Displaying posts tagged with


Friday bits and pieces: ebola, old software patches, microscopy and microbiomes

  Scammers are cashing in on the ebola scare. The news media is cashing in on the ebola scare. Politicians are cashing in on the ebola scare. Unfortunately, neither international healthcare nor biomedical research  are cashing in on the ebola scare.   I found the first software patch. Seems pretty robust.   Diet can influence certain autoimmune […]

For Ada Lovelace Day: Florence Nightingale

Note: a repost of a 2010 post I published for Ada Lovelace day. Unfortunately, I am too busy these days to write a new one. “Ada Lovelace Day is celebrated today to “…raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.” So without further ado: She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration […]

Quit smoking, more bacteria will like you

As an ex-smoker I can attest to this: quitting is  hard.  It can also make you fat. I gained quite a few kilos when I quit, and those took a long time to lose. Happily, these days I am spending money on running marathons rather than on cigarettes. Weight gain after smoking cessation is fairly […]

New Links between Bacteria and Cancer

Microbiology and Cancer Cancer and microbiology have been closely linked for over 100 years. Cancer patients are usually immunosuppressed due to chemotherapy, requiring special treatment and conditions to prevent bacterial infection. Bladder cancer is typically treated with inactivated tuberculosis bacteria to induce an inflammatory response which turns against remaining cancer cells, with remarkably effective results.  Also, viruses are […]

The Inside Poop

It’s pretty much common knowledge that mother’s milk is the healthiest food for infants, and that it bestows health benefits upon mother and baby that formula feeding cannot match. The unique combination of lipids, sugars, proteins and antibodies is not even close to being rivaled by baby formula manufacturers. With few exceptions, such as when […]

Probably a good time to talk about pancreatic cancer

  Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease is still localized: 8 Their 5-year relative survival: 21.5% Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease has metastasized: 53 Their 5-year relative survival: 1.8% Mean survival rate after diagnosis: < 1 year Ranking in cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide: 4 Number of effective […]

Humans draw the LINE at Gonorrhea. Not that it helps.

א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר.  ב דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם אֲלֵהֶם:  אִישׁ אִישׁ, כִּי יִהְיֶה זָב מִבְּשָׂרוֹ–זוֹבוֹ, טָמֵא הוּא.  ג וְזֹאת תִּהְיֶה טֻמְאָתוֹ, בְּזוֹבוֹ:  רָר בְּשָׂרוֹ אֶת-זוֹבוֹ, אוֹ-הֶחְתִּים בְּשָׂרוֹ מִזּוֹבוֹ–טֻמְאָתוֹ, הִוא.  ד כָּל-הַמִּשְׁכָּב, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב עָלָיו הַזָּב–יִטְמָא; וְכָל-הַכְּלִי אֲשֶׁר-יֵשֵׁב עָלָיו, יִטְמָא. , The day after Valentine’s Day. Ah! What better day in the year can we find […]

Playboy Pleasure Palace Provides Pneumophila?

It seems like an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease (in a mild form, Pontiac Fever)  has occurred at the DOMAINFest this year at Santa Monica, California. Legionnaire’s disease  is caused by gram-negative bacterium, Legionlla pneumophila. Legionella typically inhabits the water tanks of central air conditioning systems, but any aerosolized  fresh water such as from fog machines […]

A cure for Ebola?

There are few infectious diseases as violent and as lethal as the Ebola Haemorragic Fever.  This terrible disease was first described in 1976 at a mission hospital at the Ebola river in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).  The disease is 80% fatal, the victims die painfully from a literal meltdown of their organs. […]

New poll: would you make your genome public?

Would you have your genome sequenced for free?  Conditions: you must license it for all use; a liberal CC-no attribution-like license which allows for commercial use as well. Also, your genome will be made public with many personal data  such as age, height, sex, weight, ethnicity, personal status (we want to find the “money making […]

Florence Nightingale, medical statistician

She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate […]

WoW is full of bacteria

Speaking of sampling bacteria, this ties in well with the previous post about GEBA. And by “well” I mean “in an alternate-universe/ altered-consciousness manner”. The voices in the song are sampled from this KFC employee training tape. The video won a prize in machinima.com. So if you like World of Warcraft, bacteria, KFC, sampled music, […]

Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins on Colbert Nation

Stephen Colbert had an interesting lineup for the past two nights: Richard Dawkins on Sep 30, and Francis Collins last night. Enjoy the vids: The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Weekly Poll: will you have your own genome sequenced?

CLARIFICATION: the events described here have not happened. Yet. We are a few years into the future. Whole human genomes can be sequenced relatively cheaply and accurately. Direct to Consumer Genomics companies offer true genomic analyses now, not just marker analyses. They BLAST* your sequence against known genotype & disease databases, looking for known genotypic […]

Oprah, Jenny McCarthy and Preventable Diseases

Shirley Wu has penned a beautiful open letter to Oprah Winfrey explaining why Oprah should not provide a soapbox to Jenny McCarthy. McCarthy is the unofficial spokesperson for the anti-vaccination movement, a dishonorable position at best.  Given yet another podium, more people will listen and take McCarthy’s bad advice, resulting in more deaths and preventable […]