Cyclospora Infection: What it is, where it came from, and why you want to avoid it.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings concerning infection by a parasitic protozoan named Cyclospora cayetanensis. This pathogen was first identified in the late 1970s, making it a relative newcomer in the realm of human misery. The protozoan was first identified as a form of blue-green algae, and later as a …

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Avoid the Reservoir (Even if you Like the Water).

When most people speak of reservoirs, they are discussing impoundments or collections of water, usually kept behind a dam that spans a river or valley. Most generally these reservoirs serve a host of purposes including flood control, drought protection, recreation, municipal water supply, hydropower, and industrial. While environmental scientists are interested in this type of …

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Ebola, Hanta, and Marburg..But don’t Panic. Yet.

The Internet has been flooded of late with information (and significant misinformation) about Ebola. The most popular search term on Google is now “Ebola” (recently it was “Twerking”). But with all the information available, much of it offered up by non-scientists and armchair-experts, how does the average person sift the facts from what is essentially …

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Life and Death in America: A Return to 19th Century Life Expectancy?

We have all read how life expectancy in the United States has drastically increased from the 1800’s, and even since the mid 20th Century. Few, however, are cognizant of exactly how that has happened. Yes, food production is increased drastically, however food quality has not necessarily improved, at least the food that the majority of …

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Denny Crane has Mad Cow, or Trouble With Tribbles Retropective

One of versatile Canadian actor William Shatner’s most memorable characters was Boston Legal’s Denny Crane. In the final season of the series, Crane becomes convinced that he has been infected with Mad Cow disease, often using the utterance “Mad cow” to explain the bewildering statements he makes. In actuality, contracting Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE, …

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Too unpleasant for most of the public to contemplate: The Political Stupidity of the 19th Century

The medical series, House, M.D. makes excellent television for many interested in the health field. As the foundation of the diagnostics department, Dr Greg House uses his exceptional knowledge of medicine, infectious and chronic diseases, and even aspects of psychology to unravel the causes of his patient’s illness. Few hospitals actually have departments of diagnostic …

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