Sunday, August 22, 2010

I don't wanna have to do with out antibiotics

Early notice is a key strategy to surviving the zombie apocalypse.

If you want to get clear of the cities in time, and by this I mean before the paths turn into a super rush hour deadlock, with extra emphasis on the DEAD. After all one man's traffic jam is another zombies' buffet.  So I want to be well clear of the city, holed up in my alpha site and chowing down on my breakfast of  Tactical Bacon & Eggs while the newspaper and radio is still at the 'reporting a mild outbreak of a new type of rabies' stage.

This is why I try to keep up with whats going on in the world of infection & disease.  In the last few weeks there has been reports of a new type of antibiotic resistance found in bacteria with a man dying in Belgium (not of boredom). We've seen antibiotic resistant bacteria before MRSA and VRE are two I can think of that I don't have to try and spell, but this new one isn't specific to a bacteria. This resistance is due to a gene that can make an enzyme called NDM-1 and whats scary is that this gene is in the form of a plasmid. Those of us who have spent hours playing BIOSHOCK know plasmids can be incorporated into other organisms to provide traits. In this case allowing bacteria to resist antibiotics.

It was first mentioned in a British Journal in November 2009 and then in June 2010 the Centres for Disease Control in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality report put out an alert on NDM-1.

I like reading the stuff CDC puts out.

I like to imagine there is a super competent agency well resourced with trained experts who spend all day running scenarios that prepare them for emergencies. I desperately want to believe that.

But I work for a government agency, so I know how these things work.

I don't know if anyone around remembers what it was like before antibiotics, but it sucked. The was no internet porn and TV didn't have the sci-fi channel and people would more likely than not DIE if they got an infection in hospital. 

But that's why science rocks. Medical science has know this pharmageddon was coming and has been working to developed new ways to deal with bacteria. One discovery is a paint that when applied to a surface will continues to kill bacteria that come into contact.

So I won't be bugging out to the alpha site just yet, but world you are on notice. Just remember if can always get worse.

Friday, August 6, 2010

from stress research to global conspiracy

Sometimes I despair of our civilization I really do. The level of scientific literacy throughout our culture for a society whose continued development so relies on understanding science and technology is nothing short of appalling when things like below can happen.

On 28 July I read a ‘Wired’ post titled Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine drawing on the work of Professor Robert Sapolsky an neuroendocrinologist at Stanford University. Sapolskyo wants to create a vaccine like treatment for chronic stress.

It was an interesting piece and I thought no more about it, the article itself is 6789 words long according to my Microsoft word count tool so I realise a lot of people won’t bother to read the whole thing let alone not seek out the original published articles by Sapolsky on the subject.

Then on 2nd August a London Daily Mail article claimed “developing the first vaccine for stress - a single jab that would help us relax without slowing down”. A bit shorter and omitting a few of the subtlties of the first report but still okay.

From here it transformes in the hands of Paul Joseph Watson on American talk radio host Alex Jones Prison Planet website

‘establishment Media Pushes Brain Eating Vaccines’


What really annoys me is the article concludes with “promoting a new viral Google search term in order to attract much needed attention to this grave issue. Search for “brain eating vaccines” and by elevate this term to the top of Google trends, we can reach millions of new people who would otherwise never have come across this information".

Then on the 3rd of August the terms ‘brain eating vaccine’ shot to No.3 on the Google trends search terms. Thankfully for my own stress levels it has been replaced by such important trends as ‘Emma Watsons haircut’ and ‘Wyclef Jean president’.
The stupid it burns I found at Phil Plat's bad astronomy website I hope he doesn't mind me using it.

Can I suggest a new viral google search term in order to attract much needed attention to this grave issue.

Paul Joseph Watson is an incorrect loud mouth, how about that?