Infectious Thoughts

Monday Micro – the sore throat vaccine

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 11, 2013

It was great to hear the announcement a couple of days ago by the Prime Minister’s of New Zealand and Australia, John Key & Julia Gillard, of $3 million of joint funding to support the testing of three potential vaccine candidates for Rheumatic Fever. Rheumatic Fever is a complication of infection with the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, … Read More

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What Kiwis die of – Part II: The battle of the sexes

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 31, 2013

Two weeks ago, we asked Kiwis what they thought they would die of, and compared their responses to the primary causes of death recorded by the Ministry of Health for the 29,204 people who died in New Zealand in 2009. Mike Dickison produced a beautiful infographic* of the causes that were responsible for more than 1% … Read More

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Monday Micro: wiley bacterium makes ‘stem cells’ to aid dissemination

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 21, 2013

Mycobacterium leprae was apparently the first bacterium to be identified as causing disease in humans. The year was 1873. The disease was leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. Despite popular belief, leprosy doesn’t make your arms and legs fall off. But if left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, … Read More

Is there such a thing as tattoo removal cream, or is it a scam?

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 20, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I saw an offer on the online deal site Yazoom for a 12 month supply of tattoo removal cream (Lazer Cream) for $130. While there is the usual ‘*Results may vary’ disclaimer, the photos look pretty impressive. While I don’t actually have any tattoos, the only method for removing them I have … Read More

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What do Kiwis die of?

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 18, 2013

I have never really understood why some people are desperate for immortality. Like those crazy millionaires who have their heads frozen in liquid nitrogen. I am not afraid of dying, but I would like to die painlessly and without much fuss, and preferably with all my faculties intact*. But what am I likely to die of? We looked at … Read More

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What do you think Kiwis die of?

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 15, 2013

The inhabitants of NZ, that is, rather than our feathered and flightless friends! I’m trying to find out what people think those living in New Zealand die from. Will you tell me what you think? Please fill out this short survey and ask your friends and family to do the same. All will be revealed at … Read More

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