Archives for June, 2006

Sure, predator cats may have dined on our ancestors, but it seems we gave them ulcers (or, more correctly, passed along the bacterium that causes them) when they ate us. Boo-yah! Take that, Simba.

Hot models!

One of the things I love about science–but that can also be frustrating–is that every new piece of information leads to a new unanswered question. We’ve learned so much about microbiology and human disease since the time of Koch and Pasteur, but in many other ways, we’re still at square one. One reason is because…

People make terrible jokes about “mad cow” disease. (“Why is PMS called PMS? Because mad cow was already taken.”) Pundits use it as an example of an over-hyped disease (and to be fair, estimates of total cases due to the consumption of contaminated beef in the UK have varied widely, ranging from a few thousand…

I’ve heard quite a bit about pharmacists who’ve refused to fill prescriptions for contraceptives due to personal moral stance. But I’d not heard any who refused to fill a prescription for painkillers until yesterday. Here’s the story. A relative just had surgery to remove a lump in her breast. Her doctor sent her home with…

Especially in religious circles, much has been made about the “uselessness” of condoms for the prevention of infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer, against which a new vaccine was recently approved (for more background, see this post). Approximately 20 million…

While I’m out…

One of the things that faculty get to do is go to lots and lots and lots of meetings. Today I’m at a 6-hour retreat focused on distance learning, PubMed, and data repositories. (I know, you’re all seething with jealousy). I hope to have another post up later this afternoon if I can get to…

Lepidoptera blogging, Part 2

I mentioned we were out camping over the weekend in central Iowa. After our first close encounter, I figured we might as well make a weekend out of it, so Sunday we headed to the Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University (and specifically, the Christine Reiman butterfly wing): The new 2,500-square-foot indoor Christina Reiman Butterfly…

Pneumonic plague outbreak

I blogged a few months ago about a case of plague (due to the bacterium, Yersinia pestis) in a woman in California. I’m still doing some reading for the promised post on Black Death, CCR5, and other topics discussed in the comments section, but in the meantime, I wanted to alert y’all to an ongoing…

More good news for global health

This is all of 24 hours old, so I know it’s already ancient history in the blogosphere, but I did want to mention the news of Warren Buffet’s ~$37 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (As Stephen Colbert put it, Buffet’s so rich that he’s hired Bill Gates to spend his money.)…

New Grand Rounds

Head over to Medviews to check out this week’s Grand Rounds, a weekly round-up of medical blog posts. Some goodies: Genetics and Health’s Top 10 reasons you should care about genetics, and Clinical Cases and Images on reasons not to be a doctor.