Infectious Thoughts

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

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 09, 2012

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 … Read More

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The funding ‘lottery’: how many grants should we be applying for?

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 04, 2012

I’ve just read a great post on the blog Serious Piffle about grant funding. The post is inspired by a paper just out in Science about the performance of “poor” and “rich” players in a set of tailored computer games. The authors suggest their results demonstrate that poor players concentrate too much on the … Read More

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Psychics fail challenge

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 01, 2012

On the 21 October at Goldsmiths, University of London, professor of psychology Chris French, author and physicist Simon Singh and Merseyside Skeptics Society‘s Michael Marshall put two professional psychics to the test. Kim Whitton, who describes herself as a “modern mystic” with more than 15 years’ experience as a spiritual … Read More

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Monday Micro

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 29, 2012

Inspired by the fabulous David Winter‘s Sunday Spinelessness blogs, I’ve decided to have a bash at writing a more regular quickie microbiology-related post. First up, the growing fungal meningitis outbreak in the USA. With 344 cases and 25 deaths spread over 18 states, the outbreak is a result of patients receiving contaminated steroid injections. So far … Read More

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Open Access – A Challenge

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 28, 2012

This post originally appeared on the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand website as part of Open Access Week. A few days ago I was asked what my role is in science. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately*. So, who am I and what is my role? I am a publicly … Read More

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Open Access Week 2012

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 28, 2012

As Open Access Week draws to a close for 2012, I thought I would follow the fabulous Dr Fabiana Kubke’s lead and post the slides* I presented at the Stratus Open Access panel discussion on Thursday. [slideshare id=14917746&doc=wilesstratusoaoct2012-121028035611-phpapp01] Stratus is a network of emerging and early career researchers, primarily at the … Read More

So just how do amphetamines work?

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 11, 2012

That’s the question Ethan Perlstein, an evolutionary pharmacologist and Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton University, is trying to find out. And he needs our help! Ethan is trying to raise US$25,000 on the crowdfunding platform RocketHub to find out where radioactively-labelled amphetamine and methamphetamine accumulate within the brain using lab mice. This is an important gap in our … Read More

Antibiotic myths

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 10, 2012

Dr Michael Addidle, a clinical microbiologist with Pathlab in Tauranga, has written a very nice article* in the Clinical Microbiology Journal, debunking some of the urban myths around antibiotic resistance. Alas the article is behind a pay wall so I thought I would summarise a few of the myths here. Myth 1: Antibiotics were invented in the 1930s Nope. We … Read More

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Help at hand for scientists to get media SAVVY!

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 07, 2012

It was great to see the announcement last week of the Science Media SAVVY initiative by the Science Media Centre, the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Australian Science Media Centre. Science Media SAVVY is a two day training session and skills workshop which aims to bridge the media and research cultures, and provide scientists with the … Read More