 cases reported contact with camels, sheep, or camel […]
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5:10 PM | I’m going to be the new Huxley Fellow at Rice!
I’m ridiculously excited to announce that I’ll be joining Rice University’s BioSciences department as the new Huxley Fellow. It’s a […]
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1:28 PM | Ebola Risk Communications
      # 9046   The debate over what is meant by Ebola not being `airborne’ and what constitutes `direct contact’  continues, with a growing chorus of discontent in the media, and online, as to how the CDC describes the risks of transmission to the general public.    Last night, a clearly frustrated Dr. Ian Mackay wrote What words would you use to separate influenza spread from Ebola virus disease spread?    Thoughtful and […]

October 03, 2014

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4:02 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Anne Madden
Interviewing Anne Madden was both enlightening and entertaining, I’ve never before wished that a recorder would break so I could repeat an interview — it was that much fun. Anne is a postdoctoral researcher — an early career scientist — and yet her life experiences and work in industry prior to graduate school have given her a very nuanced and intriguing perspective on science. Read on to learn about how her clinically diagnosed phobia of middle school did not stop her […]
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3:30 PM | Me: Will survey results be published openly. Them: yes. Me: OK - will do survey. #opensurveys
Got this email:Dear Jonathan, Your peers at the University of California, Riverside, Stanford University, and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments are seeking participation in a survey designed to explore the relevancy and perceptions of basic natural history knowledge and skills among professionals and graduate students in environmental science-related fields.Professionals and Faculty (including post-doctoral researchers) may access the survey through the following […]
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3:18 PM | Statement From The UN Mission For Ebola Emergency Response Regarding Transmission Of Ebola
Credit WHO   # 9145   In a sane world, an official could at least raise the possibility of low probability-high impact event without it being blown all out of proportion by the press, the internet, and through osmosis -  the public.    But measured, rational discussions don’t sell papers, drive web traffic, or grab cable news viewers.    And so any acknowledgement of an infinitesimal risk – such as an asteroid strike,  a […]
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2:43 PM | The most promising ebola treatments are based on basic immunology
Though for many of us, the ebola crises is oceans away, the epidemic lies heavily on the hearts and minds of people all over the world. For some researchers, public health officials and drug developers, it is the driving force of all daily activity. Right now, there are two vaccines and eight treatments being developed […]
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