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Posts from the ‘Microbiology’ Category

Microbiology and Web 2.0

Have you seen the MicrobiologyBytes blog, Twisted Bacteria, the This Week in Virology podcast, the American Society for Microbiology community website or Virtual Bacterial Identification Lab?

Webicina’s new Microbiology and Web 2.0 collection features even more social media resources.

If you also want to follow easily these selected resources in a personalized way, here is PeRSSonalized Microbiology, the simplest, free, customizable medical information aggregator.

webicina newsletter

Here is table of contents:

Feel free to share any of these resources and let us know if you think others should be added.

Bioweathermap: Genomic Surveillance

Yesterday, I attended the session of George Church that focused on personalized genomics. He mentioned one of his new projects, Bioweathermap, an experiment in collaborative environmental surveillance and discovery.

The BioWeatherMap initiative is a global, grassroots, distributed environmental sensing effort aimed at answering some very basic questions about the geographic and temporal distribution patterns of microbial life. Utilizing the power of high-throughput, low cost DNA sequencing and harnessing the drive of an enlightened public we propose a new collaborative research approach aimed at generating a steady stream of environmental samples from many geographic locations to produce high quality data for ongoing discovery and surveillance. Our approach will provide a unique opportunity to engage the public in the scientific research process while we address fundamental questions such as “How diverse is the microbial life around us?” and “How do microbial communities in different habitats change over time?” and “How can advanced sequencing technologies best be utilized to address issues in biodiversity, public health, and biosurveillance?”

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George Church will also be featured in the Silverstein Lecture Series: Personal Genomes and Web 2.0 Volunteerism (May 11th and 12th, 2009).

H1N1 Pandemic Maps and Science

I just came back from Spain where there are more than 480 confirmed H1N1 cases, but no one seemed to be worried about it. I’ve already covered this important issue:

Now here is a collection of online maps focusing on H1N1 cases. And an interesting article on Discover:

Last month I scrambled to write a story about the evolution of swine flu for the New York Times.

All of the scientists were completely open with me. They didn’t wave me off because they had to wait until their results were published in a big journal. In fact, they were open with the whole world, posting all their results in real-time on a wiki. So everyone who wanted to peruse their analysis could see how it developed as more data emerged and as they used different methods to analyze it.

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Swine Flu: Follow Online!

As swine flu sparks global concern, we can follow the cases and the news online quite easily. Maybe swine flu will be the first global disease that we can really follow minute by minute online. I’m not even surprised there is a swine flu kit you can already buy on Amazon.com:

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Swine flu map on Google Maps.

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A real live map:

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A H1N1 swine flu timemap:

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Twitterers such as CDC Emergency and Healthmap informs us about new cases minute by minute:

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HealthMap is one of the best public health tools:

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The websites of CDC and WHO are updated often:

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Molecular and Cell Biology Carnival #3: Animations

It’s my pleasure to host the 3rd edition of the Molecular and Cell Biology Carnival. This is the first time I host a non medicine-related carnival, so I really hope you will like the posts I found.

Let’s start with an important article from Bitesize Bio: How to reduce your lab’s environmental impact. 12 useful tips including non-mercury thermometers, recycling and many more.

This incredible animation, found at The Daily Transcript, should entertain you while reading all the submissions.

Cell:

Carl Zimmer at The Loom posted about E. coli Evolution Follow-up and answered some questions from the readers as well.

The Seven Stones presented us the E. coli transcriptional network.

Ricardo Vidal at My Biotech Life shared a new journal with us that is dedicated to Synthetic Biology.

Paras Chopra published a funny letter from Synthia, a new organism in this world.

Alex Palazzo at The Daily Transcript continued his series about the Future of Cell Biology- The Sweet Life.

Research:

First, have you checked whether your profession is included in msnbc’s 10 worst jobs in science list?

According to The Biopact Team, researchers present new microbial pathways to bioenergy production.

Elaine Warburton at Genetics and Health talked about the connection between nanotechnology and gene p53.

SciPhu anaylized an article: Use of polyethylene glycol for drying polyacrylamide gels to avoid cracking.

Sandra Porter at Discovering Biology in Digital World liked the flash animations of Sanger DNA Sequencing. Here is another short video about DNA sequencing.:

Medicine:

I couldn’ resist the temptation to create such a section. But what else to expect from a medical blogger? Of course, biology has a lot to do with medicine.

The Ouroboros team examined the question whether advanced glycation endproducts improve chaperone function in the optic lens.

Dr. Chock MD PhD told us some facts about Chocolate and Health.

Have you ever wondered what kinds of viruses can be found in human waste? Sandra Porter gives you an answer.

And the last article I share with you is from Larry Moran, our favourite professor blogging at Sandwalk, who supposed the launch of this service was inevitable: How to Activate Your Junk DNA!

Many thanks to Steppen Wolf (the skeptical alchemist) for giving me the opportunity to host this carnival. Contact him if you would like to host an edition.

Grand Rounds 4.22: The Future of Medicine

It’s a great pleasure for me to host Grand Rounds again after almost a year. The idea of Nick Genes shines more than ever so I hope I can show you plenty of useful and valuable submissions from the medical blogosphere. So this time, the topic is the future of medicine which means I’ll feature some blogposts about genetics and web 2.0 as medicine might be centered around these two terms in the future. Enjoy it!

Editor’s Choice (Genetics or Web 2.0):

Karina S. Descartin at The story of healing talked about Jay Parkinson, the web-savvy doctor and use of media in medicine.

At Scienceroll, I had an interview with Jay Parkinson, or if you would like to know more about web 2.0 and medicine, check out my recently published slideshow.

Joshua Schwimmer at Tech Medicine featured the impact of Google Book Search on medical education. At Efficient, MD (one of his 4 blogs), you can also send him your productivity tips for being on call.

Y. S. at My MD Journey gave all medical students the opportunity to promote their blogs by taking an interview.

Hsien-Hsien Lei at Eye on DNA examined the genetic differences between identical twins.

Paul Levy at Running a Hospital thinks the future of medicine in the UK should utilize the opportunities Second Life provides.

Steven F. Palter at Docinthemachine weighs in with How Smartdust, Souveillance, Web 3.0, and Personalized Genetics Will Transform the Future of Medical Diagnostics.

Steve Murphy at The Gene Sherpa talked about the fear of genetic discrimination.

John Sharp at eHealth found a new way to promote patient safety – talk to your doctor.

Imre Kissík and András Székely at Tomography Blog promoted 10 great Web 2.0 tools for Diagnostic Imaging Professionals.

Hamza Emadeen M. at GooMedic introduced web 2.0 as a research tool for collaborative softwares.

Bob Coffield at Health Care Law Blog mentioned the Google Health project as Google Partnered with Cleveland Clinic.

The Digital Pathology Blog says computer programs may help physicians avoid diagnostic mistakes — so why aren’t more doctors using them?

Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata blogged live about a vasectomy from his Palm Treo 700. More than interesting!

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Health and Healthcare:

David C. Harlow at HealthBlawg focused on preventing, reporting and not paying for hospital-acquired infections.

Sam Solomon at Canadian Medicine asked the question why the media mucks up health coverage? and presented “Canada’s Terry Schiavo” case.

David E. Williams at Health Business Blog is curious about how much we should expect from patients.

Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider wrote: “A list of eight preventable medical errors that result in extra medical charges will no longer be reimbursed by Medicare”.

According to Clinical Cases and Images, if you keep residents happy, it is better for patients.

Laurie Edwards at A Chronic Dose had a recent issue with her health insurance to explore preventative health and offer resources to think critically about the future of healthcare.

Michael C Hébert at Dr. Hébert’s Medical Gumbo pointed out the problem with Economics Stimulus Package is that, like taking antibiotics for a cold, it fails to properly address the problem.

Jan Gurley at Black Future Month stated that it’s a call for investing in a long-term, detailed cohort study of African Americans, like the Framingham study.

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Medical Stories and Cases:

ER nurse tells us what it is like to start the day two nurses short.

Bongi at Other things amanzi shared a monstrous story with us; two experiences he had, both of which he found disturbin.

Keith at Digital Doorway helps us how to talk to a patient who is scared to die.

Doctor Anonymous described his own flu and the Flu Epidemic as well.

Thomas Robey at Medscape told us his first experience losing a patient after an attempt at resuscitation. He had another post mentioning some personal experiences with drug reps he has had as a medical student.

Paul S. Auerbach at Medicine for the Outdoors posted the second story about his recent volunteer work in Guatemala.

MC at Neurophilosophy introduced the man who never forgets. Check out the trailer of a forthcoming documentary focusing on him called Unforgettable:

Medical Research and Information:

Amy Tenderich at Diabetes Mine had a great list about 10 little-known facts about your immune system.

How to Cope With Pain reviewed what we know about chronic itch, an interesting symptom.

David Rothman shared the Human Brain Atlas, a useful educational resource with us.

Walter Jessen at Highlight Health presented ScienceCures, a new website dedicated to today’s science, tomorrow’s cures.

Kerri Morrone at SixUntilMe had plenty to say about the MiniLink trial. That’s how an honest opinion can be valuable to the community.

Matthew Mintz at Dr. Mintz’ Blog had a comment on an article that appeared in the Washington Post about studies of treatments.

Henry Stern at InsureBlog informed us about Swedish scientists who discovered fast food and the lack of exercise are not healthy.

Clinical Cases and Images presents all the 3 “organ”-renal syndromes.

Exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) could be a marker of bronchial inflammation? Check it out at Allergy Notes.

JC Jones at Healthline Connects says there is something we can all agree on – New Stem Cell Source.

The editors of LymeHealth.com talked about the Rife frequencies for treatment of Bartonella infection. Rife treatment is used by some Lyme disease patients who are coinfected with a species of Bartonella.

Medical research in a different way:

Other posts from the blogosphere: interesting surveys, interviews, speeches:

Vitum Medicinus, a Canadian medical student, shares a speech he gave to the families of his anatomy lab cadavers at a memorial service for body donors.

The bloggers at SharpBrains have come up with three interesting articles: Minding the Aging Brain and Maximize the Cognitive Value of Your Mental Workout and Self-Regulation and Barkley’s Theory of ADHD.

Barbara Kivowitz at In Sickness and In Health examines a strange question: Are Certain Illnesses More Likely to Lead to Divorce?

Kenneth F Trofatter at Fruit of the Womb addresses a query from a reader who wonders if abnormal sperm morphology, in the absence of other maternal or paternal indicators, might be associated with recurrent early pregnancy loss.

At Dailyinterview.net you can read more about Dr. Silly Reba (AKA Reba Strong) – Hospital Clown and Magician.

The Samurai Radiologist at Not Totally Rad gave us some tips on how to surprise your loved one: with a skull.

David Bradley at ScienceBase is curious whether our doctor inhales or not. “A survey of medical students in Brazil found that more than 80% use alcohol, while cannabis use is limited to about one in four, a quarter use solvents and just over 25% use tobacco.”

Christine at ButYouDontLookSick.com interviewed Nick Genes about Grand rounds and his medical career.

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That’s all for now. I always enjoy hosting Grand Rounds because I come across new blogs and make contact with great medical bloggers. Thank you, Nick Genes, for giving me the opportunity again. I hope to host a third one in 2009. The next edition will be hosted by ChronicBabe on the 4th of March.

Green Sweat: Possible Explanations

An interesting and rare medical symptom was mentioned by Kevin, MD today. He links to an article about a Chinese man who began to perspire green sweat. Kevin asks for any ideas. I used my good friends, Google and Pubmed to find some possible explanations:

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  • Chromhidrosis: a rare condition characterized by the secretion of colored sweat which is caused by the various oxidative states of lipofuscin pigment. The pigment is produced in the apocrine gland. Here is a case report about it. Or an other one in the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A 56-year-old man, hospitalized for recurrent fever, latent jaundice, and epigastric pain, progressively developed macules on his hands and feet… an increased level of bilirubin may cause a rare transient green discoloration when it is excreted through eccrine sweat glands.

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  • Pseudomonas infection
  • Bleeding diathesis (red sweat)
  • Copper exposure (blue sweat)
  • Contamination from corynebacteria, paint, chemicals or clothing dye

Art in Petri Dishes

I have to admit that I’m a fan of Crooked Brains. Now, here are some special Petri dishes made by Eshel Ben-Jacob from the School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University. I know it has nothing to do with web 2.0 or personalized genetics but I think some fellow bloggers will like these even more than I do (AJ?)

They illustrate the coping strategies that bacteria have learned to employ, strategies that involve cooperation
through communication. These selfsame strategies are used by the bacteria in their struggle to defeat our best antibiotics.

Thus, if we understand the mechanisms behind the patterns, we can learn how to outsmart the bacteria – for example, by tampering with their communication – in our ongoing battle for our health.

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Virtual Labs of Cardiology, Neurophysiology and Many More

That’s why I’m an admirer of Stumble Upon. I’ve recently come across the Virtual Labs of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. An other great example for education. They feature:

Of course, I started with the Cardiology Lab:

The focus of this lab is on heritable diseases of the heart. You are cast here as a virtual intern to accompany a doctor examining three different patients. Each patient is examined using more than one diagnostic tool, and at each stage, the doctor will invite you to examine the patient yourself and ask for your opinion.

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I find the quizzes extremely helpful. Check it out!

iBioSeminars: Bringing the best in biological research to the world

An other great example of web-based education. The American Society for Cell Biology has launched a unique project and they feature seminars through the web (so-called webinars). You can download iBioSeminars in QuickTime, mp4, iPodVideo or Powerpoint formats.

iBioSeminars is a freely available library of seminars from outstanding scientists. Our mission is to host lectures that describe on-going research in leading laboratories (they are not basic, survey-style lectures as might be found in undergraduate or graduate student biology courses). However, iBioSeminars features a more extensive introduction into the subject matter than a typical 50 min university seminar. Thus, these lectures are intended to be more accessible than many typical department seminars to advanced undergraduates/beginning graduate students and researchers outside of the specific field.

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