Archives for January, 2012

Im glad none of you accused me of joking or exaggerating when I told this story: A *very* common exchange I have with the general public regarding HIV-1: Person– Where did HIV-1 come from? Me– HIV-1 is related to a virus we can find in African primates, SIV. SIV crossed over from chimpanzees to the…

Just, turn off your brain before you read this post, folks. If you try to to think about this, Im pretty sure your entire brain will hemorrhage, and I dont want to be responsible for that. You think I am joking. I am not. I actually heard rumors about what Im going to type here…

Non-stick pans, water-proof clothing, stain-proof carpet, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, the air outdoors, the air indoors– if youve ever been exposed to these things, you have been exposed to ‘Perfluorinated Compounds’ (PFCs). Because the most common PFCs have a relatively long half-life (~4 years!), and because weve basically all been exposed, you can find…

We in the skeptic community like to make fun of naturopaths and homeopaths and all the snake oil salesmen out there. While its a good ol laugh here in the West, if not nostalgic, the damage these charlatans can do in other parts of the world is not funny at all. Long-time readers of SciBlogs…

Readers of ERV know the basics of how breast feeding affects the immune system of breast-feeding babbies: Fetuses (fetii?) and babbies are protected from pathogens, even though their own immune systems have not matured yet. How do they manage this feat? They steal antibodies from Mommy! Remember yesterday I said the same antibody can have…

New Hepatitis C treatment, yet again, maybe!

Novel treatment and treatment stratagies for Hepatitis C infection is something I have written about on ERV a couple of times before: New Hepatitis C treatment, maybe! New Hepatitis C treatment, again, maybe! To briefly summarize, Hepatitis C sucks. It has infected lots of people. It kills lots of people. And we have extremely limited…

Norovirus: Well, shit.

Well this is shitty! A cruise headed for the Falkland Islands was turned away from dock because of a norovirus infection on board: The Falkland Islands came under further criticism Tuesday for refusing to allow a cruise ship with an outbreak of stomach flu to dock, as passengers complained about their missed travel plans and…

Science is nothing without trust. We trust each other to perform experiments exactly how we say we did. We trust each other to report our findings exactly how they turned out. We *have* to trust each other, or else we just sit in our labs doing the same experiments over and over and over, to…

Polio-Free India (almost)

It has officially been one year since India diagnosed a new case of polio. This week, India will cross the milestone of 12 consecutive months without any case of polio being reported – the onset of paralysis of the last case was on 13 January, 2011 in West Bengal. More: India was once recognized as…

A *very* common exchange I have with the general public regarding HIV-1: Person– Where did HIV-1 come from? Me– HIV-1 is related to a virus we can find in African primates, SIV. SIV crossed over from chimpanzees to the human population to make ‘HIV’ sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s. This event happened at…