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Tisn’t the Season

Spring is in the air, and Clostridium tetani is in the earth. On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk writes “with playing in the dirt comes minor injuries that you really don’t want to turn into anything nasty.” Infection through open wounds can be fatal, as the bacterium releases a neurotoxin that causes uncontrolled muscular contractions. So if it’s been ten years or more since your last vaccination, now is a good time for a booster. Meanwhile, Dr. Dolittle shares the amazing winning images of the inaugural Bio-Art competition on Life Lines. From the discharge of electric fish to the branching capillaries of a mouse kidney, serious science is made more accessible through imaging and visualization. And finally, The Weizmann Wave introduces us to the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole, where 5,000 detectors arrayed in a cubic kilometer of ice wait for weakly interacting massive particles. A summer day in Antarctica can reach 40°C below—but south of the equator, winter is just around the corner.

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