Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for September, 2008

Linkage and the Antibiotic Resistance Problem

New data show that antibiotic resistance genes travel together, at least in E. coli isolated from farms. Lookee, a picture:

What Do Focus Groups Actually Tell Us?

One of the tools that people interested in framing use is the focus group. I’ve always been wary of them because I think researchers and the participants can strongly bias your results. Joe Klein described a focus group involving Colorado independents. Klein describes the group:

Programming Note

I’m heading off to a microbiome meeting in Gaithersburg, MD (blech). Don’t worry though, the Blogerator 9600 will still be firing off posts.

Spin, Lies, and the Straight Bullsh-t Express

Recently, a loyal reader related to me that the house next door to where I grew up sold at about fifteen percent less than the original asking price (not two years ago, housing prices were still climbing). This slashing of housing prices was euphemistically referred to by the broker as a “price enhancement.” Some might…

One of the reasons to study the human microbiome–the microbes that live on and in us–is that many diseases might have a microbiological component. One of the best examples of this are gastric ulcers, most of which are caused by an infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. A recent report by the American Academy of…

Conservative writer David Frum has an article in the NY Times magazine where he attempts to understand why wealthy areas like Fairfax County, Virginia, and Beacon Hill, MA are trending Democratic, or even becoming Democratic strongholds. The article would be informative, were it based in any way, shape, or form on what actually happened in…

McGrath on Evolution and Indoctrination

No doubt, many around these parts will see this as a bad thing, but I think it’s very good that a Christian religious studies scholar is calling out–and forcefully–the ‘teaching the controversy’ canard (italics mine):

In the midst of the swooning over Palin (talk about the bigotry of low expectations…), Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden is giving some great speeches. Here’s one:

If you thought Obama’s minister was a piece of work, get a load of Palin’s church (italics mine):

“Community Organizers” Is a Dog Whistle

First, Roland Martin attacks Palin for her comments about community organizers: And ScienceBlogling Matt Nisbet has the quote of the day: