WHO airs concern about Middle East coronavirus... →
The World Health Organization (WHO) voiced increased concern today about the possibility of community transmission of the novel coronavirus, while sketching in a few more details about a hospital-centered case cluster in Saudi Arabia and the clinical spectrum of the infection. Although sustained transmission in the community has not been seen, the WHO said, “The continued appearance of cases...
Microbes in Pool Filter Backwash as Evidence of... →
Well, this is gross.
We cannot wall ourselves off from the world and hope for the best, nor ignore...– Barack Obama
Announcing the Winners of the Science Seeker... →
So delighted and honored to have won Best Life-In-Science article from Science Seeker for my work on one of the earliest known HIV cases in a Norwegian sailor! Wonderful news! Check out my article, “The Sea Has Neither Sense Nor Pity”!
The Next Contagion - Closer Than You Think -... →
Some seem to think that public health officials pull a microbe “crisis du jour” out of their proverbial test tube when financing for infectious disease research and control programs appears to be drying up. They dismiss warnings about the latest bugs as “crying wolf.” This misimpression could be deadly.
Plucking hell - your eyebrows are full of viruses →
HPV. In your eyebrows. Who knew?
Skeptically Speaking » #210 Spillover →
Great episode on the Canadian radio show, Skeptically Speaking. “This week, we take a sobering look at infectious diseases in animals, and the scary things that happen when those infections spread to humans. Guest host Marie-Claire Shanahan talk to journalist David Quammen about his book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. And science journalist Maryn McKenna returns...
Conquest, Subjugation & Acculturation by...
“Epidemics have played an active role in the expansion of empires throughout history, as state-level societies introduce endemic childhood diseases into smaller and simpler societies, causing massive population losses and subsequent socioeconomic disorganization. The depopulation of North and South American Indians by epidemic infections brought from Europe by colonizers and from Africa by...
Atmospheric Conditions Influence Outbreaks of... →
I know this sounds humdrum but hang in there with me: the weather determines what kind of diseases are in your community. How cool is that? Supercool, that’s the answer. With this kind of data, monitoring the weather could take an even greater significance and long-term impact than dictating our sartorial choices and pans for outdoor activities we can be gin to look to the skie to gain a...
Microbial Misadventures: Anthrax, Hippies & Drum... →
A new recurring series on Body Horrors called Microbial Misadventures! Microbial Misadventures will cover instances (and incidents!) where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread. Stories of unconventional pathogen transmission that make you go “huh!” and realize that there really is no way to escape these microbes, for...
I'm reading the thrilling "China Syndrome" book...
In cities, we die in greater numbers and from more varied causes than we ever did as nomads or villagers. History’s great urbanizations have catalyzed epidemics of emerging or remerging diseases. The great Roman cities were ravaged by smallpox; the rich cultural flowerings of the Renaissance were also budding centers of plague; the commercial centers of England’s...
Tick Poem →
My good barbed, tooth-shaped mouthpart pierces the skin of men, My protein-rich saliva penetrateth sure, My strength is as the strength of ten Because my heart is pure.
The Climatic Origins of the Malaysian Nipah Virus... →
One of the hardest questions to answer in an infectious disease outbreak investigation is “Why?” Why then? Why there? These questions can be almost impossible to answer – not only because of their heady metaphysical nature but also because of the difficulty of assessing the minute interactions between microbe, environment and human host. Public health officials are often left shrugging their...
Latest Body Horrors Post →
April! We’ve passed the vernal equinox and spring is springing, flowers are blooming, we’re shedding our sweaters and jackets and all will be warm once again. We can put our winter blues to rest and bask in the knowledge that summer will soon be upon us. To my delight, I recently discovered that this month, aside from its status as the month of change and renewal, is also STD Awareness Month! I...
Big Things Have Small Beginnings
Hello everyone! I’m stepping out from behind the curtain to share some very big news: Body Horrors has a brand new home at Discover Magazine! I know. I know! It’s terribly exciting! I’m elated and nervous and so very humbled to have my blog hosted by this fine institution, not to mention having this incredible opportunity to continue developing as a science writer and infectious...
Remove all the space within the atoms making up the human body, and every person...– NPR’s Robert Krulwich explains. (via explore-blog) How much do I love Robert Krulwich? Very much.
Thoughts on the New Bird Flu H7N9 & It’s Animal... →
Broaden view of infectious diseases →
Sooooo I got interviewed about Body Horrors! Which is cool. And weird. But cool!
There are reports of laboratory infections by means of the pipette with quite a...– Download this neat (and free!) article on the history and epidemiology of lab-acquired infections here. And then go visit my article on mouth pipetting here while you’re at it.
Suck It: The Ins and Outs of Mouth Pipetting →
Latest article from Body Horrors! You might’ve guessed from these last few images, hmm? If you ever find yourself working in an infectious disease laboratory, whether it’s of the diagnostic or research variety, the overarching goal is not to put any microbes in your eye, an open wound or your mouth. Easy enough, right? Wear gloves, maybe goggles, work in fume hoods and don’t mouth pipette....