I’ve only just recently discovered google alerts. I’m not sure how this gem has managed to evade me. I’ve set it up to search for just two terms at the moment and am loving the daily email that pops up. One of my search terms is Staphylococcus aureus, one of the microbes my research is currently focussed on. This rather fabulous organism is one of the dreaded ‘superbugs’, more commonly known as MRSA (methicillin [or sometimes multi]-resistant S. aureus).

About 1 in 5 people permanently carry S. aureus in their noses or on their skin while another 1 in 5 never do. The rest of us will end up carrying S. aureus at some point. S. aureus is another one of these of a ‘Jack of all trades’ and can cause a wide variety of infections, from minor skin infections to food poisoning to major life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. The fact that many strains of S. aureus are resistant to most antibiotics (hence MRSA) makes them very difficult to treat and is the reason why those alcohol hand wash dispensers are ubiquitous in hospitals.

One of the first things my google alert pointed me to was this website by ‘microbiologist’ Michelle Moore. It’s very interesting. Michelle and her husband Les (a chemist) have their own business, Embrace Health, Inc., and they seem to sell a number of downloadable E-books (including ‘MRSA Secrets Revealed’, ‘Preventing Healthcare Associated MRSA’ and ’10 Questions to ask your Doctor about MRSA’). I’m particularly interested in ‘MRSA Secrets Revealed’.  Michelle claims:

“This book goes way beyond home remedies. It’s the only book of it’s kind that contains ALL of the natural solutions and home remedies for Staph and MRSA infections (including which ones work best), how to best use the mainstream medical system, doctors and antibiotics, how to help your body recover from the effects of antibiotics. Also included is critical information on how you can make your body naturally resistant to MRSA and Staph infections.”

Her website goes on to say:

“Good research is more than just surfing the web. It’s critical that you get trust-worthy and reliable information when it comes to something this important. All my years as a scientist and researcher taught me a lot about studies, information and data. It definitely takes relevant education and experience to understand and present it accurately.”

She sounds like an expert doesn’t she? She certainly bandies about the fact that she is a microbiologist and scientist*. I’m almost curious enough to spend the 47 USD to download her book. But first I mooch around the internet to find out more about her. Turns out she has another website: Staph Infection Resources. On this site she talks about the importance of taking a holistic approach to treating Staph infections (while constantly advertising her books) and she has a list of natural remedies to incorporate, including manuka honey, essential oils and probiotics. But my favourite has to be:

Energetic Medicine – Energetic medicine comes in two different forms — one that can be physically or scientifically measured (like sound or vibrational therapy), and one that is not measurable using linear methods (such as prayer). Energetic medicine is often used to reduce pain, stress and suffering. Some methods can be used for positive treatment and diagnostic purposes as well.”

Alas, it seems all her years of being a scientist didn’t teach her how to spot woo. I’m not sure why I get so wound up about stuff like this, except to say that I feel like she is bringing microbiology(and scientists) into disrepute! Shame on her.

*As an aside, I can’t seem to find any publications by her in the scientific literature. She does say she spent time in industry so that would explain it.