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Posts Tagged BPI

Monday Micro: Glowing genitals! Siouxsie Wiles Dec 02

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When I tell people my lab make nasty bacteria glow in the dark, they usually look at me a bit funny. They look at me even funnier when I tell them it helps us see where the bacteria are. Seriously. Everyone must have done that experiment where you put your hand over the top of a torch, and you can see the light shining through. Well, we replace the torch with glowing bacteria, and the hand with a mouse and our eyes with a sensitive camera that can pick up very low levels of light. And sometimes the bacteria turn up somewhere quite unexpected….

glowing genitals

The image above was taken by my PhD student Faz, during his studies of a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes. During his PhD, Faz made glowing S. pyogenes and developed a mouse model for nasal/throat carriage to test potential vaccines. Hence the glowing nose. His work has just been published in the open access journal PLOS One (1) and while you won’t find any speculation of the reason behind the glowing genitals in our paper, he has done a little musing here.

Pretty much everyone will have had an S. pyogenes infection at some stage in their life – it causes tonsillitis – and many people will be carrying the bacterium in their throats. S. pyogenes can also cause a life-threatening illness called necrotizing fasciitis, literally the flesh-eating disease, where the bacterium produces an enzyme that digests away the tissue and can require amputation of the infected limb. In fact, S. pyogenes is an incredibly versatile pathogen that can also cause skin diseases, scarlet fever and rheumatic heart disease. it is also the only bacterium that has been documented to spread through farting (2,3)!

The mouse in the picture is female, and her glowing vagina* is a great demonstration of just how flexible S. pyogenes is as a pathogen. It is also a powerful demonstration of how diseases can take unexpected turns, and glowing bacteria can show us what happens when they do.

*The lovely people responsible for the Ig Nobel’s quite liked this as great example of science that makes you laugh and then think.

References:
1. Alam FM, Bateman C, Turner CE, Wiles S, Sriskandan S (2013) Non-Invasive Monitoring of Streptococcus pyogenes Vaccine Efficacy Using Biophotonic Imaging. PLoS ONE 8(11): e82123. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082123
2. Schaffner W, Lefkowitz LB Jr, Goodman JS, & Koenig MG (1969). Hospital outbreak of infections with group a streptococci traced to an asymptomatic anal carrier. The New England journal of medicine, 280 (22), 1224-5 PMID: 4889553
3. McKee WM, Di Caprio JM, Roberts CE Jr, & Sherris JC (1966). Anal carriage as the probable source of a streptococcal epidemic. Lancet, 2 (7471), 1007-9 PMID: 4162660

Increase your functionality, coherence and structural integrity! Astonishing “aerobic frequency” woo. Siouxsie Wiles Nov 09

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I have a Google alert for the term ‘biophotonic imaging’ (BPI). This is because it’s a technique I use in my research; it allows us to monitor the emission of light from within living tissues. Occasionally I’ve been approached by people who think this means I study aura’s. I don’t. I make bacteria glow and then track them inside mice and caterpillars. If you really want, you could read a review I wrote on the technique [1]. It’s published OA so knock yourself out.

About once a week my Google alert lets me know about the publication of a new scientific paper that uses BPI. But today it alerted me to a video on You Tube entitled “Biophotonic imaging validates the Encoder’s frequencies to benefit organs & performance”. It’s 15 minutes long and left me speechless.

What’s the Encoder I hear you ask? “Science beyond fiction” according to their website. It’s a bracelet (not unlike the Power Balance one I think…) with a

“matrix of over 100 frequencies….to help the neuronal rhythmicity of athletes”

According to the video you need to wear the Encoder alongside taking their Entrainer Drops for maximum benefit. What are Entrainer Drops, I hear you cry?

The You Tube video is hilarious. In it Krishna Madappa* (“a human energy analyst”) claims to carry out the first scientific test of the effects of using the Encoder and Entrainer Drops system using the “photoelectronic imaging” device of Prof Dr Konstantin Korokov.

To cut a long story short, they seem to get people to put their fingers on the device and get what they call an energy map for each finger which they believe corresponds to all the organs of the body and can show where there are problems. They do this before and after wearing the Encoder/taking the Entrainer drops. And then show bar charts. Lots of them. Which in their minds show how awesome their products are.

As a scientist, I look at their charts and my heart sinks. Where are the error bars? How many subjects were tested and how many times? Science beyond fiction? More like fiction beyond science, if you ask me.

*An “educator, essential oil clinician, researcher, storyteller, shaman and Ayurvedic specialist”** and co-founder of The Institute of Science, Spirituality & Sustainability, based in Taos, New Mexico.

[Please ignore the links that are underlined. WordPress appears to be putting these in without my being able to do anything about it!]

Reference:
1. Andreu N, Zelmer A, Wiles S (2011). Noninvasive biophotonic imaging for studies of infectious disease. FEMS Microbiol Rev.35(2):360-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2010.00252.x.

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