Monthly Archives: May 2010

Synthetic life? Hardly.

I will admit that I was taken in by the dramatic descriptions of the Ventner Insitute’s recent claims of having made “synthetic life”, but after reading the paper and then talking to people that are smarter than me (thanks Donna, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why we wash our hands: synthetic cells.

The organism: Mycoplasma mycoides The disease:  Bovine pleuralpneumonia Symptoms: respiratory distress, cough, cessation of rumination, anorexia, and severe pleuritic pain.  In cattle, buffalo and yaks.    How it works:  The genus mycoplasma contains many species, some that “infect” humans and cause disease. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why we wash our hands: Toxoplasmosis

The organism: Toxoplasma gondii The disease: Toxoplasmosis Symptoms: Immunocompentent adults -some flu-like symptoms, possibly increased risk taking behavior, rarely schizophrenia.  Fetuses: hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”), inflammation of the retina, and later in life: blindness, deafness, mental retardation. How it works: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why we wash our hands: Listeriosis.

The organism: Listeria Monocytogenes The disease: Listeriosis Symptoms: Fever, muscle aches, nausea, confusion, meningitis, convulsions, miscarriage of pregnancy How it works: L. monocytogenes is a bacteria that is commonly found in soil; it is  prevalent around cattle, sheep, goats, pigs … Continue reading

Posted in Why we wash our hands | Tagged , , | Leave a comment