Posts

January 17, 2015

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4:32 AM | Texas Tech discovers new Salmonella serotype
Marie Bugarel, a research assistant professor at Texas Tech University’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has discovered a new serotype of the salmonella bacteria. The new serotype was confirmed by … Continue reading →
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4:13 AM | Careful with that bear meat: Trichinellosis surveillance, US, 2008–2012
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that trichinellosis is a parasitic disease caused by nematodes in the genus Trichinella, which are among the most widespread zoonotic pathogens globally. Infection occurs following consumption of raw or undercooked meat infected with … Continue reading →
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4:04 AM | Synthetic marijuana found in Rosca de Reyes bread that poisoned dozens
Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly writes that a Santa Police Department investigation determined that the drug used in a rosca de reyes cake that poisoned at least 40 people across Orange County was synthetic pot. The police investigation matched the … Continue reading →
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3:03 AM | Washington health officials investigate tragic Listeria outbreak
According to KIROTV soft cheese has been linked to three cases of listeriosis, including a death. State health and agriculture officials are looking into an ongoing outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to consumption of Latin-style soft cheese produced by Queseria Bendita, … Continue reading →
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2:22 AM | UK takeaway fined for almost £12,000 food hygiene offences
Food business operator Mr Yakup Kuyumcu of Mr Chips takeaway on Doncaster Road in Scunthorpe will have to pay a total of £11,965 in fines and costs for failing to maintain the necessary food hygiene standards at his premises. North … Continue reading →
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1:46 AM | Go Salmonella: Go Raw brand Organic Spicy Seed Mix recalled
Ecomax Nutrition is recalling Go Raw brand Organic Spicy Seed Mix from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. This … Continue reading →
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1:37 AM | L.A. Times says smart knife is on its way
This week, Neil Young, the greatest rock and roller of all time, released his version of the iPod, the Pono, at CES. The L.A. Times, equally enthralled by electronics buzz, predicts the future in food tech. Stuff like a smart fridges that generate shopping lists for you … Continue reading →
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1:08 AM | Opryland linked to outbreak; health officials think it’s norovirus
On my first trip to Nashville in 1999, Dani’s aunt (who we were visiting) took us to the Opryland hotel. We walked around for about an hour, grabbed some ice cream and took in the vibe. The drive down Music Row was more … Continue reading →

January 16, 2015

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8:58 PM | Poop emoji: Fecal fashion available through a junk mail near you
Emojis have become one of social media’s ways to entertain its users in its quest to draw people’s attention and there are tons of them. Faces with all sorts of expressions, different colored hearts, smiley devils, aliens, stars, hearts, musical … Continue reading →
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8:51 PM | It’s a good thing: Restaurant inspection disclosure in Philadelphia
According to an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer, much about restaurants is a matter of taste, but we can all agree on minimizing the involvement of rodents and bacteria. Fortunately, a cadre of city food-safety inspectors stands between Philadelphia’s diners … Continue reading →
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8:48 PM | Hundreds fail food safety inspections across South Yorkshire, UK
Almost 800 businesses across South Yorkshire have failed food safety inspections in the past two-and-a-half years. Figures from the Food Standards Agency show 764 firms across the region are currently listed as failing to meet the minimum three out of … Continue reading →
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7:58 PM | Fujian Province Health: 15 New H7N9 Cases
Credit Wikipedia   # 9588   Fujian province ended the second wave of H7N9 with just 22 reported cases, and until the January 7th announcement (see Fujian Province Reports 6 H7N9 Cases In December) had remained quiet throughout the fall. We saw Hong Kong’s CHP update their count for Fujian to 28 a week later.    Unfortunately, the absence of onset dates, ages and genders in these reports makes keeping a decent line-listing, and good track of the […]
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6:09 PM | Egyptian Media: 13th, 14th & 15th H5N1 Case Of 2015
    # 9587 The Egyptian Ministry of Health’s website doesn’t show an update yet, but multiple media sources are reporting that the MOH has announced the 14th & 15th H5N1 case of 2015.    The last MOH announcement was on Wednesday, when the count for the year stood at 12 cases (3 recovered, 7 cases under treatment, two deaths).   Last night several Arabic media outlets carried this report on the 13th case:   Health: the high […]
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5:56 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Emily Graslie
In addition to interviewing traditionally trained scientists, I sometimes get the opportunity to interview the science communicators that help translate what happens in the lab to the rest of the world. Today’s interview is with the incredible science communicator, Emily Graslie. You may recognize her from her wildly popular YouTube series, The Brain Scoop, now based at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Before we started our interview, with me in Raleigh and Emily in […]
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3:42 PM | The best writing in science papers: Part II
The best writing in science papers: Part IIGuest post by Stephen Heard (scientistseessquirrel.wordpress.com)Over 2 years ago now, Jonathan posted “The best writing in science papers: Part I”.  I stumbled across that post and searched excitedly for Part II – only to discover there wasn’t one.  Well, now there is, as Jonathan has kindly allowed me to guest-post this.Jonathan’s Part I identified the butterfly-taxonomy papers of Vladimir Nabokov as containing […]
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3:19 PM | WHO MERS Updates – Oman & Saudi Arabia
Credit CDC PHIL     # 9586   The World Health Organization has posted details on five previously announced MERS cases;  2 from Oman, and 3 from Saudi Arabia.  While Saudi Arabia has been reporting sporadic cases since August (after a lull of a couple of months), these are the first cases from Oman in a year.   Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman Disease outbreak news 16 January 2015 Between 7 and 10 January […]
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1:42 PM | Jiangxi Reports 1 H7N9 Case
Jiangxi Province – Credit Wikipedia   # 9585   As noted previously, we don’t seem to be getting the kind of proactive reporting on H7N9 cases out of China this year that we saw during the first two epidemic waves.  Some cases are not announced until days or even weeks after the fact (see Jiangsu Province’s Uncertain H7N9 Count), and often without the kind of detail we’ve seen in the past. While some reports filter through the Chinese media, […]
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11:58 AM | Referral: VDU On MERS In HCWs
Credit Dr. Ian Mackay VDU Blog    # 9584     Dr. Ian Mackay has a new post up today that looks at the unusually high number of Health Care Workers infected with the MERS coronavirus over the past three years.    As he points out, HCWs are considered `canaries’ in the coalmine, and when those who are supposed to be taking special care not to get infected continue to fall prey to the virus, it is considered a potential red flag. Along with […]
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11:16 AM | HPAI H5 In Okayama - Major Culling Ordered
Credit Wikipedia   # 9583   Meanwhile, in Japan, their avian flu woes continue with another farm – this time in Okayama – testing positive for the highly pathogenic H5 (and likely H5N8) virus.  Roughly 200,000 birds will be culled over the next few days – far more than all three earlier outbreaks this winter combined (see Japan: H5 Confirmed in Miyazaki Poultry – Testing In Yamaguchi). .   First, the notification on Japan’s MAFF […]
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10:56 AM | Taiwan Now Reporting Novel H5N3 In Poultry
  # 9582   Taiwan’s multi-subtype outbreak of avian influenza across scores of poultry farms becomes even more complex today with the announcement that novel H5N3 has been detected on two goose farms in Kaohsiung and Pingung, in Southern Taiwan.   While I’m sure we’ll get a more detailed analysis in the next few days, this is being reported as a new reassortment between the Korean H5N8 virus and an N3 strain previously reported in Thailand and […]
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8:57 AM | Fancy food ain’t safe food, Spain edition: Food poisoning sucks even for food safety experts
Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Environmental Health for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG), writes on Mario Batali’s blog that even for a healthy person, food poisoning sucks. If you are remembering the last time you had it and thinking it … Continue reading →
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8:28 AM | Remember that Oregon strawberry outbreak? E. coli in deer feces
White-tailed deer are an important reservoir for pathogens that can contribute a large portion of microbial pollution in fragmented agricultural and forest landscapes. The scarcity of experimental data on survival of microorganisms in and release from deer feces makes prediction … Continue reading →
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8:18 AM | Escherichia coli O104:H4: Effect of rifampicin and gentamicin
Background: A novel pathotype, Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli O104:H4, was the cause of a severe outbreak that affected European countries, mainly Germany, in 2011. The effect of different regimens of rifampicin and gentamicin were evaluated to determine possible treatment modes … Continue reading →
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8:11 AM | Antimicrobial potential of cauliflower, broccoli, and okara byproducts against foodborne bacteria
The antimicrobial potential of cauliflower, broccoli, and okara byproducts was assessed against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Bacillus cereus, and Listeria monocytogenes serovar 4b. Growth behavior was assessed under exposure to 5% vegetable byproducts … Continue reading →
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7:58 AM | Acid and plants (man) to reduce E. coli and Salmonella populations in ruminal microorganism fermentations
Foodborne pathogenic bacteria can live in the intestinal tract of food animals and can be transmitted to humans via food or indirectly through animal or fecal contact. Organic acid blend products have been used as non-antibiotic modifiers of the gastrointestinal … Continue reading →
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7:41 AM | Stay away from chicken blood tofu: Thai doctors
Thai social networks have been buzzing with warnings against eating steamed chicken with rice (khao man gai) served with chicken blood tofu, which is said to contain the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  fAccording to Dr. Surasing Wisarutratana of Chiang Mai Provincial … Continue reading →
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7:16 AM | Humans as source of Campylobacter in Scotland’s seals
In one of the first studies to establish the land-to-sea transmission of a human pathogen, scientists have detected high levels of a human bacterial strain in gray seals. The study also suggests these bacteria may make some seals sick. Terrestrial … Continue reading →
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3:43 AM | A long (and I think good) listen: Tim Ferriss podcast on "the microbiome"
So - I have been travelling a lot lately.  On one of my trips - to Las Vegas and neighboring areas - I was interviewed by Tim Ferriss for his blog.  Jessica Richman of uBiome was also interviewed - she was in SF, Ferriss was somewhere else, and I was on the phone in Vegas.  As soon as it was over I got caught up in the work I was doing there (field work for a new NSF Funded Project on "microbial dark matter".  Anyway - the interview was entertaining and I think interesting. […]

January 15, 2015

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6:18 PM | MMWR: Reduced Protection From This Year’s Flu Vaccine
Photo Credit - CDC PHIL   # 9581   It is always a bit of a gamble heading into flu season every year since flu vaccines – whose strains must be selected 6 months in advance – may not end up being a very good match for the viruses that are circulating in the fall. Flu viruses mutate over time – and minor strains that seemed insignificant last spring can become dominant by November.    Such is the the case this year, as a recently arrived, […]
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3:38 PM | Saudi MOH Closes Riyadh Dialysis Center Over MERS Concerns
  # 9580   Although sporadic MERS cases have been reported over the past couple of months, based on the past two years we expect a bigger surge of cases later in the spring.  While camels are believed to be the zoonotic source of the virus, and are likely responsible for reseeding the virus into the community, most of the infections we’ve seen are the result of human-to-human transmission.   Hospitals and clinics – particularly dialysis centers – […]
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