Saturday roundup

Just a few things that have either been sitting in my drafts box and I know I won’t have a chance to get to, or stuff I saw elsewhere that deserves a mention.

Check out this excellent (and hilarious) post by Skip Evans on creationists and boobies.

I’ve posted previously here about our eagles here in Iowa. Phil at the Bad Astronomy Blog gives links to 2 webcams, where you can watch the nests of eagles or peregrine falcons (another favorite bird of mine). They’ve shut down the eagle one because the eggs didn’t hatch and the parents left the nest, but there’s a fluffy white falcon chick (dozing as I currently write this up on Friday, it would seem) to entertain you.

Can human papilloma viruses be transmitted via blood? Maybe.

Nancy Cox, chief of the CDC’s influenza branch (and an Iowa native) was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year.

A commenter asked why we don’t just quarantine for avian flu. As I said, it’s not that simple. However, Iowa and other states are broadening their quarantine powers to allow them to do what’s necessary in the event of any serious, transmissible infectious disease.

A vaccine may be able to protect from death with Marburg and Ebola, even if administered after infection.

In other infectious disease news, new research suggests a reason why many ape species are more resistant to autoimmune diseases and AIDS: a difference in expression of a protein controlling T cell activation. The work’s only been done in vitro at this point and needs further confirmation, but interesting stuff.

Wallaby milk as an antibiotic source?

I admit, I watch the Fox drama House. One episode dealt with a child faith healer; turned out his “cure” had just been a herpes virus, which shrunk her tumor. Orac and Scott discuss the science.

And finally, via coturnix, an opinion piece on nurturing success in science from the chancellor at NC State.

Finally, the tornado ad. I don’t have flash on the computers I use here, so I’ve not seen it, but here’s your chance to comment about it, if you’ve not already spoken your mind on other science blogs. I apologize for it, ’cause it sounds pretty damn annoying.

Have a good weekend!

4 Replies to “Saturday roundup”

  1. how much protection in there in human breast milk. I have heard anecdotally that there are antibacterial properties etc… but is any of that true? (some pro breast feeding places are militant and will tell people anything just to get them to breastfeed)

    If there are immune protective properties what are the results of the fifty to a hundred year old experiment with baby formula, if any, on human health?

  2. Yes, breastmilk does have immunologic properties. Human breastmilk contains each of the antibody classes (Ig M,A,D,G,E) but I believe that IgA is the most abundant…why else would anyone be militant about breastfeeding?

  3. I know there is some immunity conferred using breastmilk. And obviously it is the best food for a wee one, as it is people milk. I am just wondering if it too has antibacterial properties as does the wallaby milk. And I want to know what the effect of trans fatty acids in formula has done to people over time. Now they are using the good fish oil based fats in formula. Will there be a difference.

    Militancy- a good friend had a heck of a time nursing. She was discharged from the hospital and was immediately contacted by the breastfeeding advocacy group that is all over the place. The tried a pump. It did not work. They tried another- it did not work. The third one took three people to strap it on and make it work. That was unsuccesful.

    By the end of that loooong week, she was going nuts. One because her body just wouldn’t do what it was supposed to. Two, because at every chance they could get, the women from the group were berating her for not trying hard enough, and she was told that she was harming her child, would not be able to bond, was depriving baby of nutrition….. and made to feel like a recalcitrant mother. Immune system function was discussed- her baby would be at risk if she didn’t nurse. There was not a place in their brains for a body that was just not ready to nurse. She finally shoo’ed them all out of her house and refused their phone calls because she had had enough.

    There was a lot of guilt and shame- even though she had been through a labour in which she had hemorraged and almost died. The only focus for these women was the baby and its future health and mental state- not the mom’s. All in all, it was a negative experience.

  4. I am just wondering if it too has antibacterial properties as does the wallaby milk.

    Yep. There’s a list of them here, but none of them have been found to provide quite the bang that the new wallaby antibiotic does–in vitro, anyway. It’s still a long way from the culture dish to the medicine cabinet.

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