Ecology

Category archives for Ecology

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…

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

Kenya Rift Valley Fever update

In yesterday’s post regarding the current outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya, I noted: …while there’s little people in the area can do about periodic flooding, scientists are actively examining the relationship between weather and RVF outbreaks. This hopefully will prove useful to predict–and potentially ward off–future disease outbreaks via animal vaccination. Little did…

When it comes to hemorrhagic fevers, Ebola and Marburg tend to get the lions’ share of the press. Both are highly fatal, both can cause people to die in excruciating ways, and both have come to represent somewhat our fear of and fascination with emerging exotic diseases. However, as I’ve pointed out previously, as far…

December Animalcules

Ho ho ho, and welcome to the early Christmas edition of Animalcules. Sit back, grab some hot cocoa, and click below to open your Christmas gift of some of the most interesting microbiology-themed blog posts over the past month.

Must-read post

Revere over at Effect Measure has an excellent post linking together the current bird flu situation with John Snow’s investigations of 19th century cholera outbreaks. It’s an interesting take on the situation–check it out.

I’ve mentioned frequently how my kids are fascinated with bugs and things creepy-crawly, whether it’s spiders, giant moths, or butterflies. On that topic, via Bitch PhD comes this article from yesterday’s New York Times on monarchs, their endangered habitat, and what just about anyone can do to help out. (More after the jump…)

That’s certainly the claim in a new New York Times editorial (via The Frontal Cortex). The author, Nina Planck (author of Real Foods: What to Eat and Why), claims that it’s as easy as just feeding cattle grass, and poof!–E. coli O157 will vanish. More on this and why organic farming won’t necessarily stop such…

The E. coli mystery deepens…

And who said spinach was boring? If the ongoing E. coli outbreak due to spinach has done one thing, it’s highlight the mystery that revolves around Salinas, California:

So, you may or may not be aware of the latest “challenge” to evolutionary theory–DI Fellow Jonathan Wells’ new book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.” Following in the footsteps of Tom Bethell’s “Politically Incorrect Guide to Science” (whose terrible chapter on AIDS I reviewed here), the book is just all shades…