Don’t spread poop spread kindness

So to the couple of readers who took me to task recently. I’ll say the same thing I did in 1986; go publish your own paper and stop complaining.

You want food safety for free?

Amanda Woods of the New York Post  writes the Windy City has its own “Mad Pooper.”

Ke Hu, 46, was busted on Oct. 15 in Chicago’s south side neighborhood of Bridgeport after authorities identified him as a man “wanted for using feces and food to deface vehicles and storefronts” back in June, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Police say Hu wore white gloves and carried a brown paper bag as he traipsed through the neighborhood in the early morning hours, smearing dung all over people’s property, the paper reported. Video posted to YouTube by Book Club Chicago catches the crappy culprit in the act — targeting a parked SUV.

He mostly defaced parked cars, but once sullied a storefront, according to the report. It was not immediately clear if the poop was Hu’s own.

Oh and most people in Brisbabe think that Canada ends in Banff.

Pete Townsend’s solo career was so much more interesting.

Australia: 15 people stricken with Salmonella after Core Powerfoods recall

Emily Olle of 7 News reports 15 people have been struck with salmonella following a national recall of frozen meals sold at Coles and IGA supermarkets.

Core Powerfoods issued a recall of their frozen meals, including the 310g or 350g Going Nuts, Deep South Chilli, Muay Thai Meatballs, Holy Meatballs, Naked

SA Health’s Dr Fay Jenkins said South Australians should throw out their products, with three South Australians among those affected.

 “There have been 15 cases of Salmonella Weltevreden in people who ate these products nationally and we are urging anyone with these meals in their freezers to throw them away or return them to where they bought them,” Jenkins said.

“While this particular type of Salmonella is unusual, any kind of Salmonella poses serious health risks and symptoms of infection can begin anywhere between six and 72 hours after exposure and last for three to seven days.”

So hard done by: Not

I built this electronic community originally as the Food Safety Network beginning in Jan. 1993. I consider it one big food safety family.

I provided a health update, not because I sought sympathy, but because I thought I should let the family know what was going on and why my writing had declined.

Australia is currently burning, and every time someone who has just lost everything is interviewed, they talk about how grateful they are for what they have and how they will plunge ahead.

It’s the Australian way, and I am very much of that attitude.

I am not wallowing, I am grateful that Deb will be here in a few minutes for the next four hours (not sure we can go for a walk, there is so much smoke in Brisbane from the fires 100km away that health warnings have been issued).

I’ll continue to teach her about hockey (in Australia you have to call it ice hockey).

And look at these two. They have arrived in Paris, where it’s 5C, and they have no winter clothes, because we are spoiled in Brisbane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ll figure it out and have a great time.

How blessed am I to have so much family?

 

I hate facebook

I still can’t believe I get quoted on average once a day in the weirdest places.

Guess we did some neat work over the years.

The introduction of a new technology, such as a human enhancement technology, may induce apprehension and concern among the general public. Social media enable individuals to find information and share their insights and concerns regarding new technologies. This results in an abundance of viewpoints that guides the individual’s acceptance and decision-making. A relevant question for this special issue is to what extent attitudes toward human enhancement technologies are influenced by online cues that signal the views of other people without obvious relevant expertise, such as online comments (social proof). An online experiment focusing on the enhancement of human health and the functioning of the human body through the application of nanotechnology in food was conducted. The study investigated to what extent social proof impacted views on the application of nanotechnology in food.

The valence of comments on a fake Facebook image with four comments was manipulated (positive, negative, mixed). A representative sample of Dutch Internet users (n = 289) completed the study. Perceptions, feelings, behavior, and information need were measured. Results showed that comment valence had a significant effect on risk perception, benefit perception and attitude: the more positive the comments read by the participants, the lower risk perception, the higher benefit perception and the more positive the attitude toward nanodesigned food. Significant interaction effects of initial feelings of dread and comment valence were further found for risk perception and willingness to buy. In contrast, there were no significant interactions of initial feelings of optimism and comment valence. Implications for risk communication regarding human enhancement technologies are discussed.

Risk and benefit perceptions of human enhancement technologies: The effects of Facebook comments on the acceptance of nanodesigned food

Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies

Margot Kuttschreuter and Femke Hilverda

DOI: 10.1002/hbe2.177

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/hbe2.177

Couple of good Brantford,Ontario (that’s in Canada) boys in The Band.

UK doctor, 47, is struck off after he made £72,000 signing more than 400 bogus sick notes for holidaymakers

Henry Martin of the Daily Mail reports a UK doctor who made £72,000 signing more than 400 bogus sick notes for his wife’s legal firm has been struck off the medical register.

Dr Zuber Bux, 47, filled in false illness reports from holidaymakers claiming compensation from travel firms through his solicitor wife Sehana’s law business.

Over four years Dr Bux, a GP from Blackburn, Lancashire, made about £72,000 writing more than 400 reports but did not inform holiday companies or the courts that his wife worked for AMS, the law firm that instructed him.

Koala chlamydia: A virus in koala DNA shows evolution in action

University was sorta dull, and after watching my first 3-of-4 Canadian daughters rack up huge student deficits because their mother was an asshole and kept the child support for herself rather than pass it on, I had no issue with Canadian daughter 4-of-4 taking a pass on uni and living the good life.

II’d been putting in time back in the day, to avoid jail, but it was a fouth-year virology course where my neurons started to fire and I was turned on by all things small.

We’re all just hosts on a viral planet.

So allow a viral indulgence.

And koalas are so cute and Australian.

Koalas, according to James Gorman of the New York Times, have been running into hard times. They have suffered for years from habitat destruction, dog attacks, automobile accidents. But that’s only the beginning.

They are also plagued by chlamydia and cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, and in researching those problems, scientists have found a natural laboratory in which to study one of the hottest topics in biology: how viruses can insert themselves into an animal’s DNA and sometimes change the course of evolution.

The target of this research is Koala retrovirus, or KoRV, a bit of protein and genetic material in the same family as H.I.V. that began inserting itself into the koala genome about 40,000 years ago and is now passed on from generation to generation, like genes. It is also still passed from animal, as a typical viral infection.

In recent years, scientists have found that the insertion of viruses into the genomes of animals has occurred over and over again. An estimated 8 percent of the human genome is made up of viruses left over from ancient infections, ancient as in millions of years ago, many of them in primate ancestors before human beings existed.

The koala retrovirus is unusual because 40,000 years is the blink of an eye in evolutionary time, and because the process appears to be continuing. A group of scientists reported in Cell on Thursday that they observed a genome immune system fighting to render the virus inactive now that it has established itself in the koala DNA. They also reported that koala retrovirus may have activated other ancient viral DNA. All of this activity stirs the pot of mutation and variation that is the raw material for natural selection.

Koala genetics are a gold mine, said William Theurkauf, a professor in molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and one of the authors of the report. “What they are going through is the process of what’s driven the evolution of every animal on the planet.”

Past viral infections have led to major evolutionary changes, he said. For example: “A gene that is absolutely essential for the placenta was derived from the shell of a virus millions of years ago.” Humans would not exist without that ancient retroviral infection.

Retroviruses are made of RNA, a single strand of genetic information. When they infect a cell, they translate themselves into DNA, the two-stranded molecule that carries all the information for making humans, koalas and other animals. The retroviruses take over the DNA machinery to make more of themselves, which keeps the process going.

That process makes us and other animals sick. AIDS is probably the best known retroviral disease. But when the insertion of a retrovirus occurs in a sperm or an egg cell, the change can become permanent, passed on forever. When retroviruses become part of an animal’s inherited DNA, they are called endogenous and eventually they no longer cause the kind of original infection they once did. But they can still be used by the animal’s genetic machinery for other purposes, like making a placenta.

“It was long thought they were just junk DNA,” said Shawn L. Chavez, a molecular biologist at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine in Portland, who wrote a review of research on endogenous retroviruses in mammals. Now it is clear that some of them have changed the course of evolution. Exactly how is what scientists are trying to find out. “It seems like there’s a new publication every day,” she said.

Consequently, koalas are drawing a lot of attention from scientists who did not start out with an interest in the animal or its conservation. “I’m a fruit fly guy,” Dr. Theurkauf said. He became interested after a report in 2006 by Rachael Tarlinton of the University of Nottingham and other scientists about the invasion of the koala genome by the retrovirus.

Dr. Tarlinton began her career in Australia as a veterinarian with an interest in infectious diseases in wildlife. She became involved in the study of koala genetics because of the problem of chlamydia and because Jon Hanger, an independent researcher, had noticed very high death rates from leukemia and other cancers in koalas kept in zoos. Their research led to the discovery that koala retrovirus was causing some of the cancers and that it was not only infecting the animals but part of their genome.

Dr. Tarlinton and her colleagues established the presence of the retrovirus in koalas in Queensland, but there is another, more southern population of koalas that at first seemed not to have the virus. These koalas also had fewer chlamydia infections. The genetics of the southern population are different because most koalas in that region had been killed for the fur trade by the 1920s. A small number survived by being moved to small islands in the early 20th century.

“From that population, they’ve been reintroduced,” Dr. Tarlinton said. And those koalas have done extraordinarily well, even though they have some genetic problems. There are tens of thousands of them. In some areas they have been killed to keep the population down.

The researchers expected the southern koalas to be less healthy than the northern ones, she said. But the opposite was true.

Still, a deeper look at the southerners’ DNA showed that they weren’t free from the inherited retrovirus as initially thought. The virus was there but it was damaged. The beginning and end of its genetic code were present, but the middle was missing. A report on this work is now in bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive), an online database for papers that have been written but not yet accepted by peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Tarlinton and the other researchers plan to submit the research soon. The missing middle could be the key to the health of the southern koalas.

“I think there’s a pretty good chance that having this defective version can be protective,” she said.

Seek and ye shall find

I have so many Larry stories that I’d probably get sued now that he’s a big shot.

But when I was teaching him and Kevin, about 1995 (I may have noticed Chapman joined my lab about 1999, it’s all a purple haze, but I got those 70 peer-reviewed papers out and made full-professor) so here’s Larry, now that he’s returned to Guelph (that’s in Ontario, Canada) and maybe you have a chat with Malcolm, see about getting my $750,000 returned and we can do some fun research.

And I won’t ever tell anyone about Atlanta.

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems, but the result of a more active investigative body and better testing tools — though they add more can be done.

“This is proof that the system is working well,” said Lawrence Goodridge, a professor focusing on food safety at The University of Guelph, speaking about the recent meat recall.

Yet, he believes that “in Canada, we have to get to a place where we can actually stop the food from going to retail in the first place.”

Since Sept. 20, a investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency into possible E. coli 0157:H7 contamination in some beef and veal products sold by Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd. and St. Ann’s Foods Inc. has led to the recall of nearly 700 products.

The CFIA suspended the Canadian food safety license for St. Ann’s meat-processing plant, as well as Ryding-Regency’s slaughter and processing plant, both in Toronto, in late September.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the products, according to the CFIA, but symptoms of sickness can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps.
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We all skate into the fog sometimes: University students protest in Tehran after 200 fall victim to food poisoning

More than 200 students at the University of Science and Technology in Tehran have been taken to the hospital for food poisoning at the university’s canteen since Tuesday October 15, Iranian media reported.

The students have staged a sit-in in front of the University in protest to the situation, the reports said.

A student union official told the semi-official news agency ISNA late Wednesday that the Union has called on officials to present a report on the situation within a week, “otherwise, protest gatherings will continue.” This means that the gatherings have been suspended for the time being.

Bad, naughty, naughty parents: Outbreak of Salmonella saintpaul in a Scottish childcare facility: The influence of parental under-reporting

Salmonella outbreaks in childcare facilities are relatively rare, most often occurring secondary to contaminated food products or poor infection control practices. We report an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul at a pre-school facility in Ayrshire, Scotland with atypical clinical and epidemiological features.

(me learning to drive a tractor, about 4-years-old)

Methods

Following notification of the initial two cases, the multi-disciplinary Incident Management Team initiated enhanced active case finding and two environmental inspections of the site, including food preparation areas. Parent and staff interviews were conducted by the Public Health department covering attendance, symptomatology and risk factors for all probable and confirmed cases. Microbiological testing of stool samples and the facility water tank was conducted. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) was performed for positive stool samples at the national reference laboratory. Infection control measures were introduced iteratively due to the atypical progression of the outbreak.

Results

There were 15 confirmed cases and 3 children admitted to hospital during the outbreak. However, 35.7% of cases reported extremely mild symptoms. The attack rate was 15.2%, and age of affected children ranged from 18 to 58 months (mean 35 months). All cases were the same Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST50). Epidemiological investigation strongly suggested person-to-person spread within the facility. Existing infection control practices were found to be of a high standard, but introduction of additional evidence-based control measures was inadequate in halting transmission. Facility staff reported concerns about lack of parental disclosure of gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly where these were mild, with 50.0% of cases having attended while symptomatic against public health advice. Voluntary two-week closure of the facility was implemented to halt transmission, following which there were no new cases. WGS results were unavailable until after the decision was taken to close the facility.

Conclusions

This is the first reported instance of a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak at a childcare facility, or where person-to-person transmission is indicated. Clinicians should consider the influence of parental under-reporting on gastrointestinal outbreaks in childcare settings, particularly where perceived severity is low and financial or social pressures to attend work may reduce compliance. WGS cannot yet replace conventional microbiological techniques during short, localised outbreaks due to delays receiving results.

Pregnant mum gets Salmonella at same hotel where girl ‘got E. coli’ and later died

A pregnant mum has told of her fears for her unborn baby after contracting salmonella at the same hotel where a mum claims her two-year-old daughter contracted E. coli and later died.

Emma Broadhurst was six months pregnant when she flew out to Turkey with friends for a 7-night stay at the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa, east of the city of Antayla, at the start of September.

But, according to Andy Rudd of The Mirror, within days of arriving she fell unwell suffering from chronic diarrhea and became dehydrated and lost weight.

Just over 24 hours later her best friend’s seven-year-old son, Kailan, also fell ill with diarrhea and on their return to the UK his mum, Emma McComb, fell ill and Kailan was left ‘screaming in agony’ and projectile vomiting.

All three, who shared a room while on holiday, were then diagnosed with salmonella poisoning after stool samples were sent for testing by their local GP, claims Emma.

The friends stayed in the same hotel where two-year-old Allie Birchall and her family holidayed before little Allie was taken ill before passing away having contracted E. coli.

All members of her family, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, suffered from gastric symptoms including stomach cramps and diarrhoea during their 10-day stay with Jet 2.

Allie’s condition became so severe she was rushed to hospital after the family returned to the UK.

Her parents had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support on August 3.