Chikungunya update

I feel a bit guilty. I still get occasional comments on this post about the outbreak of chikungunya on several islands in the Indian Ocean. Since I’m obviously not involved in the actual outbreak investigation, all I have to offer is news reported elsewhere–and it’s not exactly been a landslide of information. However, Nature does have some news to offer, based largely on a new paper published in PLoS Medicine (summary here).
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Tangled Bank #54

Bora has a giant new Tangled Bank over at Science and Politics. He included 4 of my recent entries (*cough* check’s in the mail *cough*) and there are tons of others that look interesting, so check it out. He also took this opportunity to announce that he’ll be joining us here at scienceblogs soon–so welcome!

More posts from me in a bit…out in the field all morning (quite literally…pictures forthcoming).

Bazell says “quit whining”

NBC’s science and health correspondent, Robert Bazell, has an opinion piece today on MSNBC: Stop whining about intelligent design.

Scientists should stop whining about threats to the teaching of evolution and spend more time discussing values.

I should note here that most of the piece is strongly supportive of teaching evolution. Bazell presents a very brief overview of the history of anti-evolutionism in America, and notes that “serious efforts in biology and medicine can no more ignore evolution than airplane designers can ignore gravity.” So, he’s not messing around or giving any credence to evolution-deniers. Overall, I think it’s a really good piece–but I still think he’s off-base with his central thesis.

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Report of Ebola death in London


A woman is feared to have died from ebola after taking ill on a plane home from Africa yesterday.

Passengers and crew on the flight to Heathrow are understood to be panicking that they have contracted the contagious virus.

They helped the Briton when she was vomiting and bleeding. Some even shared their drinks with her.

Last night, tests were being run to confirm whether she had the haemorraghic fever.

The 38-year-old was on Virgin Atlantic flight VS602 from Johannesburg. It is understood she worked at an embassy in Lesotho.

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Grand Rounds 2.35

Check it out over at Parallel Universes. Again, many good posts over there; in particular, I noticed one on the evolution of the polio virus and how that affects vaccination, and another on how early antibiotic use in children may affect their later development of asthma.