Contagions Round-up 24: The Links of Summer

Summer hasn’t been the kindest to the blogosphere (or at least parts of it I cover). It seems unnaturally quiet. Hopefully this means some of the regular bloggers have big projects going on that we will eventually hear about.  Still, covering over a month of posts, there is quite a bit here for your mid-summer reading.

Let’s start out with Bora Zivkovic’s review of the history and future of science blogging from his blog A Blog Around the Clock. Always good to get history from the people who make it!

Vincent Racaniello of The Virology Blog posted on the origins of the fuss over the H5N1 influenza studies from this spring, and a funky new RNA-DNA hybrid virus.

Zoonotica writes about the new fad of fish pedicures and zoonotic diseases. I have to admit that one day I’d like to try this but only if the conditions change. I do wonder if there could be medical uses for these fish (bred specially for medical purposes) doing wound care not unlike the specialty uses that leeches can be put to today.

No Shit! Connor Bamford of Rule of 6ix write about a new method of studying diarrhea in the lab. This post was a follow-up to his twitter journal club article on the microbial biogeography of public toilets.

Captain Skellet of a Schooner of Science writes about the domestication of Aspergillus to make sake.

You might want some sake before reading my post on Japanese use of plague during World War II, here at Contagions. Plague and war go together in strange ways, even the Black Death was reputed to have started (for Europeans) at the siege of Caffa in 1346 discussed in another post this summer.

Michael Walsh of Infection Landscapes continues his series on eukarytoic parasites with liver flukes. From his miniblog Germscape he posted a map of emerging zoonotic diseases 1940-2012 and map of the zoonotic burden on poor livestock farmers.

Mystery Rays from Outer Space also posted a map of emerging zoonoses. Interesting to see clusters in so many ‘first world’ countries: the US, Europe and Japan.

Maryn McKenna of Superbug has been on the trail of the links between drug resistant UTIs and antibiotics in chicken production. This seems to be the opening salvo in a major investigative series, so hang on for a wild ride. Maryn also suggests Zoobiquity as a summer read.

Spirochetes Unwound writes about the difficulty of testing for leptospirosis,  what Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) needs to escape the tick gut, and the discovery of syphilis aDNA in 16th-17th century infants.

Meanwhile, Tara Smith of Aetiology has been teaching zombie epidemiology while doing some important public outreach, and offers some epidemiology summer reading suggestions.

Turning to history of medicine, Debroah Blum of Elemental, writes about naturally poisoned cattle, the radioactive assassins poison, and the chemistry of chocolate chip cookies.

Marri Lynn of Wonders & Marvels wrote about the mechanical metaphors of 16th century anatomical writing.

Puff the Mutant Dragon is back at his blog writing about how the constant calls for more STEM training doesn’t match job availability, about chemicals in vaccines, and the chemistry of illegal drugs.


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