Infectious Thoughts

Open by design, not default.

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 14, 2019

I’m currently taking part in the Culture Track of the Mozilla Open Leaders programme, 14 weeks of mentoring and training by the Mozilla Foundation. I’m hoping to learn how to build an open culture for my lab and other projects I’m involved in. I’ve been interested in the concept of open science/research for a while now. If you … Read More

The Open Source Period project: my open leadership journey begins!

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 08, 2019

If you’ve not heard of Mozilla, you’ve likely heard of their web browser Firefox. The Mozilla Foundation is a global non-profit that wants to shape the future of the web for the public good. So, what’s Mozilla got to do with the Open Source Period project? For the last seven years, the Mozilla Foundation has run a programme … Read More

Open Source Period

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 07, 2019

For nearly a year, I’ve been raving about menstrual cups to anyone who would listen, trying to explain how they could disrupt the way many of us do scientific research. Sounds unlikely? Then read on! I had the idea for the Open Source Period project when a story about menstrual cups hit the news in April 2018. To cut a … Read More

The science behind the Impossible Burger

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 05, 2018

Air New Zealand has just announced The Impossible Burger is now available to a minuscule number of their customers, a move described as an “existential threat” by New Zealand First’s Mark Patterson. So what is all the fuss is about? This week, Air New Zealand announced that Business Premier “foodies” on their Los Angeles to Auckland flights would be able … Read More

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Menstrual cups: let’s investigate!

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

After finding that there really have been bugger all studies done on menstrual cups and toxic shock, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles ponders whether crowdfunding and open science might be the solution. Last week a new lab-based study came out about menstrual cups and toxic shock syndrome, the very rare but potentially deadly result of infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Read More

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The recent ‘period in a bag’ study: what it can and can’t tell us about menstrual cups and toxic shock

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

Recently, a lab-based study was published about menstrual cups, tampons, and toxic shock syndrome. In this post, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles reflects on what the study can and can’t tell us about menstrual cups and toxic shock. If you need reminding, toxic shock syndrome is a very rare complication of a bacterial infection that can quickly result in organ failure … Read More

Menstrual cups and toxic shock revisited

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

Last week a new lab-based study came out, about menstrual cups, tampons, and toxic shock syndrome (1). In this post, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles reflects on the various responses she’s had to her blog about the study.  If you need reminding, toxic shock syndrome is one of the bogey-men every menstruating teen is warned about – a very rare complication … Read More

Menstrual cups and toxic shock: no need for panic but rinsing is not enough!

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 25, 2018

A new study shows that menstrual cups and cotton tampons may not be as safe as people are being led to believe.   Diva, Fleur, JuJu, Kiko, Lunette, Me Luna, Mooncup, My Cup, Sckoon, Tāti, Wā, Yuuki. All cutesy names for the same thing: the menstrual cup – a ‘cup’ people insert into their vagina to collect blood during their … Read More

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It’s time for academics to stand up against bad science

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 12, 2018

Shocking revelations around a clinical trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining public trust in science depends on open science. Ten years ago, Dr Ben Goldacre published Bad Science, a book described by The Economist as “a fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason … Read More

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An open letter to the people of Whakatane (and the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand)*

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 02, 2017

As a parent, I know what it’s like to worry about whether you are doing the right thing for your child. When my daughter was born, I couldn’t quite believe that after just a few days in hospital we’d be going home in sole charge of a small infant. Didn’t they realise we were unqualified?! Aside from giving her a … Read More

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