liveonearth: (microbes)
We used to live in a world where people got sick from exposure to feces and lives were saved with antibiotics. Now we live in a world where people are dying from antibiotics and their lives are being saved by feces.
--a colleague
liveonearth: (Oprah_shocked)
First time I've heard of IgD: 11/26/14. From Dr D'Adamo. =-]

This list is brought forward and updated with new information. )
liveonearth: (hotspring geology rainbow)
We went to the Mission last night to hear about Viruses from Hell, and it turns out the speaker was a PhD professor who is into viruses that come from acidic hotsprings. He looks a lot like my friend Gordon who is also a brilliant academic--something about that jutting forehead must allow for extra brains. Ken Stedman is a professor at Portland State University who has made a career of viruses. His research has mostly involved examining the genomes of extremophile viruses and comparing them. It was faintly interesting to me--genetics is interesting, and yet I am so homocentric. I really want to know about bacteriophage therapy for healing horrible infections. I want to hear about the evolution of the flu. But his research wasn't about this and his talk was about the questions that will ensure that he gets grants and funding in the future. I couldn't help but to think of the right wing perspective that academics are parasites on society and perform no useful function other than keeping themselves in priuses. There is truth it that, though it is also true that there is nothing more important for our future than to keep investigating our world and what is in it. Scientists have specialized training that makes it possible for them to think of things that I don't have words or concepts for. There is so much more of the world to know about. I am learning this narrow fraction that is medicine, and it is more than I can ever take in. Within that sea I must pick a drop.

Circling back to VIRUSES, I did bring home a few interesting factoids. I call things factoids until they've been demonstrated beyond the shade of MY doubt. He defines viruses in several ways but my favorite was "a capsid encoding organism", also known as a phage. He told us that the major reservoir of viruses on the planet is in seawater, though they infect everything else that lives. Some 5% of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by bacteria that are infected with viruses. The viruses increase the oxygen-production of these microbes. I learned that 10% of the human genome is viral---and this is just the ones that have been demonstrated beyond a shade of HIS doubt. Professor Stedman said that up to 43% of the human genome could be viral, and that many of the genes we got from viruses are important ones, without which we would not be here. Apparently all placental mammals share one particular viral gene so it got in there a long time ago.

One of the main points that Professor Stedman made was how much of the world is made up of viruses, and how small they are. He said that if you put all the Earth's viruses end to end the lineup would reach to the Andromeda Galaxy. And they'd weigh more than some huge number of whales, and so on.

One nice thing about going to science pubs is being around people for whom evolution just is, instead of having to debate about it. It makes me realize how much energy I put into defending a basic scientific mindset. Too many groovy spiritual people and homeopaths in my life. They stress me out.

For today my mantra is "it is OK to do nothing" and I have been enjoying it. I need to take breaks more often. And journal. Just for me.
liveonearth: (microbes)
In the field, some practitioners will pack an open wound with black soil to help it heal. You can get black peat that is used for this purpose and others. It is not pasteurized or sterilized in any way; it is full of living organisms. After the battle of Shiloh in the US civil war, soldiers whose wounds glowed in the dark had better survival. The organism (Photorhabdus luminescens) that was growing in their wounds came from the guts of nematodes living in the soil. Presumably this organism outcompeted the pathogenic ones. This kind of antibiotic mechanism cannot be ignored when antibiotic drugs are increasing ineffective.

More about the biology, and the source, behind cut. )
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
My notes are behind the cut. These ladies review some recent FDA approvals and critique the process. The upshot is that the FDA is fast-tracking drugs without following their own rules regarding the supposedly scientific and independent review process. My take: Don't Use New RX drugs until they've been on the market at least 10 years. Otherwise YOU are part of the longterm followup studies that they aren't doing before approval.

my notes on Zuckerman & Yttri article )
liveonearth: (microbes)
Only one type of plastic does not float *in salt water at least*, and that is type I PETE plastic, the hard clear kind that drink bottles are made of. It is the most abundantly manufactured kind, and it does not float.

Types of Plastic:
3 PVC (rafts)
4 CDPE (bags)
5 PP
6 PS (polystyrene)
7 Other

I posted once about the Great Pacific Waste Dump, basically just parroting media hype. It turns out the plastic in the ocean is mostly in tiny bits instead of in a big island of capped bottles. It is thickest in the five GYRES on the planet, which appear to me to be doldrums where there are no tradewinds or strong currents. The most directly alarming thing about the litter of plastic bits is that it is covered in life that is migrating in a whole new way. Barnacles, biofilm and plankton all hitch a ride or get tangled in the mess. We had NO IDEA what this is going to mean in the long run. A new name has been coined for all the microorganisms on the polypropylene and polyethlene in the ocean: the Plastisphere. The only organism named by Emelia DeForce PhD in last night's Science Pub talk was Vibrio, the same genus as cholera. I was dying to ask if MRSA was on the plastic around Hawaii but we left because the line was long and we were done. All the factoids in this post are courtesy of Dr DeForce.

Plastic is made from crude oil into nerdles (sp?), which are small balls of hard petroleum product. Those can then be shipped to the manufacturers who combine them with additives and make their product.
liveonearth: (bright river)
1) Avoid TRICLOSAN. It's toxic to nearly everything in our waterways. It must be listed among the active ingredients if it is present in a soap or cleanser. Often it is found in antibacterial soaps.
2) Only buy green cleaning products. Here's a resource.
3) Make your own cleaning products out of vinegar, lemon, etc. Here's their recipe. Ingredients: ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 tsp. baking soda, 3 ½ cups hot water, 20 drops of essential oil (eucalyptus, lemon, or peppermint work great), ¼ cup liquid castile soap.
Mix ingredients in a 32 oz. spray bottle, add castile soap last. More recipes here.

liveonearth: (microbes)
This lovely amoeba is the one that likes to live in the hot water that exudes from the earth in hot springs. It is present in some of the springs in the Black Canyon of the Colorado, where I visited over Thanksgiving. There are signs posted over some of the hotsprings there, that you should not get the water in up your nose because of the risk of the amoeba infecting your brain.

In this news piece they're saying that two people have died of amoebiasis after using neti pots with tapwater. I wonder if Naegleria is really found in tapwater. It likes steady hot temperatures, and is somewhat resistant to salinity and the various minerals that can be in hotsprings. Perhaps it can live inside a hot water heater? Or perhaps it was really in the tapwater--in Louisiana. I've been using Oregon tapwater for my nasal lavage, and I'm not dead yet. I am still going to use tapwater for my neti pot, but I am going to boil it first, then rinse the neti pot with the boiled water. This seems like a better option than buying distilled water in a plastic jug. The neti pot is indeed one of the best tools I know for fighting upper respiratory conditions that involve the nasal passages and frontal sinuses.
liveonearth: (microbes)
Newly Emerging and Resistant Infections--Can Plan Antimicrobials and Probiotics Help?
greatest threat to human health: acquisition of resistance by micro-organisms
now there's a strain of Neisseria gonorrhea which is resistance to all antibiotics

less than 100 years ago we didn't have abx
average RX of Abx in US: 1/person/year
notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
Terri Warren
this lady is THE reigning expert in this field and she is an excellent speaker
over 30 papers about HSV in her name
degrees are in psych and nursing
owner of Westover Heights Clinic x30years
notes already pulled to black book )
liveonearth: (No Fear Mudra)
12% of caucasians (Zwickey) are immune to HIV because they are descended from bubonic plague survivors. The Black Death had a 90% death rate and killed 147 million people. It swept Europe 3 times, in the 6th, 14th and 17th centuries. Those who survived (natural selection) don't have a certain chemokine receptor (CCR5) which is necessary for HIV to get into host macrophages. This may explain why some partners of HIV positive people never get the disease even though they do not practice "safe" sex.
lots of info here )
liveonearth: (Default)
Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, that is. It is resistant to nearly all antibiotics, and according to the Guardian killed 25,000 people in Europe last year. CRKP has been reported in 36 US states so far and is sure to be present in others. LA County longterm care facilities may have lots of it. Antibiotic resistant micro-organisms are best beaten using the naturopathic principle of strengthening the innate healing ability of the organism: there's no bug that can beat a healthy immune system!

notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
*pearl: gut flora decr after age 50 causes decrease in immune function in elderly
*drT gives vit A protocol for chronic viral infx too

notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
What causes a granular surface on the kidneys?
benign nephrosclerosis-->patchy ischemic atrophy-->focal loss of parenchyma-->granular surface
common in diabetics, also dt HTN
from Miller's notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
Sleeping sickness aka African trypanosomiasis
--parasitic disease in people and animals
--caused by protozoa of genus Trypanosoma
--transmitted by the tsetse fly
--endemic in certain regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (36 countries and 60 million people)
--estimated 50,000 to 70,000 current infx
--3 major epidemics: 1896–1906, 1920 and 1970.
--tse tse flies mainly found by rivers and lakes, in gallery-forests and in wooded savannah
--Sleeping sickness occurs only in sub-Saharan Africa in regions where there are tsetse flies that can transmit the disease.
--For reasons that are so far unexplained, there are many regions where tsetse flies are found, but sleeping sickness is not.
--Worldwide, 25,000 new cases of both East and West African trypanosomiasis are reported each year
--World Health Organization says it is vastly underreported.
--Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT)
--caused by flagellate protozoan, Trypanosoma brucei, which exists in 2 morphologically identical subspecies: Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (East African or Rhodesian African trypanosomiasis) and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (West African or Gambian African trypanosomiasis)
--Both parasites transmitted to human hosts by bites of infected tsetse flies (Glossina species)
--tse tse flies are found only in Africa
more )
liveonearth: (Default)
...the central nervous systems of American cockroaches produce natural antibiotics that can kill off bacteria often deadly to humans, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and toxic strains of Escherichia coli, scientists said this week.


liveonearth: (Default)

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