Clarence James Peters (knowns as CJ (great name if you ask me)) was a virus hunter. Back in his time, that mean spending time in the field, in remote parts of South America. Virus hunting today has changed. There is still adventure to be had, but there are more rules, and they are enforced more strictly.
Want to hear CJ Peters story, and worry about viruses in the world around us?
Read about it here!
A disease that has terrified parrot breeders for the last few decades has been identified as a virus that is new to science. This discovery will allow scientists to find the source of this virus, to control its spread, develop a vaccine and to find a cure.
Want to know more? Read about it here!
Warnings about an impending post-antibiotic apocalypse have, over the last five years, grown increasingly stark, with estimates placing the annual number of mortalities from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections at 700,000 worldwide, a number that could rise to 10m in the next three decades.
Many scientists are pinning their hopes on “superantibiotics”, essentially re-engineering existing drugs to overcome microbial resistance and make them thousands of times more potent.
But this also has it’s pitfalls and problems. Want to know more? Find out about it here.
The mountains are healing. It is like the miracle pool at Lourdes except it’s not a miracle and you’re not at Lourdes.
The mountains, and their attendant plant life and water features, help to lower blood pressure, stress hormones, and keep heart rate variability normal. These are just some of the health benefits of spending time in nature that studies have found in recent years.
But these beautiful, soothing environments are fairly remote.
You don’t see anything like this on a regular basis. And neither do most people.
So what does it take to get out to the mountains? Read about the privilege here.
It’s fascinating how terrible we are at long term combating human pathogens. It’s kind of like wack-a-mole, when one route is eliminated another springs right up.
On one hand, this is obviously a plug that we need more money dedicated to scientific research.
But on the other, it’s really just interesting! Take Gonorrhea for example. Or better yet, read about where Gonorrhea is hiding these days…
“Scientists have discovered a new kind of antibiotic — buried in dirt. Tests in animals show that it is effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and it could lead to desperately needed treatments for deadly antibiotic-resistant infections.”
This isn’t terribly surprising, most of our antibiotics have been found in dirt. But the practice of digging through the microbial communities in dirt to find antibiotics was thought to be a tapped out approach.
Want to know how scientist did it anyway? Read about it here!
Ok, that’s a bit of a careless title. I’ll admit it. There’s only correlation, not causation.
But ten years ago the HPV vaccine was introduced in Australia, and then rapidly in 130 other countries. Since then the number of cases of cervical cancer have been halved.
Want to know more? Read about it here.
I had an argument with a colleague the other day about engaging people who disagree with you. She said why bother when people aren’t going to change their minds?
I’ve posted a lot about science communication, and being a voice of science and reason in the face of ignorance and fear. Even if it’s aggravating, even if it’s annoying, even if it’s frustrating, if scientist don’t engage than all people are hearing is the fear.
And this article speaks to that fear really really well. I don’t know what it’s like to have a child and fear for their autism, but hearing this perspective makes me even more resolved to keep talking.
So if anyone needs me, I’ll be engaging people on the internet (the wine helps).
“For the price of $99 dollars and a small saliva sample, AncestryDNA customers get an analysis of their genetic ethnicity and a list of potential relatives identified by genetic matching. Ancestry.com, on the other hand, gets free ownership of your genetic information forever. Technically, Ancestry.com will own your DNA even after you’re dead.”
Want to know more? Read about it here.
One of the many problems with science denial is figuring out where the rumors started.
In terms of the war on vaccination, Science has nicely provided a list of claims and where they originated. Read it here.
Also as a bonus, see this pediatrician’s response to parents that don’t want to vaccinate their children. His post has recently gone viral (even though it’s been around for awhile), and is worth reading. He especially emphasizes that he is willing to answer every question that parents have about vaccines, but he’s just not willing to make exceptions.