At our lab this winter, we had a secret Santa draw. I got a pair of white mittens from a fellow grad student, along with chocolate and a selection of lip balms. I knew the young woman who bought me the gift had spent a good deal of time thinking about what to buy, but when I first opened it I didn’t get the significance of her choice. Then she reminded me of one day when she and I had walked to lunch that I had commented that I would like to have a pair of white gloves to wear on the subway to see how dirty the TTC really was. I love them and they’ve taught me something: the TTC handrails are not nearly as dirty as the TTC washrooms. I got the mittens December 16 and have been downtown using the bus and train at least a half-dozen times and they aren’t visibly black. I’m sure that won’t last long once all the people out on Holiday holidays are back filling up the rush hour buses and cars, but for now I’m impressed. If I can keep from dropping them in the mud or touching the side of the van with them, I’ll keep you posted as to their demise.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
If you are not aware, virologists are upset because their research is being censored for fear of bio-terrorism.
A line early on that might not catch your eye, “an order of magnitude greater than the mortality rate of roughly 2.5% seen during the catastrophic flu pandemic of 1918.” may not be that clear. An order of magnitude means 10 times greater than. This article
and the replies to it give a better picture of what is being discussed: “… the current H5N1 mortality rate is in the 60% range.” It just hasn’t been transmitted via air in the general population. Now two labs know how to make it so that ferrets can spread it to each other via air. The purpose is to understand what to look for in the wild virus to indicate it may be developing that capability.
We learned about biosafety levels in our lab training at the university. I do agree with those in the first article who feel that BSL-4 is in order due to the severe consequences should it be released. But since the virus may mutate to be airborne even if terrorists don’t have a thing to do with it, I do think that much research needs to be done on it and fast.
I couldn’t go see Contagion.
And maybe I should get a flu shot this year…
And why is Rob Ford doing the Nutcracker bigger news than this?
I know several people who have autistic children, so I’m posting this link:
I finally am running experiments again. My bacteria are fluorescing and swimming. I hope to have 13 experiments done by the end of the week. I did five, well actually one is still running now while I type, today. My microfluidic device hasn’t clogged. I have a conference to present a poster at in February. I need this data for that purpose. And a publication would be nice. If things go as well as they did today, and the results are similar to what I got in September, all is well.
In other news, my mom is coming to visit us over the Christmas holiday. It will be great to see her. I bought her gift yesterday, which also makes me happy. Still have others to get, but I wanted to get the right thing for her since she won’t be home to open her other ones with Dad.
Well, the experiment will be done running in 15 minutes and then I can go home, come down tomorrow, and do it all over again. Not complaining. Happy to be busy at something quantifiable again.