Science, intelligence, and teh pretty

So, razib relates a recent observation of the apparently rare species hottus chicas scientificas at a local wine bar. Shelley’s ticked:

Not sure whether to be more irked that Razib suggests that smart women aren’t hot (and vice versa), that hot women don’t like sci fi, or than sci fi somehow denotes intelligence. Booooooooo.

While razib tells her to “focus on the science fiction part. not the intelligence,” I agree with Shelley’s later comment that who cares exactly whether he was talking about SciFi or intelligence–the idea that, because one is female and “hot,” one therefore cannot be a certain way or like a certain thing is just stupid. More annoyed ranting after the jump…
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Animalcules–coming tomorrow

I know some of you out there have written some microbiology-related posts, so be sure to send them along to me (aetiology AT gmail DOT com) tonight for inclusion in tomorrow’s edition of Animalcules.

[Update: I’ve only received a few entries, so I’m going to try this next week for a Christmas edition…]

Emerging Disease and Zoonoses #23–Pets ain’t all they’re cracked up to be

I’ve written previously about how it’s a bad idea to import exotic pets, after “exotic” African species of small animals were imported into the United States and housed alongside prairie dogs that were also to be sold as pets. The African animals brought along with them their own diseases, including monkeypox, which then spread to the prairie dogs and onto humans, causing at least 80 cases of monkeypox in the U.S.

Think this is a rare event, unlikely to re-occur? Think again. The Baltimore Sun has a story on how “exotic” pets like these African rodents enter the U.S. by the millions with little screening for disease, which again highlights yet another loophole in our biodefense preparedness. More after the jump.
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Tripoli Six update

As I’ve been busy this week, other Sciencebloggers (with Revere leading the fray and more posts here) have updated everyone on the newest developments in the case of the Tripoli Six (previous update here), the six medical workers on trial for their lives in Libya, accused of spreading HIV to more than 400 children in a hospital there. Nature’s Declan Bulter broke news on a new Nature paper showing, using molecular phylogenetics, that the strains of HIV which infected the children were already circulating in the hospital prior to the medics’ arrival–again, showing that these workers are innocent and wrongly accused, and that the infections were due to nosocomial (hospital-based) spread due to poor medical practices employed there. The verdict is expected to be handed down on December 19th–bringing potential execution by firing squad of these demonstrably innocent people.

Again, Mike has suggestions for what you can do. See also Nick’s at Panda’s Thumb for some other stories on it, and a bit more info on the paper itself.

Another report shoots down abstinence-only education programs

In the comments to my Republicans want to legislate when fetuses feel pain” post, David notes:

What really gets me is if they were interested in preventing abortion, the most effective way seems to be by providing people with the tools and education to not get pregnant in the first place. If they are not willing to help prevent unwanted pregnancy, they have no moral ground to stand on when it comes to abortion, because as far as I’m concerned, they are the ones responsible for many of the unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

What good timing: Evil Monkey at Neurotopia has a post up commenting on yet another new study that shows that abstinence-only education programs just don’t work. Ends His Evilness:

When it comes to public health, we should no longer allow partisan politics and ideological dogma to factor into serious policy decisions. Knowledge is not to be feared, as even our youngest adults are now showing us by making responsible decisions based upon evidence. Too bad the pro-abstinence-only “adults” can’t say the same thing.