Infectious Thoughts

Superbugs could kill more people than cancer by 2050

Siouxsie Wiles May 28, 2016

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are in the news again. This time a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin has been spotted in the USA. So why is this newsworthy and should we be scared?  A strain of E. coli has been identified in the USA that is resistant to the antibiotic colistin. A paper describing the strain has just been published … Read More

A herbalist anti-vaxxer on Morning Report? I’d laugh if I weren’t so bloody furious.

Siouxsie Wiles May 17, 2016

After today’s interview with an anti-vaxxer, RNZ needs to do some serious soul-searching about its decision to give a platform to non-scientific nonsense.  As I write this my blood is boiling and I’m in a rage. There is a measles outbreak going on in the Waikato, with over 20 confirmed cases. It also looks like the virus has spread to … Read More

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New evidence supporting a link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 05, 2016

Scientists have just reported that in the lab, the Zika virus can infect and destroy neural stem cells that give rise to the brain’s cerebral cortex. Updated 6/3/2016 to include links to new papers Zika is the virus spread by mosquitoes (and more rarely by sexual transmission) that is currently causing concern across … Read More

Zika: a potential new mozzie vector?

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 04, 2016

Brazilian scientists announce Zika could be spread by a different species of mosquito, one more common in Brazil and present in countries like New Zealand. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Zika virus is currently known to be transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, namely A. aegypti and A. albopictus. Media … Read More

Are 300 animals a day really tortured for scientific research in New Zealand? Part II

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 29, 2016

In the spirit of openness and transparency, I want to share what 42 animals that were involved in my 2014 research efforts experienced. I recently blogged about Paul Henry’s interview with NZ Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) executive director Stephen Mason, in which Paul Henry repeatedly referred to the 300 animals a day tortured to death in the name of … Read More

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Are 300 animals a day really tortured for scientific research in New Zealand? Part 1.

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 23, 2016

“300 animals a day tortured to death.” is pretty much how Paul Henry recently reported the figures on the use of animals for scientific research, teaching and testing in New Zealand. A statement like that calls for some definite debunking! This month the Ministry for Primary Industries released the 2014 figures on the animals used for research, teaching and … Read More

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Are feminists really bullying Richard Dawkins? A response to Ken Perrott

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 18, 2016

My fellow sciblogger over on Open Parachute Ken Perrott has posted his thoughts on recent events involving prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, who was invited then disinvited to speak at a skeptics conference in the USA later this year.  Basically, Dawkins was invited to speak at the Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS), then very publicly … Read More

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