Must-read posts

I was travelling over the weekend and I'm incredibly busy up through Wednesday, so new material from me will have to wait until later in the week. In the meantime, I'll point you to a stellar post I wanted to highlight last week, from Revere on H5N1 and the evolution ov virulence, and another excellent one from Mike regarding the importance of surveillance when it comes to detecting and containing outbreaks (such as the recent O157 outbreak). He also describes a timeline for how long many of the common procedures take; quite a bit different from what you get watching CSI or similar shows where every test is finished in a hour.

More like this

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…
Nina Plank, the author of the NY Times article I commented on in this post, stopped by to comment. Rather than just having this lost in the comments to a week-old post, I wanted to take a moment and quickly address two of her points (with potentially a follow-up post next week when I have a bit…
A CDC website lays out how we actually identify an outbreak of O157:H7. Guess what? It doesn't happen like it does in the movies or on TV. This is why keeping these networks fully functional (i.e., adequately funded) matters: time is critical and delays in processing due to inadequate resources…
I left off yesterday with the initial discovery of "Vero toxin," a toxin produced by E. coli (also called "Shiga toxin" or "Shiga-like toxin"). Though this may initially seem unconnected to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the discovery of this cytotoxin paved the way for a clearer understanding of…