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Category Archives: Microbiology

Do Animals ‘Drink’ Intentionally?

A link to the following article was in my mail yesterday.  The article is interesting however, I don’t think it really gets at what might be underlying causes of birds imbibing a little too much or a little too frequently….

James MacDonald.  2014.  When Birds Drink Too MuchJSTOR Daily, January 1,4 2015.

 

There are two articles cited by the above mini-article.  I think that they are important and can be read online without any extra cost.

Frank Wiens, Annette Zitzmann, Marc-Andre Lachance, Michel Yegles, Fritz Pragst, Friedrich M. Wurst, Dietrich von Holst, Saw Leng Guan, and Rainer Spanagel.  2008.  Chronic intake of fermented floral nectar by wild treeshrews.  PNAS, Volume 105, No. 30, pages 10426-10431.

S.D. Fitzgerald, J.M. Sullivan and R.J. Everson.  1990.  Suspected Ethanol Toxicosis in Two Wild Cedar Waxwings.  Avian Diseases, Volume 34, No. 2, (Apr. – Jun., 1990), pages 488-490.

 

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Treeshrews?  Waxwings?

Eberhard Fuchs and Silke Cobach-Sohle.  2010.  Tree shrews in The UFAW handbook on the care and management of laboratory and other research animals, 8th ed. Oxford, UK:  Wiley-Blackwell, pages 262-275.

Loren S. Putnam.  1949.  The Life History of the Cedar WaxwingThe Wilson Bulletin, pages 141-182.

 

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My thoughts on this are going towards the caloric intake in fruits and berries that are fermented or are in the process of fermenting.  It seems to me that it might be higher than when the fruits and berries have just freshly ripened.

Eva M. Sehub,Alan C. Logan, and Alison C. Bested.  2014.  Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health:  ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatryJournal of Physiological Anthropology.  Article 332.

 

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Is it just the birds or do other creatures like a little drink now and then too?

Cheryl D. Knott.  1998.  Changes in Orangutan Caloric Intake, Energy Balance, and Ketones in Response to Fluctuating Fruit AvailabilityInternational Journal of Primatology.  Volume 19, No. 6, pages 1061

 

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Reading a bit further and another thought occurred to me!  Higher caloric intake for wildlife, just before winter sets in, would be useful for survival.  Putting on a little weight to get through the cold dark nights.  Can the fermentation of fruits provide other contributions to survival?

James O. Vafidis, Ian P. Vaughan, T. Hefin Jones, Richard J. Facey, Rob Parry, Robert J. Thomas.  2014.  Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding SeasonPLOS One.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113665

Mark C. Witmer.  1996.  Annual Diet of Cedar Waxwings Based on U.S. Biological Survey Records (1885-1950) Compared to Diet of American Robins:  Contrasts in Dietary Patterns and Natural HistoryThe Auk.  Volume 113, No. 2, Pages 414-430.

 

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So, if the intoxicating fruits and berries are a good thing, why are some birds overdoing it?  Now?  Could it be that there is less competition for these yummy morsels?  Fewer birds equals more party favours?

Jennifer A. Howard.  2014.  The Lesser Coverts of Game BirdsBooth, Volume 6, No. 2, Page 1-2.

Probably not the best answer to my question but, a very good short story!  One that has me thinking a bit further off-track than usual.  I will come back to this story for another post.

 

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And then, there are people….

Laren Cordain, S. Boyd Eaton, Anthony Sebastian, Neil Mann, Staffan Lindeberg, Bruce A Watkins, James H. O’Keefe, and Janette Brand-Miller.  2005.  Origins and evolution of the Western diet:  health implications for the 21st centuryThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Volume 81, pages 341-354.

Manas Ranjan Swain, Marimuthu Anandharaj, Ramesh Chandra Ray, and Rizwana parveen Rani.  2014.  Fermented Fruits and Vegetables of Asia:  A Potential Source of Probiotics.  Hindawi Publishing Corporation Biotechnology Research International.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/250424

 

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And, because we can think of other things to do with ethanol products…

Veeranjaneya Reddy Lebaka, Hwa-Won Ryu, and Young-Jung Wee.  2014.  Effect of fruit pulp supplementation on rapid and enhanced ethanol production in very high gravity (VHG) fermentationSpringerLink.  doi:  10.1186/s40643-014-0022-8

 

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And thinking along these lines… maybe we need to look at chronic diseases that may have some beginning in the foods that are available to us now as well as those that we choose to eat a lot of and, without competition, possibly eat a little too regularly – much like the small woodland creatures and birds in the first few articles.

Your thoughts are important to me and to continuing this as a discussion.  Please comment….

 

 

 

 

 

Mangrove Forests….

I just found a wonderful and interactive site!  Well, this isn’t just a site, this is a database and, it is worth a visit….

http://mangroves.elaw.org/map

 

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Now, I tried to put the following into my own words but, it is so perfectly written that I have copied and pasted it here for you:

A Case for Mangroves
The approximately 70 distinct species of mangroves in the world cover roughly 17,000,000 hectares globally (Valiela et al.  2001) – only 0.12 percent of the Earth’s surface (Sullivan 2005, Ellison 2008).  The greatest diversity is in Southeast Asia (36-46 species); the lowest diversity is in the United States and the Middle East (1-3 species) (Polidoro et al.  2010).  Mangroves are being cut down or otherwise destroyed at such a high rate that they may be functionally extinct by 2100 (Duke et al.  2007).  In just the last 50 years, 30-50 percent of the global acreage has been lost.  (Alongi 2002, Duke et al. 2007)  Mangroves are among the most valuable and most threatened ecosystems on Earth.  The ecosystems services they provide—e.g., buffering coastal communities against flooding and storms, fiber production, habitat for thousands of species of birds, mammals and marine species—are estimated to be worth US $1.6 billion dollars/year (Polidoro et al.  2010).  In addition, recent evidence suggests that mangroves sequester carbon more effectively than any other tropical forest (Donato et al.  2011).”

This is important!

 

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There are 65 of the most influential papers on mangroves and mangrove forests listed on this site.  All are worth reading but, we don’t all have that much time….

If there is a paper that you feel is missing, please add it in the comments below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Links to Two Articles on Molecular Cell Biology – Yes, I do read this stuff….

I am placing the link information for these articles here with the thought that easier access to articles such as this will encourage reading (or, maybe in this case curiosity) and open discussion.  This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this article (or, any other article that you find necessary or interesting)….

Once you actually get into reading articles like these ones, they are not nearly as intimidating as they could be!  This particular article even gives you some of the trickier definitions in the marginalia.

You can find more Biochemistry articles here.

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Article:  Versatility of the Mitochondrial Protein Import Machinery.

Authors:  Nikolaus Pfanner (Publications List) and Andreas Geissler.

Published in:  2001

Journal:  Nature Reviews, Molecular Cell Biology, Volume 2, May 2001, pages 339 – 349.

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here

http://www.m-biotech.biol.uoa.gr/MATHIMATAPMS/M4/TOKATLIDIS/Geissler%20and%20Pfanner.pdf

If any of the links do not work, please send a note or leave a comment and I will try to help.

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Article:  The Versatility and Universality of Calcium Signalling.

Authors:  Michael J. Berridge (Publications), Peter Lipp and Martin D. Bootman

Published in:  2000

Journal:  Nature Reviews, Molecular Cell Biology.  Volume 1, October 2000, pages 11 – 21.

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here http://web1.johnshopkins.edu/csl/academics/580427/rsc/580427_4_calciumsignalingreview_032106.pdf

Publications Lists for the Authors:

  • Michael J. Berridge  –  Link
  • Peter Lipp  –  Link
  • Martin D. Bootman  –  Link

If any of the links do not work, please send a note or leave a comment and I will try to help.

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If you find any broken links on this blog, please leave a comment or send me a note so that it can be repaired.  Thank  you….

Article Link: Evolution in Action by Richard E. Lenski, 2011

I am placing the link information for this article here with the thought that easier access to articles such as this will encourage reading and open discussion.  This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this article (or, any other article that you find necessary or interesting)….

Older articles such as this one can be used for comparison with the data in newer articles.

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Article:  Evolution in Action:  A 50,000-Generation Salute to Charles Darwin.

Authors:  Richard E. Lenski

Journal:  Microbe.  Vol. 6, No. 1, pages 30-33.

Published in:  2011

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/Nov30_2011/Evolution%20Lenski.pdf.  If the link does not work, please contact me and I will try to help you find a copy.

I think that this is an absolutely fascinating experiment.  The documentation is written in both scientific, you-need-to-know-the-vocabulary style papers as well as reader friendly (this paper!) style.

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Annotated List (with Links) of University Lab, Publications Lists – This is a Work in Progress…

This is a Work in Progress…

Searching is easy, until we can’t find something that we need….  This list might help.  It takes us to places that Google generally cannot get into unless you know very specific key words to use.  This is usually the entire title of the article!  In fact, if there is something on one of these list that you have trouble finding, try copying and pasting the ‘entire’ title into this search box.  If that doesn’t work, send me a note and I will try to help….

This will be a very long list and it will be added to whenever I find new and interesting lists to add to it!  If you know of a publication list that you would like to see added here, please let me know  —  this type of list can be really hard to find….

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Anthropology

Kwantlen Polytechnic University 

The Anthropology Faculty  –  Most of the instructors and professors in this department and are published.  Most have also provided at least a partial list of their writing and there is some very interesting writing here!

Anthropology Department Resource List  –  There are some amazing links here.  If you are looking for information on pretty much anything anthropology related, spend a few free clicks through this page.

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Biology

Michigan State University

Richard E. Lenski  –  The Experimental Evolution page is a very long list of some incredibly amazing work!  Track the progress of the 50,000 Generation Project by going back through time (and articles) to get real details and real information!

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Chemistry

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There is a good list of web sites, databases and other university chemistry departments here.    I will be checking some of these links out soon.

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Classical Studies

University of Winnipeg

Classic Studies Faculty  –  Full and partial publication lists of faculty members.  I just found these lists and have not gone through them too thoroughly yet.

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Criminology

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There is only one faculty showing off their writing skills here.  Greg Jenion.   However, the Resources page here is fairly well stocked with good links!

University of Winnipeg  –  Criminal Justice Department Resource List.  I have checked out a few of these links and, if you are willing to put in a few clicks, you may find some publications lists that are absolutely amazing!

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Ecology

University of British Columbia  –  The Hinch Lab is an incredible source of information on Wild Salmon!   The articles listed here are from 1986 to present and every article I have looked at is well written with an excellent reference list!

University of Winnipeg  – 

The Publications List at the Lingle Lab is a good source for interesting local information.

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Environmental Protection

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  A good starting place for information on protecting the environment and staying safe doing it!

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Gender Studies

University of Winnipeg  –  Most of the professors and instructors listed here have a biography which includes some very interesting publications lists.

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Geography

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  The Geography Department has a fair resources page.    Several of the links will take you to resources pages of larger universities.  I will be checking them out!

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History

University of Winnipeg  –  There are a couple of professors teaching Mennonite history here.  There are publications lists.

–  German-Canadian Studies.  This department has compiled an excellent list of articles and books.

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Mathematics

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There are some sources here that you will find very helpful whether you are studying for exams or just trying to figure out the math that the local newspaper is using to convince you of something (well, maybe not…)

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Political Science

University of Winnipeg  –  The faculty list has a bio for every professor and many of the bios do include publication lists.

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Urban and Inner-City Studies

University of Winnipeg  –  This goes to the  faculty page for Urban and Inner-City Studies.  There are some well published professors here.

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Exploration Before Population – A Precis on a Hospital Microbiome Study Planning Session

I heard about the microbiome study and did a quick search, printed something out (these aren’t always easy to find) and added the article to my reading pile.  I don’t read at the computer.  I find that it is kind of like trying to read the writing on a light bulb – while the bulb is turned on….  My screen is turned down quite a bit but, that just delays the reading fatigue.  Hmmm…. maybe there is an article on this?

Anyways, the paper I printed turned out to be the minutes of a meeting on the planning of the hospital microbiome project at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  It is an interesting read!

 

The Article:

Smith, D., Alverdy, J., An, G., Coleman, M., Garcia-Houchins, S., Green, J., Keegan, K., Kelley, S.T., Kirkup, B.C., Kociolek, L., Levin, H., Landon, E., Olsiewski, P., Knight, R., Siegel, J., Weber, S., and Gilbert, J.  2013.  The Hospital Microbiome Project:  Meeting Report for the 1st Hospital Microbiome Project Workshop on Sampling Design and Building Science Measurements, Chicago, USA, June 7th-8th 2012.  Standards in Genomic Sciences  8(1), 112-117.  Published Online Apr 15, 2013.  doi:  10.4056/sigs.3717348

 

My Precis

This is a planning discussion for a study that will sample the environment of a hospital and its occupants, beginning before construction is complete to look at how hospital acquired infections are contracted and transmitted.

 

My Precis Expanded:

A lack of research into how hospital acquired infections are acquired and transmitted has prompted an investigation in a new hospital pavilion with the research scheduled to begin before the pavilion opens. When the building opens the building itself will then be exposed to health care workers, patients and visitors. This paper discusses how a systematic exploration, beginning with the architectural design and maintenance of the building and utilities could be used to track the progress of microbial community succession.

The planning meeting of this long-term research project included discussion on the architectural design and maintenance of the building and utilities as well as the materials and processes used and to be used. It was decided that two rooms were to be sampled daily and another 18 rooms on a weekly schedule and that the schedule would include the collecting of any “samples of interest.” The current tracking of staff between rooms and staff self-tracking in their usage of items such as glove boxes was added to the sampling schedules.

Another meeting will be held after the project has begun.

 

 

I found the original article here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739179/

If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.

 

There is a wonderful website here:  http://hospitalmicrobiome.com/