Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for July, 2008

I’m sure you were asking yourself that very question this morning. OK, maybe not. But one of the interesting questions about antibiotic resistance is why a certain antibiotic resistance gene or allele (gene variant) is common and others are rare.

With all of the stories about bacterial contamination of food, a recent paper describes one possible way to reduce the virulence–the ability to cause disease–of the bacterium Escherichia coli.

Recently, I finished Pretty Vacant which describes the origins of the British punk scene. At one point, the author describes one of the first punk-ish shows ever, and how, even though there were only about 65 people in the audience (a crappy black box hole), those 65 people would go on to have a tremendous…

Who woulda thunk it? A recent paper in PLoS One argues that the NIH review process uses far too few reviewers to claim the level of scoring precision that the NIH provides.

God Is a Doorknob?

I recommend Christine Wicker’s The Fall of the Evangelical Nation. In it, she describes one of the most devastating forces to hit modern fundamentalism (yes, that’s oxymoronic)…

…are stupid morons together. Matt Taibbi, while discussing 9/11 Truthers, describes creationists perfectly (italics mine):

I’ve written before about antibiotic resistance in the developing world. Because these poor communities don’t have access to many antibiotics, one wouldn’t expect high frequencies of resistance to antibiotics. Resistance to ciprofloxacin (‘Cipro’) is all the more shocking because these communities don’t have access to this relatively expensive drug*. Not only is ciprofloxacin resistance observed,…

One of the topics I discuss on this blog is the idiocy surrounding Social Security–despite all of the hype, Social Security is not DOOMED!! (To make a longish explanation short, every year for the last fourteen years, Social Security has been predicted to become insolvent in 32 to 36 years. ‘Insolvency’ will only occur if…

I’m working on a post about science communication, so I’ll leave you with a juicy excerpt and link to a post by Matt Taibbi where he describes the intersection of crony capitalism and economic inequality (italics mine):

I’ve noted before that the background to the ‘culture wars’ is that white, male, Christian (often Protestant) is no longer the cultural default setting. Regarding religion: