Monday Micro – from cat poo to kai moana! Siouxsie Wiles Sep 15

Last week I attended a symposium hosted by Massey University’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre (IDReC). There were many fascinating talks but one that caught my attention was by Dr Wendi Roe, a veterinary pathologist, about her work on Hector’s dolphins. Hector’s dolphins are an endangered species living off the coast of New Zealand. [A 2010/2011 [...]

Monday Micro – the microbiome of death! Siouxsie Wiles Sep 01

With the microbiome being all the rage at the moment, it really was only a matter of time before someone decided to profile the microbes present in human cadavers. Enter the thanatomicrobiome!

Lighting up Wellington’s waterfront Siouxsie Wiles Aug 31

For the last week, Wellington has been positively glowing thanks to the lux festival. This year I collaborated with artist Brittany Byrne to bring a touch of bioluminescence to the proceedings – rather appropriate given the genes that encode bacterial bioluminescence are known as the lux operon. Previously Brittany created Nimbus – a work involving [...]

Bacterial art in Melbourne – Market of the Mind Siouxsie Wiles Aug 25

This week I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in Australia’s National Science Week. My week started in Hobart, Tasmania, where I got to hang out with science communication superstars Carin Bondar, Derek Muller (AKA Veritasium) and Destin Sandlin (AKA Smarter Every Day), performing on stage with them at an event made possible by Science [...]

Yet another science metric – the Kardashian Index Siouxsie Wiles Aug 08

Twitter exploded last week after Neil Hall, a professor at the University of Liverpool who studies the genomes of the parasites that cause malaria and sleeping sickness, published a (supposedly satirical) paper in the journal Genome Biology. Rather than read his paper, I recommend you read the annotated version. But first, here’s the abstract: In [...]

Monday Micro – 200 million light years of viruses?! Siouxsie Wiles Aug 05

“Polio EM PHIL 1875 lores” by CDC/ Dr. Fred Murphy, Sylvia Whitfield – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #1875.. Over the weekend I got an email from broadcaster Graeme Hill telling me about an amazing statement he had heard about the [...]

Ebola outbreak – updates and links Siouxsie Wiles Aug 03

As the Ebola outbreak worsens, the WHO has announced a US$100 million response plan to help bring the outbreak under control by scaling up control measures and helping neighbouring at-risk countries prepare for any cases. According to the latest WHO update, between 24 and 27 July, a total of 122 new cases of Ebola and [...]

The academic publishing scam – how much research funding are we losing to journal subscriptions? Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01

Currently doing the rounds on twitter is this on the massive profits made by academic publishers: If you are in Australia or New Zealand and want to know how much is spent just on purchasing subscriptions to academic journals then there is a very handy tool on the Council of Australian University Librarians website. In [...]

Not quite Monday Micro – which nasty microbes would you rank in the top 10? Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01

On Monday I was asked to go on the radio and comment on an article that appeared in the NZ Herald (syndicated from The Independent) entitled “What’s the world’s biggest health risk?”. The article lists an infectious diseases ‘Top Ten’ which looks like this: 1. Ebola – as of 23 July 2014, there have been [...]

Monday Micro – west African Ebola outbreak now the deadliest in history Siouxsie Wiles Jul 21

The Ebola outbreak that likely started in December 2013 with the death of a 2 year old child in Guéckédou, Guinea, has become the deadliest in history. The most recent report, almost a week old now, from the World Health Organisation puts the number of cases at 964 with 603 deaths. The outbreak has spread [...]

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