Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fun times with whooping cough in #DavisCA

Just got this email.  I have removed the specific sender / facility since that does not seem needed for my purposes here.  I have replaced the name of the site with "Our Facility". Anyway - thought some people would be interested in the things that can happen when too many people in your community do not vaccinate their kids.

From: Office Administration 
Subject: Possible Exposure to Whooping Cough - Pertussis
Date: June 25, 2014 at 12:55:59 PM PDT
To: Office Administration 

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Our Facility was informed this morning that a student who has been attending a class since 6/16/14 has been diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). The child is no longer attending the class and is under a medical care.

If you feel you or your child may have been exposed, watch carefully for symptoms in the next 1-2 weeks, and consult a physician if any occur. Here is some pertinent information regarding pertussis (whooping cough):

Pertussis can spread through the air when people cough. It often starts like a common cold which gets worse and worse over 1-2 weeks. People with pertussis have coughing spells that may last several seconds. As they catch their breath at the end of each coughing spell, they may gasp loudly (“whoop”) and vomit or choke.

The vaccine usually protects against pertussis, but sometimes even immunized children can get pertussis. Pertussis is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics can also prevent the spread of pertussis to others.

Activities that may help stop the spread of pertussis include:
  • The exclusion of all pertussis cases from classes until they have taken the first five days of the antibiotic.
  • The administration of antibiotics for babies, pregnant women and other high risk contacts of pertussis cases as well as consideration of antibiotic administration for other household or close contacts to prevent the further spread of pertussis.
  • The administration of another dose of DTaP vaccine to babies and Tdap for older children who are not up to date on their vaccine series.
Please know that Our Facility is taking every precaution in this matter and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Office Staff

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hawk moths in my yard in #DavisCA

Just a few pics I got tonight ... finally learning how to use my flash.










Photos taken with a Nikon D90 camera, Speedlight SB-910 flash and a Nikkor AF-S 105 mm Micro lens.

Hawk moths in my yard in #DavisCA

(Originally posted on my DavisCalifornia blog but I am consolidating blogs now so moved it here).

Just a few pics I got tonight ... finally learning how to use my flash.










Photos taken with a Nikon D90 camera, Speedlight SB-910 flash and a Nikkor AF-S 105 mm Micro lens.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Please make it stop - overselling the microbiome award for rugby, exercise, microbiome stories

Update added 11/2/14 - for all my posts on Overselling the Microbiome go here. 

Well, I think today's lesson is, many people, including many scientists and science reporters, just do not get that there is a difference between correlation and causation.  I know - this is like beating a dead horse since many write about this issue.  But it just needs to be called out every time until it stops.  And today's fun comes from stories and the original research articles about how exercise supposedly alters the gut microbiome.

I was pointed to this just a few minutes ago on Twitter:


In this Tweet Bernat Olle points to a "news" story in Medpage Today: Exercise Boosts Gut Microbiome Diversity by Kristina Fiore.   Well, so of course I started digging around.  And, not surprisingly, the study that this is based on shows absolutely no causal connection between exercise and the gut microbiome.  The study is in the journal "Gut": Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity.  And here is what they did:
  • They selected subjects - 40 "elite" rugby players.
  • They identified healthy male "controls" with similar age and size and from similar place. 
  • Then they collected faecal and blood samples from participants and did surveys about their nutrition and clinical data.
  • Among many measurements, they did 16S sequencing from the fecal samples
  • Then they did some bioinformatics and found differences between the rugby players and the controls in many features including microbiomes.
And amazingly, from this they report, in their abstract
The results provide evidence for a beneficial impact of exercise on gut microbiota diversity but also indicate that the relationship is complex and is related to accompanying dietary extremes.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Discussion of new pathogen discovery papers

Interesting discussion yesterday with authors of new pathogen discovery papers. I will try to write more about this later but am heading out the door so this Storify will have to do for now.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

ASUCD (Associated Students, #UCDavis) Excellence in Education Awards

Very proud of this.  I was a finalist in the "Excellence in Education" awards given out by the UC Davis Undergraduate group ASUCD Associated Students, University of California, Davis. And David Coil, Project Scientist in my lba was another finalist. The award for my college (College of Biological Sciences) went to Jay Rosenheim, who is a great teacher, so no shame in losing to him.




 Anyway - here are some pics.

One of the ASUCD members doing introductions
Another ASUCD
David Coil getting is certificate
Hey, that's me
Jay Rosenheim getting his certificate

Wrap up of recent posts of relevance on microBEnet

I have been doing a lot of blogging at microBEnet and don't always do a good job of cross posting or even posting here to let people kno...