2020, A Year of Shift

As we trudged knee-deep through the course of this year, we witnessed dramatic adjustments in our life. In scientific measurement terms, we experienced a “shift-ton” of change. Many human and pet viral strains arise from genetic mutations, processes commonly referred to as “shift and drift.” Antigenic drift represents subtle changes that occur through transcription errors. […]

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My Beauty Is Skin Deep, but My Drugs Go Deeper

Together, my rounded, asymmetric face, flirtatiously irregular hairline, upturned nostrils, and small, almost beady, eyes create a visage that Chris Hemsworth and Keanu Reeves envy. Yet drugs, injected, oral, or topical, penetrate deeper into my being. Sure, it is easy to believe that propofol could quickly rob me of my awareness or fentanyl might lay […]

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Mosquito Menace On the Move

In some parts of the country, fall has arrived.  Unfortunately, in South Texas, we never really make the transition to fall colors, pumpkin spice, or crisp sunrises.  What we settle for instead, is cooling weather and decreasing hordes of blood thirsty mosquitoes.  These aerial vampires not only cause intense irritation and itching from bites, they […]

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Vacation Gifts No One Wants to Receive

Vacation season draws to a close.  School will soon start back.  Many people enjoyed a relaxing getaway, and perhaps stayed in a nice hotel.  In the recent outbreak of pneumonia in Atlanta, Georgia, we are reminded that occasionally people come home from vacation with more than a tan and some great memories. This particular type […]

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Water Treatment Facilities

Clean water is the key to maintaining any civilization.  John Snow is credited with linking a cholera epidemic to contaminated drinking water in 1855.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diarrheal diseases (such as cholera) kill more children than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined, making diarrheal disease the second leading cause […]

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Nietzsche, and How He Helps Us Beat Ya, Malaria

Paraphrased, Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretation.” This could apply to malarial species. If you do some intense data searching, that is, you have a computer, Wi-Fi, and then Google, “number of malaria species that infect people” – typical results include 4, 5, and 6. They could all be correct. Four has been […]

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Threat From the South:VSV

The US is currently battling another foreign animal disease outbreak.  Last week, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was identified in two horses in south Texas and one in New Mexico.  Summer breezes bring vectors up from Mexico. With low mortality, our greatest concern with VSV is its resemblance to important foreign animal diseases (FADs) like foot […]

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Vaccinating the Un-Vaccinatable

Imagine a story. Earth’s population faces extinction from a predator that takes no prisoners. Every fortress invaded; the population dies… to the last individual. No survivors, no mercy, and no solution. Then an outsider steps forth from obscurity with a gift providing hope. Sounds like a great novel doesn’t it? In some ways, the story […]

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