Monday, 23 April 2012

Links for the next meeting - The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

A quick video to get you started! The Wellcome Collection always has some interesting stuff...

...and he talks again...!

UCLA’s epidemiology department’s book review and John Snow site links

An interesting article about the more recent 2010 outbreak in Haiti, with a picture of the sort
of thing that I would be looking for at work! A sample requesting, or suspect for Vibrio cholerae
undergoes an enrichment stage before being plated onto selective agar with all the right ingredients that Cholera bacteria like! The result is the growth of these yellow colonies. You don’t really want to grow them!!

OK, perhaps a bit technical – Quorum Sensing is the name given when bacteria live together in a film and have to communicate with each other – basic survival. This is done through chemical sensing of the environment, and most weirdly, sensing the group’s needs. It has been revolutionary in helping to understand why infections persist within the body when antibiotics should have worked, and has been crucial, as with cholera, in understanding how bacteria know when to resume the next stage of their life cycle:

There’s any amount of book reviews on the internet, and even the Wikipedia page is worth a brief glance (though it wasn’t me what said that, honest guv!!) I’ll try and get hold of a diagram to show how the bacteria have such a devastating effect on the human body (always cheerful!), but in the meantime, happy reading!