Monday Micro – frozen poop pills! Siouxsie Wiles Oct 13

It’s still Monday so time for a very quick post about a paper just out in the Journal of the American Medical Association. I’ve blogged before about faecal transplants – giving a patient a dose of faeces from a healthy donor to resolve infection with the diarrhoea-causing bacteria Clostridium difficile. One of the problems with [...]

Ebola in USA no reason for panic Siouxsie Wiles Oct 01

In a press conference earlier today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the US has diagnosed its first case of Ebola, in a man who travelled from Liberia to Dallas, Texas, on the 20th of September. The man was asymptomatic while in transit and only developed symptoms around the 24th of September. He [...]

Monday Micro: glowing dog bones in Taranaki! Siouxsie Wiles Sep 29

From the Taranaki Daily News comes a story that is right up my street. Fiona Wallis gave her dog a bone and found it to be giving off an eerie blue light. What could it be? It’s most likely to be coming from bacteria so the questions people are likely to be asking are: what [...]

The threats of antibiotic resistant superbugs to New Zealand Siouxsie Wiles Sep 26

In this week’s New Zealand Medical Journal is a paper by Deborah Williamson and Helen Heffernan on antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand (1). This comes hot on the heels of the WHO report which gave a global picture of antibiotic resistance (2), and highlights what the big challenges are for New Zealand. So what are [...]

Fighting antibiotic resistance: from Obama to TV3! Siouxsie Wiles Sep 25

“Ascomycetes“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons. Last week President Obama signed an Executive Order aimed at combating antibiotic resistant superbugs. The order establishes a task force and a Presidential Advisory Committee which will look at how the US can implement a national strategy to deal with antibiotic resistance. The order covers areas [...]

Monday Micro II – lockdowns, manslaughter and murder Siouxsie Wiles Sep 22

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa continues. According to the CDC’s website, as of the 14th September the number of reported cases was up to 5,347 including 2,630 deaths. The virus is now in five countries. Here’s the latest: Guinea (942 cases/601 deaths) A team of health care workers, journalists and local officials have been [...]

Monday Micro – artificial sweeteners & a dose of bad science Siouxsie Wiles Sep 22

“Sugarcubes” by Pallbo – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. There has been quite a bit of coverage of a recent Nature paper reporting a link between artificial sweeteners and high blood glucose levels (1) – an important finding if true, as high blood glucose levels are a step towards insulin resistance [...]

Skeptical Thoughts – gendered marketing Siouxsie Wiles Sep 22

I’ve started a new radio slot called ‘Skeptical Thoughts’ on Sunday evenings on Graeme Hill’s Weekend Variety Show on Radio Live. A couple of weeks ago we talked about what a scam gendered marketing is – when companies repackage the same product and market it specifically for men or women, often charging different amounts. Australian [...]

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!

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