Monday, September 29, 2014

The Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

Microbes developed interactive signalling systems over billions of years.  Scientists do not have a complete grasp on how antibiotics are produced or what they do in the natural world. There are several theories that involve gene transfer, evolutionary selection, and competition. At first it was believed that microbes produced antibiotics when competing microbes encroached on their territory, but this explanation was proved wrong when microbes began producing antibiotics in a laboratory setting with no other microbes present.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Arctic Tiger Nut Crop Experiment

Lots of talk this year about tiger nuts.  Surely you've heard of them by now.  These are not nuts, but the root tubers of a type of sedge grass that helped man become man.  Our earliest ancestors ate them, the ancient Egyptians raised them, they are still enjoyed all over the world today.

Tiger nuts can be purchased from several places, my favorite place to buy them is from the Chief Nut himself at Tigernuts USA. He will personally call you to recommend you soak them before eating and answer any questions you may have...seriously.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Winds of War

Though the discovery of antibiotics went largely unnoticed, World War II changed everything. By 1945 Fleming’s penicillin was in full production as were many of the antibiotics pioneered by Waksman.  In fact, a large supply of penicillin was a prerequisite for the D-Day invasions of Normandy. At a time of great national pride the production of antibiotics was delegated to the War Department. A memo was sent to the manufacturers of antibiotics in 1943[16]:

"You are urged to impress upon every worker in your plant that penicillin produced today will be saving the life of someone in a few days or curing the disease of someone now incapacitated. Put up slogans in your plant! Place notices in pay envelopes! Create an enthusiasm for the job down to the lowest worker in your plant."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tatertot Brand Potato Starch...New & Improved!

You guys know me, I love playing around with stuff.

I have a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer that I use every summer when I have too many carrots and beets...ever have a glass of fresh squeezed carrot juice?  You can't beat it!

I got to reading some comments somewhere from a young lady extolling the virtues of raw potato juice, she said it was full of crazy-good stuff and used for centuries as a cure for nearly everything, even effective against cancer!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Antibiotic Pioneers

In 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming was fiddling around with a strange mold he found growing on a Petri dish. This mold was known as Penicillium notatum and after an accidental exposure of the Penicillium to a Petri dish containing Staphylococcus (an infectious microbe), Fleming discovered that the exposure resulted in destruction of the Staphylococcus. This was an amazing discovery and he soon learned he now had the power of life and death over a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria that had been stymieing doctors for centuries!  Fleming toyed with the moldy medicine for well over a decade with little success in making a commercially viable, purified form of his invention: penicillin.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

50 Shades of Gross

Haha, had to share this.  I know it's bad form to just cut and paste what others have written, so I will try to paraphrase from here as best I can. 

The author of this short piece, Katherine Dahlhausen, has dug up 50 "germ-phobic" tactics people use to avoid getting nasty microbes on them.  I'll admit, I still do a few of these.  I think that the underlying point here, though, is that we shouldn't have to be so 'anal' about avoiding germs.  In fact, avoiding all of these stray microbes has probably led us to the shape we are in.  Here's her many do you do?  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

The antibiotic era is not confined to modern day. Tetracycline, an antibiotic first isolated from Actinobacteria in the dirt, is a cheap antibiotic that has been used to treat pneumonia, acne, and other infections.  It was first discovered in the 1940’s and by the 1950’s, tetracycline-resistant bacteria had quickly emerged.[7] Ironically, tetracycline has been isolated from the bones of ancient skeletons from Sudan dating back to the year 350 AD and late Roman period skeletons from ancient Egypt. The tetracycline in these instances is presumed to have been introduced by the diet or through the use of botanical herbs or healing soils used as medicine, but no trace of tetracycline resistance has been found in these areas after thousands of years of consumption[8].