Category Archives: Viruses

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

Another Reason Why Recreating the Spanish Flu Might Not Be Such a Good Idea

I’ve written before about the effort to recreate the ‘Spanish flu’, the influenza strain that caused a global pandemic killing millions in 1918. The notion that containment measures will be 100 percent effective is ridiculous, in light of a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Influenza, Viruses | Leave a comment

In Iraq, Freedom Is On the March!

Did I write freedom? I meant polio and measles (boldface mine): With the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working with local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of populations affected … Continue reading

Posted in Iraq, Public Health, Viruses

Some Additional Context for Recreating Spanish Flu

The researchers who are recreating the strain of influenza that resulted in the 1918 global pandemic had this to say about the potential risk (boldface mine): The scientists involved in the project contend there’s no real risk to public safety. … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza, Viruses | 2 Comments

What Recreating the Spanish Flu Really Risks: Credibility

NIAID-funded researchers at University of Wisconsin are recreating the influenza strain that caused the 1918 global influenza pandemic. Needless to say, some microbiologists think this is a fucking stupid idea (boldface mine): “The work they are doing is absolutely crazy. … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Public Health, Viruses | 10 Comments

One Small Cost of the Shutdown: The Arbovirus Edition

Well, it’s probably not small to this scientist, and possibly for the rest of us: We don’t have any federal grants, but I am a scientist with a small vaccine R&D start up. We were slated to have a meeting … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, Fucking Morons, Public Health, Vaccination, Viruses

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

How Not to Isolate E. coli

If you’re interested in studying what ‘real’ bacteria do–that is, not the microbiological equivalent of anemic inbred lab rats–you have to isolate them from natural samples. Yogi Berra-esque statements notwithstanding, how you isolate bacteria is critical. Methodological details do matter. … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, E. coli, Microbiology, Viruses | 2 Comments

Wash Your Damn Hands: The SARS Outbreak Edition

There’s an interesting interview with virologist Ian Lipkin which, in part, discusses his experience an advisor to the Chinese government (boldface mine): What happened when you arrived?
 Chen Zhu, now China’s minister of health, was waiting at the airport with … Continue reading

Posted in Public Health, Viruses

The Reality of a Serious HPV Infection

Usually, I would put something like this in a list of links, but it’s too important not to call attention to it. Stephanie Zvan in “And Then You Wait“: Nothing about this appointment has been good news. Much of it … Continue reading

Posted in Vaccination, Viruses