Archives for February, 2007

Darwin Day essay contest!

In honor of Darwin Day, Evil Monkey brings news of an essay contest being sponsored by the Alliance for Science: 2007 National High School Essay Contest Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution? If you are a high school student in the United States, we want to hear your answer to that…

Mysterious illness fells honeybees

What’s killing honey bees? Something is wiping out honey bees across North America and a team of researchers is rushing to find out what it is. What’s being called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has now been seen in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and way out in California. Some bee keepers have lost up to…

So, I left off on Tuesday noting two things about our normal flora: 1) that in the big picture, we know hardly anything about them; and 2) that one reason we know so little about them is because we’ve never grown many of them in a laboratory setting–that is, we’ve never cultured them using our…

I mentioned in the Introduction to Microbiology and Infectious Disease that many people don’t understand the difference between a commensal and a pathogenic organism. I also mentioned that I’d try to write something about microbial ecology. Since I just gave a lecture yesterday on normal human flora in health and disease, now seems as good…

“Sheesh, kids today” generally is a phrase said to malign the young’ins, who are typically characterized as slothful video game junkies. This stereotype ticked me off when I was a teenager (ah, back in the day…) and I’m sure some teenagers today feel the same way. So just to help combat that for “kids today,”…

Introduction to Microbiology and Infectious Disease You and your normal flora, Part I You and your normal flora, Part II

HIV’s Kitzmiller v. Dover?

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about HIV/AIDS denial on here. To be honest, the whole area has just burned me out a bit; it gets tiresome to even discuss issues with people who so fundamentally deny the basic tenets of microbiology and infectious disease epidemiology. But in my absence, there’s been quite a bit…

National Wear Red Day tomorrow

Heart disease is still often considered a disease of men. Ask the average joe on the street, and they’ll probably tell you that men die of heart attacks, and women die of breast cancer. Of course, this is incorrect. In fact, heart disease is the leading killer of women in America: 1 in 3 women…

I’ve mentioned a few times the work of Ignaz Semmelweis in preventing “childbed fever” in new mothers. To recap: Semmelweis was a physician in Vienna in the 1840s, with an interested in “childbed fever,” a leading cause of mortality in women who’d given birth. During this time, he noticed that the mortality rate from this…