Posts

July 20, 2014

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9:23 AM | Berlin, Boston and now Mississippi
Greetings         HIV appears to be a very formidable agent, one that is difficult to deal with in terms of patient care. I have discussed multiple aspects of HIV and focus research on finding a defence is one of the top priority. So when there appears to be an occasional special case of "achieved cure", they make headline and represent an immense interest to science. With the hope they may give us a clue of what the cure can be.    And this time its a news […]
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6:15 AM | Chikunguna - Coming to America
Aedes aegypti mosquito - one of two primary transmitters of ChikungunyaEarly this week Florida health officials and the CDC announced the first locally acquired, non-travel associated, Chikungunya cases in the US. Not surprising, I guessed that this would happen by the end of the year. Currently, there is a massive epidemic occurring in the Caribbean and with the number of travelers going between Florida and the Caribbean islands, this was bound to happen sooner, rather than […]
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2:33 AM | Aloha from Oahu
Aloha! I know the blog has been very quiet recently. I am working on getting settled and have a few interesting events that need to be written about. Hopefully withing a few weeks we are up and running again at a regular rate.I have a couple interesting events in North Dakota I want to write about, the first involving a Hepatitis C Virus outbreak at a long-term care facility, the second a rare case of Hantavirus. I also want to talk about some of the tick-borne diseases like Lyme and Heartland […]

July 19, 2014

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3:50 PM | Are Influenza Pandemic Viruses Members Of An Exclusive Club?
Credit - HHS Interim Pre-Pandemic Planning Guidence: Community Strategy For Pandemic Influenza Mitigation In the United States.   # 8851   While we watch novel avian flu strains like H5N1, H7N9, H9N2 and new upstarts like H10N8 for signs they might better adapt to humans and someday start a pandemic, there is a school of thought the holds that only H1, H2, and H3 influenza viruses have ever been known to spread efficiently in humans, and we ought to be looking more at that pool […]
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10:45 AM | Mackay’s Interactive MERS Charts
Credit VDU Blog      # 8850     It has been a busy couple of days and I’ve been remiss in not highlighting a new set of interactive MERS-CoV charts from Dr. Ian Mackay that deal with gender and ages.  By hovering your cursor over individual elements of each chart, you are provided with additional information.   The static graphic at the top of this blog doesn’t do it justice, but you can view the fully interactive version at: […]

July 18, 2014

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7:27 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Jiri Hulcr
In hearing about Jiri Hulcr‘s childhood growing up during the revolution in the Czech Republic, I gained some insight into how he approaches science. He can be seen in the above picture (the only photo of him during his middle school years) wearing the blue cap; this photo was taken at a traditional pig killing. The person steaming and shaving the pig was the butcher, and every single piece of the pig is utilized. For Jiri, these pig killings (and subsequent butcherings) were essential […]
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5:35 PM | Bread Wheat Genome Contains “Shocking” Plot Twist
“Wheat P1210892” by Copyright © 2007 David Monniaux – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Yesterday scientitsts announced in a quartet of papers in the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:53 PM | Colorado DPH Statement On 4 Cases Of Plague
Credit CDC     # 8849   Last week in Family Pets, Zoonoses & An Upcoming COCA Call, we briefly discussed a recent story of a man, and his dog, who had contracted plague in Colorado.  While rare – the United States sees perhaps a dozen human cases each year.    But what made this case doubly unusual is that the man was diagnosed with pneumonic plague.   Bubonic Plague (Yersinia Pestis) is a bacterial infection transmitted by fleas, […]
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4:09 PM | ICB special issue on parasite manipulation
The special issue of Integrative and Comparative Biology containing papers from the parasite manipulation symposium that Zen Faulkes and I organized is […]
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12:27 PM | WHO Statement On Loss Of Glenn Thomas Aboard Downed MH17 Flight
# 8848   We are still learning about the roughly 300 passengers & crew who were killed yesterday when Malaysian Flight MH17 was apparently shot down over Ukraine, and the scope of that tragedy will likely expand today and tomorrow.    Overnight there have been reports indicating that a number of researchers  – en route to Melbourne Australia for the AIDS Conference – were aboard that flight (see Crofsblog MH17: A statement of condolence from […]
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12:03 PM | ECDC Comment On Gain Of Function Research
Credit CDC PHIL # 8847   My thanks to Dr. Marc Lipsitch for tweeting the link to the ECDC’s comment on recent GOF (Gain of Function) work being performed on 1918-like influenza viruses.  I blogged about this particular study last month in Cell Host & Microbe: 1918-like Avian Viruses Circulating In Birds Have Pandemic Potential, where I wrote about the ongoing concerns over this type of research.   Simply put, GOF research involves laboratory manipulation […]
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11:09 AM | USGS: Updated U.S. Seismic Risk Hazard Maps
  # 8846   Yesterday the USGS released a 243 page PDF report outlining the revised seismic hazard risks for the United States – their first major update since 2008 – and among its findings it reports a higher risk of strong quakes in the Eastern United States than previously appreciated.    Be warned, with hundreds of maps and graphics, this is a very large (113mb) download.     Documentation for the 2014 Update of the United […]
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8:38 AM | Larger body size – less retroviruses?
Larger animals exert greater control over endogenous retrovirus proliferation. The post Larger body size – less retroviruses? appeared first on MicrobiologyBytes.
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8:08 AM | Helicobacter pylori and stomach lesions
How H. pylori initially interacts with and irritates gastric tissue is not well understood. The post Helicobacter pylori and stomach lesions appeared first on MicrobiologyBytes.
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5:17 AM | What the hell is the Anthropocene anyway?
When I was a kid, I used to drag my parents out gem/mineral/fossil hunting all the time. Possibly in revenge for all these field trips, much later my Dad threw out my mineral collection that had been stored in his garage for a decade or two while I was working overseas (Not that I'm bitter about that or anything).Anyway, as a 12 year old I was an expert on geological eras, periods and epochs. Apparently, my childhood knowledge is now out of date (and probably mostly lost in forgotten recesses […]
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1:55 AM | TWiV 293: Virology Down Under
On episode #293 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent visits Melbourne, Australia and speaks with Melissa, Alex, Gilda, and Paul about their work on HIV infection of the central nervous system, West Nile virus, microbicides for HIV, and the Koala retrovirus. You can find TWiV #293 at www.twiv.tv.
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12:18 AM | Ultrasmall bacteria from Antarctic Lake raise questions about the limits of life
Imagine you were forced to live in perpetually subzero temperatures, with no oxygen, no light, and way more salt than your system could handle. How would you manage? One way might be to get extremely small. At least, that seems to be what’s happening in a frozen Antarctic lake that’s cut off from the rest…

July 17, 2014

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9:21 PM | CDC Statement On 1st Locally Acquired Chikungunya In United States
  # 8845   Building on the earlier report from Florida’s Department of Health (See Florida DOH Announces 1st Locally Acquired Chikungunya Cases In U.S.) we have the following statement from the CDC regarding the potential for additional spread of this mosquito borne virus which only arrived in the Americas 7 months ago.   After the CDC report, I’ll be back with a bit more.   First Chikungunya case acquired in the United States reported in Florida […]
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8:13 PM | Florida DOH Announces 1st Locally Acquired Chikungunya Cases In U.S.
One of two highly competent vectors in the Americas   # 8844 Although it has been expected for several months, it is now official.  Chikungunya has been locally acquired in the United States, with Florida’s Department of Health reporting two recent cases in South Florida.   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: DOH Communications July 17, 2014 (850) 245-4111 FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONFIRMS FIRST LOCALLY ACQUIRED CASES OF CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER ~ Drain […]
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7:32 PM | A Scientist’s Ideal Girlfriend?
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5:43 PM | ECDC Epidemiological Update On Ebola – July 17th
MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward. Credit CDC Ebola Webpage     # 8843   While stressing that the risk to travelers visiting Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia remains very low – and that their previously published Risk Assessment for the EU remains unchanged – the ECDC today has published their latest epidemiological assessment of the ongoing Ebola Outbreak in Western […]
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5:20 PM | Meet the 2014 Students Discover Fellows
As readers of our blog and Twitter feed well know, we’ve spent the last three weeks working side-by-side with 12 North Carolina middle school teachers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. These teacher-scientists and Museum researchers have been busy in the field and at the lab bench, co-creating citizen science projects and lesson plans that the teachers will take back to their classrooms in the fall. The goal: Create opportunities for kids to do REAL science, to make new and exciting […]
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1:19 PM | CID Journal: Under Utilization Of Antivirals For At Risk Flu Patients
  # 8842   Between the frequent hyperbolic demonization of  influenza antivirals (see Daily Mail: Ministers blew £650MILLION on useless anti-flu drugs) by media critics of `Big Pharma’,  spurred on by repeated Cochrane group analyses that have found insufficient evidence that the drug reduces influenza complications, it probably comes as little surprise that many doctors – particularly in outpatient settings – tend to underutilize antiviral […]
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11:53 AM | Yesterday’s House Subcommittee Hearing on Biosafety
Credit Wikipedia   # 8841     If you missed yesterday’s 2 hour and 40 minute House subcommittee hearing on Biosafety lapses at the CDC and FDA labs, you have two excellent ways to catch up.   First, Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP News has put together an excellent summary report, which you can read at:   Congress probes lapses at high-containment labs   And second, the video of the hearing – along with supporting documents - are now […]
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11:33 AM | APHL Statement Regarding Biosafety Incidents At Federal Labs
Credit CDC PHIL   # 8840     The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is a non-profit organization of long standing that represents local, territorial, county and state public health laboratories of all types, including medical, environmental, agricultural and veterinary with the goal of promoting the safety, training, and excellence of public health laboratories across the United States.   With the recent revelations of hundreds of improperly stored […]
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11:00 AM | ‘Tis the Season to be Sweating
by Elio | This is the time of the year of increased physical activity when we pay special attention to certain parts of the body, including the armpit. As is usually the case, our microbiota is involved because the odor associated with sweating is produced by microbial activity. The main culprits are skin…

July 16, 2014

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9:03 PM | FDA Statement On Additional 300 Vials Discovered At NIH Campus Lab
Transferring H7N9 Into Vials – Credit CDC   # 8839   Just hours after the House subcommittee hearing on lapses at the CDC labs involving anthrax and avian H5N1 influenza, the FDA has announced details on roughly 300 vials of improperly stored pathogens that were recovered from the same cold storage room on the NIH campus where 6 vials of smallpox were discovered a couple of weeks ago (see CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Specimens).   Among […]
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7:16 PM | Can We Trust Western Blots?
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6:44 PM | Fame versus Impact
Just a quick post, and kind of a somber one. Hopefully, it will have a bit of impact as the new academic year approaches, and get educators like myself thinking.Imagine a classroom of 100 freshmen students.  Some eager, some nervous, some world-weary and cynical, and some half-asleep.  In other words, a slice of the college age, university attending, population.Ask them if they know the name "Norman Borlaug."Then ask them if they know the name "Kim Kardashian."I think you can tell […]
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1:42 PM | Subcommittee Hearing On CDC Lab Incidents Today 10am EDT
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8838   Like just about everyone else with an interest in the recent lab biosafety lapses at the CDC and FDA, I’ll be tuned into the House House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which begins at 10am EDT.    The hearing will be broadcast from room 2123 of the Rayburn building and viewable at:   http://energycommerce.house.gov/studio/webcasts   […]
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