Category Archives: Microbiology


Microbiologist David Coil lists the flaws of the BACTERIA ARE FOUND ON X!! stories (boldface mine): First, bacteria are everywhere. It’s no shocker that anyone with a Q-tip and a Petri dish can find them on your cellphone. Sure, cellphones … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Microbiology | 1 Comment

What Really Worries Me About the Salmonella-Chicken Outbreak

In the midst of all of the Republican debt ceiling/government shutdown lunacy, one of the casualties has been the CDC’s inability to respond to a Salmonella outbreak that has currently sickened hundreds of people in twenty states and territories throughout … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, CDC, Food, Microbiology, Public Health, Salmonella | 3 Comments

Strain Mixups and Retractions

Back when I was a younger Mad Biologist, I received dozens of bacterial strains from a Very Prestigious Lab that were supposed to belong to species A and B. Very Prestigious Lab had published several papers on these strains, and … Continue reading

Posted in Microbiology, Plants, We're Really Fucked | 1 Comment

Sure, The Smithsonian Might Be Shutdown, But That’s No Reason You Can’t See the Genomics Exhibit

So what if you can’t get into the Smithsonian? Cuz I take pictures so you don’t have to. The Natural History Museum has a temporary exhibit, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” that’s pretty good. If you’re in the genomics biz, it … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Genomics, Microbiology, Microbiome, Museums etc.

Now That We Can Sequence Thousands of Bacterial Strains, How the Hell Are We Going to Store Them?

I ask this as a key influence on my intellectual development–such as it is–is paleontology (some of my best friends are paleontologists…actually, that’s true). And in that discipline, specimens are key. Certainly, any material that is published is retained in … Continue reading

Posted in Genomics, Microbiology, Museums etc. | 2 Comments

The Healthcare Crisis Is Still Not Budgetary: Once More Unto the CRE Breach

One of the most frustrating things about the whole fixation on deficits and budgets is that it ignores the real crises we face, such as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (E. coli and relatives that are resistant to virtually all antibiotic therapy): This … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, I For One Welcome Our Austerity Overlords, KPC, Microbiology, NDM-1, Public Health, We're Really Fucked | 1 Comment

Why Conservatives Can’t Stop Talking About Rape: Because It’s the New Rubella

So it appears that, just as the furor over Todd Akin’s magical vaginas has died down (he was the Republican who claimed that rape victm’s vaginas have ways to “shut down” pregnancy), they seem to have gone full-bore stupid again: … Continue reading

Posted in Blastocyst Liberation, Microbiology, Rape, Vaccination | 3 Comments

WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS! Norovirus and Food Handling

Because I haven’t beaten that drum in a while. Carl Zimmer, drawing on this CDC report, gives us several tips on how to lessen your chances of getting norovirus (aka winter vomiting disease–trust me, it’s as fun as it sounds): … Continue reading

Posted in CDC, Food, Microbiology, Public Health, Viruses, Vomit | 6 Comments

Is Our National Biodefense Really This Ignorant of Microbiology?

Or is it just ass-covering? Because this is a terrifying level of ignorance (boldface mine): In more than 30 cities, BioWatch samplers located atop buildings, in train stations and in other public places suck air through dry filters around the … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Microbiology, Terrorism | 4 Comments

Microbiome Creep, E. coli and Colorectal Cancer (Oh My!)

My recent snark-laden post about the microbiome was in part inspired by the coverage of this Science paper “Intestinal Inflammation Targets Cancer-Inducing Activity of the Microbiota.” Interestingly, the coverage of this paper didn’t make Jonathan Eisen happy either: Some studies … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Microbiology, Microbiome, News Media | 3 Comments