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Posts

April 17, 2014

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4:59 PM | WHO MERS-CoV Update – Malaysia & UAE
Photo Credit WHO     # 8488   The World Health Organization has published a new GAR (Global Alert & Response) update on the MERS virus, with details on the extended cluster of healthcare workers in the UAE (including one who traveled home to the Philippines), and the recent MERS fatality in Malaysia involving a traveler recently returned from Jeddah. As an aside, I would note that Crof has picked up a fascinating report via the Bangkok Post indicating that […]
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3:38 PM | Japan’s Avian Flu Outbreak Identified As H5N8
Credit Wikipedia   # 8487   Last Sunday, in Japan: Detection Of H5 Avian Flu At Poultry Farm, we looked at the first reported outbreak of avian influenza in Japan since 2011.  At the time, the culprit was only identified as an HPAI H5 virus, and I said it would be a few days before we would know if it were H5N1, H5N2, or the recently emerged (in Korea) H5N8 strain.   Today (h/t Crof) we learn from a report in the Japan Times, that the virus has now been identified as […]
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2:28 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 7 New MERS Cases In Jeddah
    # 8486   The Saudi MOH has just posted an update listing 7 more cases in the Jeddah Cluster.  Four are listed in stable condition, two in intensive care, and one has died.  One of the stable cases is described as a health care worker. Based on FluTracker’s MERS Line Listing, this brings the total number of cases announced by the MOH in this Jeddah cluster to 45, over the past 3 weeks.     Health: Registration 7 cases of HIV (Corona) […]
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1:52 PM | MERS-CoV: The Long Road To A Pharmacological Solution
  # 8485   Three years ago, in the movie `Contagion’, a MERS-like virus (dubbed MEV-1) emerged in China and spread quickly around the globe while scientists at the CDC (and elsewhere) worked frantically to find a vaccine. Unlike most summer blockbusters, this film endeavored to portray the science as accurately as possible  (see my review here).   One area where the movie took some dramatic license was in portraying the development (and deployment) of a […]
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12:36 PM | Norovirus outbreak hits Florida school
Over the past couple of days I drove the family from sunny and somewhat warm Raleigh, NC to the frigid tundra of Southern Ontario. I knew things would be bad when it started snowing as we passed through Maryland – … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Terms of Biology – Syntrophy
by Elio Figure 1. An example of syntrophy. Here, benzoate degradation is carried out by a model syntrophic consortium. Dashed blues lines indicate additional sources of cell carbon for the methanogens. Source. Syntrophy or “eating together” is a kind of symbiosis widespread in biology and of great importance for key biochemical transactions on this planet. Indeed, the cycling of carbon...
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10:05 AM | Ebola: NEJM - New Clade, WHO Messaging & Updated FAQ
Credit @UNMILNews   # 8484     While our attentions have understandably been diverted by the MERS coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, the battle against a large Ebola outbreak in west Africa continues, and this morning we have updated numbers and some interesting news on that front.    Yesterday the NEJM published a preliminary report on this outbreak, breaking the news that the viral culprit is a new strain of Ebola, not an imported strain of Ebola […]
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8:29 AM | A global network of researchers? Not really – small worlds.
The high clustering coefficient coupled with a short average distance between nodes suggests a "small-world phenomenon" among HIV and HPV researchers. The post A global network of researchers? Not really – small worlds. appeared first on MicrobiologyBytes.
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2:50 AM | Rescuing US Biomedical Research From its Systemic Flaws
For roughly four years now I have been on the "biomedical research needs reform bandwagon" tossing around heretical ideas like; there isn't enough funding to sustain the number of PhD and postdocs, alternative "non-traditional" career training, downfalls of hypercompetitiveness, etc.If you have questions, use the comments section below!When Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) started putting together its strategic plan […]

April 16, 2014

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7:42 PM | Invasive Species Costing Europeans Billions Per Year
The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen’s University Belfast. The threats posed by these species cost an estimated €12 billion each year across Europe. Professor Jaimie Dick, from the Institute for Global Food Security […]
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6:58 PM | Antibacterial soaps can reduce risk of foodborne illness
Friend of the blog Don Schaffner has published some new research that shows  the use of antibacterial soaps can reduce the spread of harmful bacteria – that often leads to foodborne illness – more effectively than using non-antibacterial soaps. The … Continue reading →
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6:34 PM | Supermarket madness: shopping for food safety
      From the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety: Shopping is a competitive sport. Especially for groceries. People who would think nothing of laying out $200 for a fancy-pants dinner and atmosphere, will digitally or electronically clip coupons to … Continue reading →
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3:29 PM | Global Engage Plant Genomics Meeting - Bring Your Y Chromosome Because they Don't Take XX - Calling for a Boycott of this Group
Saw this tweet earlier todayNot one woman: http://t.co/zU0uhELuvI. WTF— Female Scientist (@female_science) April 16, 2014And something seemed hauntingly familiar about the organization referenced.  Turns out this is not the first time they have had issues with Gender Balance.  So I respondedWell @female_science Global Engage does it again - I posted about their previous meeting gender ratio issues here http://t.co/8fIr2KZjTK— Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) April 16, […]
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1:17 PM | Referral: Dr. Mackay Gets Graphic On MERS Trends & Developments
    # 8483   Dr. Ian Mackay brings not only the expertise of a Virologist to Flublogia, but the eye of a graphic artist as well, as evidenced by a pair of graphics he has posted in the past couple of hours on his VDU blog.  The graphic above, showing the steep climb in MERS cases this month,  comes from his latest blog:   MERS-CoV case accumulation chart continues to ascend steeply...   Earlier this morning (my time, late evening his time) Ian […]
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11:36 AM | WHO Updates The UAE MERS-CoV Cluster
Photo Credit WHO     # 8482   Earlier today, in Philippines Quarantines Imported Asymptomatic MERS Case & Contacts, we learned that a healthcare worker in UAE who had contact with their cluster of MERS cases had flown to the Philippines, and is now hospitalized.  Overnight, the World Health Organization updated that UAE Cluster, with the following GAR Disease Outbreak News (DON) report:   Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – […]
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11:00 AM | Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported (Fatal) Case Of MERS-CoV
    # 8482   This story has been bouncing around twitter for a couple of hours, but now has linkable media reports and a press release from the Malaysian Ministry of Health to back it up.  First a media report from the Straits Times, and then a translation of the official statement from the MOH.   Johor man dies of Mers virus; first reported case of death in Asia PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malaysian man who developed respiratory […]
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10:30 AM | Philippines Quarantines Imported Asymptomatic MERS Case & Contacts
      # 8481   The past two hours a report has been circulating on twitter regarding an (asymptomatic) imported case of MERS-CoV in the Philippines – that of a colleague of the paramedic who died last week in the UAE (see UAE Ministry Of Interior Announces 6 MERS-CoV Cases (1 Fatality)).    This cluster has reportedly since grown to at least 10 cases (see UAE Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases).   The story has now broken in multiple […]
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8:53 AM | Jeddah MERS Cluster Grows By 6 More Cases
  # 8480   Barely 12 hours after their last announcement (see Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (1 Fatality)), the Saudi MOH has announced an additional 6 cases in the Jeddah cluster – again including a fatality.   Since the Saudi MOH doesn’t provide us with onset dates, dates of discovery, or dates of lab confirmation - we don’t have a good handle on how `fresh’  these cases are; whether they are all newly discovered, or […]
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8:37 AM | Just wash it doesn’t cut it; new research shows how E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables
Research presented today at the Society for General Microbiology’s Annual Meeting in Liverpool shows that the disease-causing E. coli O157:H7 interacts directly with plant cells, allowing it to anchor to the surface of a plant, where it can multiply. Researchers from the … Continue reading →
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8:24 AM | 21 sick, 1 dead from E. coli O157 linked to Gort’s cheese in Canada last year; source not known
Seven months after their world was shaken, the owners of Gort’s Gouda cheese farm are still working to get their business back on solid ground. “It’s been a tough haul. We’re working hard at rebounding, it’s looking positive. It’s going … Continue reading →
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2:05 AM | Cheesecake Factory says ‘seriously’ its food is safe after 2 problematic health inspections
The Cheesecake Factory wants people to know it’s food is safe. The restaurant is speaking out after two problematic health inspections at its Destiny USA location. “The Cheesecake Factory takes food safety and sanitation very seriously and is committed to providing a … Continue reading →
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1:13 AM | 22 sick in Illinois: food poisoning suspected
The Jefferson County Health Department is investigating a possible outbreak of food poisoning which happened April 6. Health Department Administrator Mark Stevens declined to give the location where the outbreak occurred. He said the department did not begin receiving reports … Continue reading →

April 15, 2014

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9:38 PM | Post #4 Know your Advisor and Department Chair - My PhD Process: How I Survived a PhD in the Biological Sciences and Succeeded Afterward
Post #4 is all about getting to know your professor and department chair. Most everything I have seen in the "self-help" graduate school category is about getting to know your mentor/advisor.A few examples:Rackham Graduate School - University of MichiganGraduate School - University of WashingtonScience Magazine and anotherThis is a very important topic. No question, your advisor is going to own your career (and most of your life) for 4+ years, and will definitely have an influence […]
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8:45 PM | The Road to Publishing More Scientific Papers in the Czech Republic
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7:18 PM | BacterioFiles Micro Edition 162 - Desert Dwellers Densify Dunes
This episode: Spraying cyanobacteria could turn deserts into useful land! Download Episode (9.3 MB, 10.13 minutes)Show notes:News item/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: How multicellular cyanobacteria communicates between cells (paper) Microscopic protozoa could be used instead of animals for cosmetic testing Slime molds are good like computers at finding best routes to different places Bacteria can divide into two distinct cells with different behaviors Students program bacteria to […]
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6:03 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (1 Fatality)
    # 8479   The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced another 5 MERS cases from Jeddah today, including one death.  Three of the cases are described as Health Care Workers, and of those, two are asymptomatic.    Today’s announcement moves the Jeddah cluster to more than 30 cases, and if local Arabic press reports are to believed, there may be more announcements coming.   Health: 5 registered cases of HIV (Corona) in Jeddah 06/15/1435 […]
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5:17 PM | Homemade goods: most Hawaiian lawmakers not in compliance with food safety regulations
State legislators and their staff have been busy whipping up homemade goods for the annual Hawaii Food Bank fundraiser. The effort to raise cash lasts from January to early May and features a variety of fares, from Filipino food to brownies ala … Continue reading →
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5:05 PM | 22 sick from staph in Vietnam horse-blood pudding
Twenty-two people in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai were poisoned after eating horse-blood pudding due to presence of Staphylococci and E. coli. Test results of horse blood pudding showed that Staphylococci and E.coli were present in the dish … Continue reading →
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4:25 PM | The Wild Life of Chimpanzee Nests
We share a lot with you, dear readers. Some might say too much (ahem, the plight of our own armpit bacteria, for example). Yet believe it or not, we don’t share quite everything. Sometimes we’re working behind the scenes, out of the public eye, cooking up a new project, developing a nugget of an idea or cultivating a collaboration. Sometimes it takes awhile to get these new things organized, to gather all the ingredients, to slowly bring the collaboration or project to a boil, to […]
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3:07 PM | UAE Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases
@WHO Twitter feed this morning.   # 8478   The World Health Organization telegraphed this announcement  earlier this morning (see tweet graphic above), and I expect we’ll get more information from a GAR DON update in short order, but in the meantime we have this report from KUNA – the Kuwait News Agency.   All three cases are apparently asymptomatic contacts of a previous case, discovered during the epidemiological investigation. Hopefully […]
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