April 07, 2014

1:43 PM | Life in Grad School: A day in the life of Atif
The editorial staff at Gradifying decided that this month we would describe our experience in graduate school, especially given how different our experiences are. Last week, Amanda discussed her experiences as a graduate student, describing her “field season” and “the outdoors” and “early mornings.” My life is completely different. While Amanda spends her days knee […]
12:29 PM | The Antioxidant Functions of Riboflavin
When we think of antioxidant nutrients, we think of the big names: vitamin C, vitamin E, the carotenoids, selenium. It is less well known that riboflavin also supports the body’s antioxidant functions. These less well known properties have been reviewed recently by Ashoor and Saedisomeolia.
12:00 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
President Obama highlights the ways inadequate paid-leave and wage policies affect women workers; a California bill would hold companies liable for violations by the temporary labor firms they contract with; and OSHA proposes $2.3 million in fines against a company that exposed workers to asbestos and lead hazards.

April 06, 2014

10:07 PM | Ding Ding Ding: And We Have A Winner
I should have known something was awry when I got these heads, months apart, a year (2?) ago (time slips and I'm too lazy to look back through thousands of pictures to figure out how long these heads have been hanging at the foot of my bed staring at me). It should have been a huge red flag that something was wrong. A dear friend (who is great for giving me the necessary nudges I need) and I discussed it the other day on the phone and I took them down while we were still on the phone, […]
9:25 PM | Listeria being sequenced to better understand food poisoning
Chances are you’ve heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation’s disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely … Continue reading →
9:07 PM | Maybe don’t quit your day job? UK restaurant mentored by TV food guru Russell Norman given one star hygiene rating
A restaurant mentored by television food guru Russell Norman in his BBC show scored just one star in a food hygiene inspection. A fridge at Desi Fusion – featured on The Restaurant Man show – was found with mouldy and … Continue reading →
8:06 PM | Public Health in the News – April 6, 2014
Global World Health Day, on April 7th, will focus on vector borne diseases. The World Health Organisation has recently declared that vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis could be eradicated through preventive measures and more financial commitment for campaigns against the diseases.  A United Nations report this week warned that a warming planet […]
4:24 PM | Paris, marathon training and some space science
Hello! In this blog post, I’m going to talk about some cool space science from the last couple of weeks. First though, I have some of my own updates. Tomorrow, I am heading to… Continue reading →
12:00 PM | The Great Billick
What would eventually become one of the most bizarre murder cases in Chicago's history began when 22-year-old Mary Vrzal first visited "The Great Billick, Card-Reader and Seer" in 1904. Within a matter of months, most of her family would be...            Related StoriesThe Twin DoctorOnline Support Groups and SuicideBritish Doctor Goes Undercover to Expose Gay "Cures" 
6:45 AM | Review on PCR based diagnostic approaches for detection of intestinal parasites
My colleague Jaco Verweij – a pioneer in terms of developing and applying real-time PCR diagnostics in clinical parasitology – and I have put together a review in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews with the title: Molecular Testing for Clinical Diagnosis and Epidemiological Investigations of Intestinal Parasitic Infections It’s available form the journal’s website here. […]

Verweij JJ & Stensvold CR (2014). Molecular testing for clinical diagnosis and epidemiological investigations of intestinal parasitic infections., Clinical microbiology reviews, 27 (2) 371-418. PMID:

Lee MY, Cho EJ, Lee JH, Han SH & Park YS (2011). A ten-year survey of Giardia cysts in drinking water supplies of Seoul, the Republic of Korea., The Korean journal of parasitology, 49 (1) 9-15. PMID:

6:04 AM | Sex education
This week, I will put the scholarly pieces aside a bit and just talk about what sex education as I experienced it and as I see it now. I will focus on the girl – not because I don’t think boys are important in this issue but because girls are the ones who bear ALL […]
5:07 AM | Community rallies behind Oklahoma boy battling E. coli infection
Residents in a small town in northwest Oklahoma are rallying behind a young boy, who is fighting for his life after being infected with E. coli. State health officials in Oklahoma are investigating a spike in a deadly strain of E. … Continue reading →
3:04 AM | There’s no problem here; UK tourist sues over Salmonella ‘nightmare holiday’ in Bulgaria
Catherine Lowe, aged 26, came down with Salmonella poisoning during a stay at a hotel in Bulgaria. The healthcare assistant needed to be hooked up to a drip at a local medical centre when her symptoms left her dangerously dehydrated, … Continue reading →
2:57 AM | Over £17Kin fines; mouldy food and filthy conditions at The Thali Indian restaurant shock UK hygiene inspectors
Conditions at a filthy East Yorkshire restaurant have been described as some of the worst that hygiene inspectors had ever seen. Inspectors visiting The Thali Indian restaurant in Pocklington found mouldy food on counters, no soap for workers to wash … Continue reading →
2:23 AM | Over 100 sick linked to Japanese steakhouse in Michigan
More than 100 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses have been linked to Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill and Bar, 2863 West Shore Drive in Holland Township. Kristina Wieghmink, spokeswoman for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, said they pinpointed the … Continue reading →
1:59 AM | Kids don’t get to choose: more illness with more raw milk in US
An alliance of food activists and anti-regulation libertarians is battling to legalize raw, unpasteurized milk, despite warnings from health officials about the rising toll of illnesses affecting adults and children alike. Kimberly Kindy of The Washington Post writes that as … Continue reading →
1:46 AM | Medieval poop found: still stinks
I’ve always been a fan of the raspberries. A number of Medieval wooden barrels have been uncovered in Denmark, revealing their less- than-glamorous contents. Originally built to transport goods and store fish, the barrels were converted into latrines — still … Continue reading →

April 05, 2014

7:18 PM | U.S. National Guard and Navy called in to help child suffering from salmonellosis
Dealing with an ill toddler while away from home is stressful; being 900 miles offshore in a wind-powered boat with a kid who has picked up Salmonella is scary. According to NBC San Diego, the California Air National Guard and … Continue reading →
1:38 PM | Because Art Sometimes Hurts As It Should
We've been working our way through Studio Ghibli's films, with Totoro being one of our absolute favorites. None of the films have failed to delight and impress, though. One, Grave of the Fireflies, we knew we would have to watch without Rosie, so last night we did, since she was at a sleepover.I held a sobbing Lily on my lap (no easy feat since she's an inch shorter than me) for almost all of the movie and then cuddled with her in bed afterwards, dissecting the film and the short story it was […]
1:24 PM | From the low-moisture-foods-with-Salmonella files: black peppercorn edition
Sprouts Farmers Market have, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) press release have recalled some black peppercorn products due to Salmonella after internal testing revealed the bacterial contamination. Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (the “Company”) is recalling Organic … Continue reading →
1:05 PM | The consequences of unsafe home canning are scary
With the first ramps making their way to New York restaurants, the North Carolina spring is here. As the top two-thirds of North America thaws out, the bottom third is gearing up for the home canning season. If done incorrectly … Continue reading →
8:16 AM | RCT Study on Dientamoeba fragilis in CID
In the string of papers coming out from Dr Dennis Röser’s PhD study on the epidemiology, transmission, and clinical significance of Dientamoeba fragilis, the most recent article was published a few days ago in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available (uncorrected proof) from the journal’s website here. DOI =  10.1093/cid/ciu188. Currently, the full text can be […]

Röser D, Simonsen J, Stensvold R, Olsen KE, Bytzer P, Nielsen HV & Mølbak K (2014). Metronidazole therapy for treating dientamoebiasis in children is not associated with better clinical outcomes: A randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical trial., Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, PMID:

Röser D, Simonsen J, Nielsen HV, Stensvold CR & Mølbak K (2013). Dientamoeba fragilis in Denmark: epidemiological experience derived from four years of routine real-time PCR., European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 32 (10) 1303-10. PMID:

Röser D, Nejsum P, Carlsgart AJ, Nielsen HV & Stensvold CR (2013). DNA of Dientamoeba fragilis detected within surface-sterilized eggs of Enterobius vermicularis., Experimental parasitology, 133 (1) 57-61. PMID:

Clark CG, Röser D & Stensvold CR (2014). Transmission of Dientamoeba fragilis: pinworm or cysts?, Trends in parasitology, 30 (3) 136-140. PMID:

Stensvold CR, Clark CG & Röser D (2013). Limited intra-genetic diversity in Dientamoeba fragilis housekeeping genes., Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 18 284-6. PMID:

5:06 AM | Mouse infestation closes birthplace of the cronut
New York City residents and tourists are apparently not alone in their love of Cronuts, those croissant-and-doughnut hybrids that have people lined up for blocks before dawn outside a SoHo bakery. Online video showing a mouse running around in the Dominique … Continue reading →

April 04, 2014

8:31 PM | This year’s National Public Health Week: Better health starts with public health
When Brian Castrucci sees signs up at local retailers offering discounts to police officers and firefighters, he thinks: Why not public health too?
8:06 PM | The NIH Grant "Have" States Resist Sharing
From the Boston Globe (of course): Two dozen rural states stretching from Maine to Mississippi and Montana are clamoring to increase their share of federal research dollars now disproportionately awarded to Boston-area institutions and scientists. Whaddaya mean, "disproportionately"? WE DESERVE IT!!! “There’s a battle between merit and egalitarianism,” said Dr. David Page, director of the […]
6:23 PM | ‘Name-and-shame is a good thing because it gives the public vital information’ South Australia frustrated by legal process
A filthy, cockroach-infested St Peters restaurant fined more than $100,000 has not been added to the State Government’s name-and-shame register, despite being convicted almost two months ago. On February 12, Imperial Peking admitted to 31 counts of breaching the state’s … Continue reading →
6:11 PM | Autism Experts at Drexel Are Available to Comment for Autism Awareness Month
Experts at Drexel University are available to comment for news stories about autism for Autism Awareness Month in April and throughout the year. The University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, focused on a public health science approach to autism, continues to grow and add expertise in critical areas including life course outcomes and employment for adults … Continue reading →
12:00 PM | Ebola reemerges from the forest
Ebola has surfaced again. After a hiatus of over a year without any new identified outbreaks, the virus has reemerged in western Africa, in the first-ever multi-country outbreak of the Zaire strain of Ebola. As of this writing, there have been 122 suspected cases of the disease in Guinea (24 laboratory-confirmed per the WHO) and 80…
9:33 AM | Simple Strategies to Help People Make Better Food Choices: Can Supermarkets Help?
Choice can be our downfall in selecting foods for a healthy diet. Factors such as attractive packaging, price, expected sensory gratification, convenience, and familiarity with the product can all override healthier food choices. Many professionals working in nutrition and public health are interested in how we can help the average consumer to select foods that are suitable to avoid nutrient deficiencies and maintain a healthy weight. Can supermarkets help here?
1:34 AM | 12 possibly sick with E. coli at Oklahoma State Fairgrounds; all worked with livestock
The State Health Department said that they are working on 12 cases of possible E. coli cases. They said 8 of them were at the Youth Expo, but some of the other 4 may not have been there. They are … Continue reading →
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