tsmith

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Tara C. Smith

Associate Professor, lab rat (microbiologist/infectious disease epidemiologist) and occasional blogger, full-time nerd.

Posts by this author

April 28, 2009
Back in 2007, I wrote about an outbreak of swine influenza from an Ohio county fair. The peer-reviewed paper analyzing the swine influenza isolated from that outbreak has just recently come out. From the abstract: The swine isolate, A/SW/OH/511445/2007 (OH07), was evaluated in an experimental…
April 28, 2009
Revere on quarantine versus isolation. This is a topic I've covered previously (here) as well, and an important distinction (though the two are often muddled together in the press). Christine Gorman talks about getting the facts straight on swine flu, and offers up many additional resources to…
April 28, 2009
Stories in Spanish: Costa Rica becomes the first Central American country to confirm swine flu ("gripe porcina"). A 21 year old who had traveled to Mexico is in stable condition. An additional 16 cases were examined but were negative. Brazil is also examining 11 travelers; cases are also being…
April 28, 2009
I was introduced to snake oil salesmen at a young age. My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was in kindergarten, and while she has mostly followed the advice of her neurologists, she's also looked into "alternate" therapies, ranging from the relatively harmless (massages, oils,…
April 27, 2009
...asked Joe. Answer: only a few days to sequence, clean up the data, and submit to NCBI. Seven H1N1 swine flu sequences are up (H/T Jonathan Eisen). I've not had a chance to crack anything open yet, but I hope to see some analysis from more of the genomics geeks soon...However, one bummer is…
April 27, 2009
As expected, new potential cases are being investigated in several states, including an additional possible case in Northern California, 2 potential cases in Indiana, a potential case in Ohio and another in Michigan [updated: and some in Massachusetts too]. New York has also confirmed 20 cases now…
April 27, 2009
For those of you looking to follow new cases (most of them suspected at this point, not confirmed), a great resource is HealthMap. Reports are popping up of possible infections worldwide: Scotland, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. Certainly additional possible cases will be showing up over the…
April 26, 2009
While I'm at it, I might as well add that I now have a twitter account, for those of you who'd like to follow along there: http://twitter.com/aetiology Or, if RSS feeds are more your thing, Aetiology's is http://feeds.feedburner.com/scienceblogs/aetiology Now back to your regularly scheduled…
April 26, 2009
While there's interest and some new readers, I figured I'd link some of my older posts on swine influenza and pandemic influenza in general for some additional background information and history. Keep in mind that these are unrelated to the current outbreak. Pandemic influenza series (a bit…
April 26, 2009
According to new information from the CDC, in addition to the 2 cases in Texas, 7 in California, and 2 in Kansas, the 8 in New York have now been confirmed, and an additional case has also been confirmed in Ohio (I've not seen any info on that case)--UPDATED below. Investigations are apparently…
April 26, 2009
Over the last 24 hours, I've received a few comments and even more emails asking about or discussing the possibility of a "cytokine storm" triggered by the H1N1 swine flu reassortant. Is this what's happening in the cases from Mexico? Discussion after the jump... Let me begin with a bit of…
April 25, 2009
Sorry for the radio silence--I've been working on grants and manuscripts like a fiend, and so have tried to limit as many distractions as possible (which, unfortunately, includes blogging). However, the swine flu news is right up my alley, so I do just want to say a few words about it, and point…
March 25, 2009
Apparently, I'm infamous. From yesterday's Ames Tribune (below the fold): Challenging the gang of three The Evolution Academic Freedom Act HF 183 introduced Feb. 3 by Rod Roberts (R-Carroll) has come under attack by the infamous gang of three, namely Hector Avalos, of Iowa State University; and…
March 19, 2009
Dr. Isis has a sweet announcement today. In conjunction with the American Physiological Society, she's funding an award for undergraduate researchers. She's donating her monthly Scienceblogs payment to the cause, and APS is providing matching funds, up to $500. Help her out by clicking over to…
March 13, 2009
For those of you following our "academic freedom" bill saga here in Iowa, you'll be pleased to know that today was the last day for the bill to make it out of subcommittee, which it appears it hasn't. Hector Avalos has an overview of the history of the bill, our response, and the results at The…
February 26, 2009
I am so incredibly tardy with this information that Arizonian John Lynch and the lovely folks at Uncommon Descent have already blogged this, but recently an "academic freedom" bill was introduced in Iowa. For those who may be unfamiliar, in addition to "teach the controversy," these "academic…
February 8, 2009
Last fall, I wrote about a new research paper which tried to replicate some of Andrew Wakefield's original results, which not only claimed a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism, but also the presence of measles virus in intestinal tissue. Wakefield had suggested that an inappropriate…
January 23, 2009
A little over a year ago I put a post up documenting research out of Canada which found methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Canadian pigs. This had also been seen in Europe (with a lot of research coming out of the Netherlands). What I didn't note at the time was that we were…
December 31, 2008
Well, shit. Just as I mentioned ERV's post on HIV denial today, I read over at Respectful Insolence that Christine Maggiore has died from pneumonia. Maggiore, you may recall, made national news by refusing to take AZT while pregnant (although she was HIV positive). Her daughter, Eliza Jane, died…
December 31, 2008
I've been really terrible at spreading around some link love this year, largely because my time to read other blogs has been significantly diminished due to my other responsibilities. However yesterday I was able to do a tiny bit of catching up. I've not blogged much on HIV denial recently (no…
December 29, 2008
As the Philippines requests international assistance to investigate the finding of Ebola Reston in their pigs, another human outbreak of Ebola has been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared on 25 December an…
December 11, 2008
I've mentioned repeatedly how little we know about Ebola ecology--what the reservoir host(s) are, how it's transmitted to humans (and other species), why it causes outbreaks when it does. We know even less about the Reston subtype of Ebola, which--in contrast to the Zaire, Sudan, Ivory Coast,…
December 5, 2008
A pair of positive stories in the news today. The first involves guinea worm, a nasty parasitic disease. The worms have a complex life cycle, but contaminated water plays a key role. Worm larvae within the water are hosted by a water flea, which may be ingested by humans. In the stomach, the…
December 4, 2008
Readers from waaaay back may recall an event I helped out with a few years ago, bringing together scientists, philosophers, and our resident IDist to discuss evolution and intelligent design. One of the speakers was University of Iowa professor Mark Blumberg, a colleague in the Department of…
November 20, 2008
Few things can take me out of blogging hibernation (especially when the next grant deadline is Monday...) However, one of those things that I'll carve out time to write about is an interesting, hot-off-the-presses Ebola paper, and especially one describing a new strain of the virus--and there…
November 6, 2008
I know I have many promised posts, and I'll get to them one day. Alas, the family and day job come before blogging, and I've been swamped with ongoing projects, grant applications, and manuscripts. I've been so busy, in fact, that revere over at Effect Measure beat me to the punch on my own…
October 1, 2008
Just in time for the introduction of Autism's False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit (the current choice for Scienceblogs' book club), Jenny McCarthy comes out with yet another interview decrying vaccines, blaming autism on the greed of pharmaceutical companies, and how her son was "healed" from autism…
September 27, 2008
Obama announced last week plans to end deaths from malaria by 2015. I have an analysis of his plan here at Aetiology.
September 26, 2008
Well, you certainly can't fault Obama for aiming high. Via satellite, Obama announced at yesterday's Clinton Global Initiative forum that he would provide support to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015--a lofty goal, but is it even close to attainable? Obama provided the basics of his plan here…
September 25, 2008
(Source. Hat tip: Shawn).