Pandemic influenza awareness week. Day 1: History of pandemic influenza

It’s hard to avoid hearing about influenza virus these days. In all the noise, it’s tough to sort out the facts from the rumors and conspiracy theories. I’ve already discussed a bit about the basic biology of the virus in this post, so I’m not going to review that here (though a good overview can […]

Emergence of canine influenza

Canine flu strikes in Westchester county, NY. A NEW strain of influenza that began infecting dogs in Florida early last year has recently struck hard in the Westchester area, forcing the temporary closure of two kennels after more than 100 dogs being boarded there became ill, veterinary officials say. Gracelane Kennels in Ossining underwent decontamination […]

Dobzhansky and anthrax

The Washington Post today reminds us that there has been little progress in uncovering the source of the 2001 anthrax attacks. [1] First, a disclaimer. I’m not an “evolutionary biologist,” per se. I have what is I swear the longest job title ever–molecular infectious disease epidemiologist. As such, I often get asked, “what’s the relevance […]