Posts

November 23, 2014

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1:45 PM | PLoS Path: Genetics, Receptor Binding, and Transmissibility Of Avian H9N2
Photo Credit – FAO   # 9364   While the superstars of avian influenza tend to be those viruses that can infect, and sometimes kill, humans (H5N1, H7N9, H10N8) behind each of these deadly viruses is an obscure `parental’ virus called H9N2 that has lent a good deal of its backbone – it’s internal genes – to the creation of these emerging threats.   I’ve previously described H9N2 as the Professor Moriarty of avian flu viruses.  […]
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11:46 AM | COCA Call Monday: Caring For Ebola Patients – A Nursing Perspective
  # 9363   While the United States is currently `Ebola-free’, that is a status that is unlikely to persist in the long run.  Additional Ebola cases will undoubtedly be evacuated to US facilities, and as we’ve already seen twice, infected individuals can also arrive in this country unaware that they have been infected.   While the US response wasn’t always perfect, it is nonetheless reassuring that neither unplanned introduction of the virus led […]
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12:56 AM | Strangest microbial headline of month: Bacteria on Russian ‘sex satellite’ survive reentry
There is really not much to say other than to point everyone to this article: Bacteria on Russian ‘sex satellite’ survive reentry | Science | The GuardianIt defininely wins the strangest microbial headline of the month.  The article restates some of the silly claims about how what they are finding supports panspermia .. but ignore the article and just enjoy the headline. -------- This is from the "Tree of Life Blog" of Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and Open […]

November 22, 2014

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9:09 PM | Moore Foundation: Request for Expressions of Interest: Increasing the Potential of Marine Microeukaryotes as Experimental Model Systems through the Development of Genetic Tools
Got this from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and they said I could post it here.Request for Expressions of Interest: Increasing the Potential of Marine Microeukaryotes as Experimental Model Systems through the Development of Genetic Tools Marine Microbiology Initiative Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation November 21, 2014 The Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation aims to enable scientists to uncover the […]
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6:10 PM | Post-doc w/ me, Jessica Green, Jay Stachowicz, and Jenna Lang on seagrass microbiomes
Postdoctoral Position in Microbial Ecology and EvolutionJessica Green at the University of Oregon Green (http://pages.uoregon.edu/green/) is currently seeking a postdoctoral researcher to explore fundamental questions in microbial ecology and evolution. Applicants should have a PhD in a biological, computational, mathematical, or statistical field with extensive training using theory and/or modeling to understand the ecology and evolution of complex biological communities, and strong writing […]
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5:02 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 MERS Case In Taif
# 9362   After roughly 10 days without hearing of a case out of Taif, today the Saudi MOH announced that a 58 y.o. male is receiving treatment for the infection. You’ll recall that during September and October Taif was in the news nearly every day, with more than 20 MERS cases reported in that region, sparking several MOH press statements (see MERS Awareness Campaign).
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4:44 PM | Germany & Japan Both Report H5N8 In Wild Birds
International Migratory Flyways   # 9361   On Tuesday, in H5N8: A Case Of Deja Flu?, I recounted the history of great H5N1 bird flu expansion of 2005-2007, where that virus jumped from only 9 Southeast Asia countries to 60+ nations across Europe and Asia.  While it is far from clear whether H5N8 will follow H5N1’s flight path, we continue to see evidence of its encroachment to other regions of the world. Since Tuesday, the Netherlands has reported several […]
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3:49 PM | The Central Dogma Cafe
Molecular Biology is vitally important for Modern Biology, but can sometimes seem foreign or complicated to new students and the lay person. At the heart of this study of the inner workings of the cell is the transfer of information from DNA to RNA and finally into Protein, which is responsible for a lion's share of activity in the cell.I have previously tried to explain the importance of, and relationship between, these three molecules by using an analogy of sheet music being […]
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1:14 PM | Nature Comms: Host Adaptation Of Avian Influenza Viruses
Flu Virus binding to Receptor Cells – Credit CDC   # 9360   More than a decade after it re-emerged in Vietnam, H5N1 continues to circulate widely in Asian and Middle Eastern poultry providing numerous opportunities to infect humans, and yet only a few more than 600 human infections have been identified.     Similarly, the H7N9 virus which appeared 2 years ago in China appears well distributed in Asia’s domesticated poultry population, but only […]

November 21, 2014

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5:36 PM | WHO: Plague Returns To Madagascar
Location of Island of Madagascar   # 9359   Bubonic Plague (Yersinia Pestis) is a bacterial infection transmitted by fleas, carried by infected rats.   The infection generally sets up in the lymphatic system, resulting in the tell-tale buboes, or swollen lymph glands in the the groin, armpits, and neck.  Credit CDC   The most common presentation is Bubonic plague, however in rare cases, Pneumonic Plague may develop.  Here the infected person […]
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3:01 PM | Dr. Tariq Madani: 97% Of MERS Cases From Human-to-Human Transmission
Saudi Arabia   # 9358 Last April the new Saudi Minister of Health Adel bin Mohammed Faqih announced the appointment of Dr. Tariq Ahmed Madani, as a special MERS consultant to the Health Ministry (see HERE).  Professor Madani – an infectious disease specialist - has a profile posted on the King Abdulaziz University website, which includes details of his discovery of a new viral hemorrhagic fever in 2001.   Last June Dr. Madani Announced the Start To […]
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2:21 PM | Netherlands: 2nd Farm At Kamperveen Showing Signs Of Bird Flu
Credit Rijksoverheid.nl.   Note:  A re-reading of the translation leads me to believe there may be three farms total in the Kamperveen area, not 2, that are suspected of being infected.  If so, that would make 5 farms in the Netherlands, not 4. Hopefully we’ll get a definitive answer in the coming hours. - MPC     # 9357   A few hours ago it was announced that a third farm in the Netherlands had tested positive for H5 avian influenza […]
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1:04 PM | WHO: DRC Ebola Outbreak Officially Over
  # 9356   In late August – at the same time that West Africa’s Ebola epidemic was ramping up – we saw a separate, and unrelated outbreak in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) that according to the last Ebola Roadmap Update, eventually consisted of: Annex 3: ebola outbreak in democratic republic of the congo As at 11 November there have been 66 cases (38 confirmed, 28 probable) of EVD reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including 8 […]
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11:31 AM | Netherlands: Third Farm Affected By Bird Flu – Ter Aar Confirmed H5N8
Credit - Wikipedia Third Farm located in Overijssel  # 9355   From the central government site for the Netherlands (Rijksoverheid.nl) we get confirmation that the second poultry farm affected by bird flu (in Ter Aar) has been confirmed due to the H5N8 virus, and that a third farm – roughly 90km away from the first two – has tested positive for an H5 avian flu virus.   Kamperveen is a small town about 5 miles south of Kampen, a city of about 35,000 in […]
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8:37 AM | Repeated, extremely biased ratio of M:F at meetings from SFB 680 "Evolutionary Innovations" group #YAMMM
Well, this is disappointing, to say the least - there is a conference coming up in July 2015 on "Forecasting Evolution":  SFB 680 | Molecular Basis of Evolutionary Innovations at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.Here is the listed lineup of invited speakers:Andersson (Uppsala University), (NOTE I AM ASSUMING THIS IS DAN ANDERSSON)Trevor Bedford (Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Jesse Bloom (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Arup Chakraborty (MIT)Michael Desai […]

November 20, 2014

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9:18 PM | Wound Healing in an Instant
Extracellular matrix (ECM), a critical component in tissue structure and wound healing, takes on different forms in a tissue-dependent manner. As such, it has been very difficult for scientists to produce an ECM-like bio-material that can be used in a ubiquitous manner. In the following video, you will witness a remarkable technology that mimics the […]
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7:26 PM | ECDC Updated Rapid Risk Assessment On H5N8
H5N8 – A long way from home   # 9354   A week ago – when there was but one outbreak (in Germany) of HPAI H5N8 in Europe – the ECDC issued a Rapid Risk Assessment for EU Countries, noting that:   The public health threat from this event is considered very low. To date, no human infections with this virus have ever been reported world-wide and the risk for zoonotic transmission to the general public in the EU/EEA countries is considered to be extremely […]
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6:41 PM | Egyptian Hospitals On Alert For H5N1
  # 9353   While Europe finds itself on the receiving end of a new H5N8 avian influenza virus this week, Egypt is fighting an old nemesis, the H5N1 virus. Unlike the emerging H5N8 virus, this venerable bird flu has a limited but deadly track record in humans.   H5N1 arrived in Egypt in eight years ago during the great bird flu expansion of 2006 (see H5N8: A Case Of Deja Flu?), and despite aggressive poultry vaccination schemes and attempts to discourage the raising of […]
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6:08 PM | Robert Hooke's Microscope
Robert Hooke's Microscope at the National Museum of Health and Medicinephoto by CM Doran 2013Imagine the world explored when Robert Hooke looked into this beautiful microscope.The card reads:Microscope, Christopher Cock (London), 1665This microscope was used by Robert Hooke of the Royal Society, author of Micrographia and first person to apply the cord 'cell' to microscopic structures.M-030.00276
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5:38 PM | Eurosurveillance: Avian H10N7 Influenza In Harbor Seals
  # 9352   Just about a month ago, in Avian H10N7 Linked To Dead European Seals, I wrote about the recent die off of seals in Denmark and Germany and the determination that their deaths were the result of a combination of avian H10N7 influenza, pneumonia, and bacterial infection.   In 2011 a similar die off of seals in New England made headlines, which was eventually linked to a different avian flu virus (see New England Seal Deaths Tied to H3N8 Flu Virus). In 2012, […]
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4:22 PM | Chagas Disease in America: Undiagnosed, Unappreciated
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, continues to make inroads in the United States and physicians are both unprepared to diagnose and under equipped to treat cases of the disease in their patients. Chagas is a rare disease in the United States and has typically been associated with immigration from Central and […]The post Chagas Disease in America: Undiagnosed, Unappreciated appeared first on Body Horrors.
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4:22 PM | Chagas Disease in America: Undiagnosed, Unappreciated
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, continues to make inroads in the United States and physicians are both unprepared to diagnose and under equipped to treat cases of the disease in their patients. Chagas is a rare disease in the United States and has typically been associated with immigration from Central and […]The post Chagas Disease in America: Undiagnosed, Unappreciated appeared first on Body Horrors.
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4:20 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 4th MERS Case In Al-Kharj In A Week
  # 9351   The mini-outbreak in Al-Kharj continues, with the announcement of a 4th case – that of a 48 y.o. female (exposure unknown) who is reportedly in stable condition. The MOH also reports the death of an earlier announced 70 y.o. female from Taif.  
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4:02 PM | CDC: Best Practices On Procuring PPEs For Ebola Response
Packing PPE Container – Credit CDC   # 9350   One of the realities of living in a just-in-time inventory oriented world is that no one keeps large stockpiles of supplies on hand just in case an unusual demand arises.  Grocery stores which a couple of decades ago might have been restocked once or twice a week now received tailored deliveries (based on real-time data collected from their Point of Sale system) – several times a day. Hospitals, too, rely on […]
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4:38 AM | Why CRISPR Doesn't Work in E. coli
by Elio | We received this query: »I enjoyed the article on your blog 'Six Questions About CRISPRs' by Merry Youle. I am an ex-lambdologist, having quit phage lambda in the early 70s and moved to GM-plants. There is one thing about CRISPR that I do not understand: Why did lambdologists not find CRISPR? They found phage...

November 19, 2014

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9:27 PM | Is the Mouse the Ideal Research Model?
Today marked the beginning of a series of publications that have either appeared or will appear in prestigious journals detailing the results of the global human and mouse ENCODE projects. ENCODE and mouseENCODE (or ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements), is a research programme on the human and mouse genomes that aims to build a comprehensive catalog […]
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8:51 PM | The Battle Between Perfectionism and Productivity
The authors at GradHacker have written about the struggle with perfectionism in graduate school before, but there is still much left to say about this issue. From all the hoops that we have to jump through to get into a program, GPAs to GRE test scores, it’s easy to see how graduate school selects for perfectionists. In … Continue reading The Battle Between Perfectionism and Productivity →
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4:33 PM | Saudi MOH Reports Al-Kharj MERS Case (Fatal)
    # 9344   The Saudi MOH has announced another MERS case from Al-Kharj, already a fatality, that of a 99 year-old with apparently history of animal exposure.   Yesterday’s case announced case from the same region has also died.    This makes the third MERS fatality from Al-Kharj in less than a week.    
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4:17 PM | 15 Hours of Science on a Comet
Early on Wednesday morning the European Space Agency completed another milestone in a ten year journey to study Comet 67P know as Churyumov-Gerasimenko by successfully dropping a laundry machine size lander from an orbiting satellite. ESA has been touting…The post 15 Hours of Science on a Comet appeared first on Just Science.
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1:06 PM | mBio: Not All LPAI Flu Subtypes Are Created Equally
Credit NIAID     # 9343   Until avian H7N9 showed up a couple of years ago, LPAI (Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in birds was considered to constitute a minor human health threat, and our concerns were mostly they would evolve into HPAI (highly pathogenic) strains – with most of that concern focused on H5 and H7 subtypes.   H7N9 showed us that an avian influenza could be LPAI in birds and yet extremely pathogenic in humans. Furthermore, in the summer […]
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