Category Archives: Microbiology

One Lesson From the CDC Debacles–Always Check Your Materials Before You Start Working

And for that matter, before you send stuff to other people. By now, you might have heard about the CDC’s bad week. Most of the attention has focused on the discovery of smallpox vials, two of which contained virus that … Continue reading

Posted in Danger Ain't Cool!, Influenza, Microbiology, Viruses | 5 Comments

When Epidemiology Conflicts With Rapid Diagnosis: Whither/Wither Clinical Genomics?

What Scary Disease Lady (aka ‘Maryn McKenna’) wrote a couple of weeks ago about the clinical shift from culturing microorganisms to rapid diagnosis that removes the need to grow the disease-causing critter is very important (boldface mine): To get diagnoses … Continue reading

Posted in CDC, Genomics, Microbiology, Public Health | 1 Comment

ZOMG!! BACTERIUMS ARE EVERYWHEREZ!

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