Flesh Eating Bacteria Found in Sargassum


‘Pathogen’ Storm: Vibrio Bacteria, Sargassum and Plastic Marine Debris

Beach, Sargassum, Seaweed, Brown Microalgae, Vibrio, Plastic Marine Debris, Public Health, Florida

Some cultivation-based data show beached Sargassum appear to harbor high amounts of Vibrio bacteria. (Photo credit: Brian Lapointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

By gisele galoustian | 5/18/2023

A new study uncovers how the interplay between Sargassum spp., plastic marine debris and Vibrio bacteria creates the perfect “pathogen” storm that has implications for both marine life and public health. Vibrio bacteria are found in waters around the world and are the dominant cause of death in humans from the marine environment. For example, Vibrio vulnificus, sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses from seafood consumption as well as disease and death from open wound infections.

Since 2011, Sargassum, free-living populations of brown macroalga, have been rapidly expanding in the Sargasso Sea and other parts of the open ocean such as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, including frequent and unprecedented seaweed accumulation events on beaches. Plastic marine debris, first found in surface waters of the Sargasso Sea, has become a worldwide concern, and is known to persist decades longer than natural substrates in the marine environment.

Currently, little is known about the ecological relationship of vibrios with Sargassum. Moreover, genomic and metagenomic evidence has been lacking as to whether vibrios colonizing plastic marine debris and Sargassum could potentially infect humans. As summer kicks into high gear and efforts are underway to find innovative solutions to repurpose Sargassum, could these substrates pose a triple threat to public health?

Have We been Wrong About MSG?

“When people tell me that they ate at a Chinese food restaurant and they had trouble breathing and tightness in their chest, I get worried – and I’d say, ‘you need to follow up on that because MSG is not an allergen. It’s not going to cause an allergic response. Our bodies make glutamate, so it would not be possible to have an allergy to glutamate’,” says Rains.

Almost all of the dishes served at New York City restaurant Bonnie's contain MSG, says owner/chef  Calvin Eng.

Almost all of the dishes served at New York City restaurant Bonnie’s contain MSG, says owner/chef Calvin Eng.Adam Friedlander/The New York Times/Redux

MSG is the most misunderstood ingredient of the century. That’s finally changing

“When people tell me that they ate at a Chinese food restaurant and they had trouble breathing and tightness in their chest, I get worried – and I’d say, ‘you need to follow up on that because MSG is not an allergen. It’s not going to cause an allergic response. Our bodies make glutamate, so…

By Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN

Updated 11:15 PM EDT, Wed May 10, 2023

CNN — 

Calvin Eng, the owner of New York-based Cantonese-American restaurant Bonnie’s, isn’t shy about his love for monosodium glutamate.

Case in point – he has the letters “MSG” tattooed on his arm, and his restaurant’s menu includes a signature drink called the MSG Martini.

“Things just taste better with MSG, whether it’s Western food or Cantonese food,” the chef tells CNN.

“We use it in drinks. We use it in desserts. We use it in savory food. It’s in almost everything. Salt, sugar and MSG – I always joke that they’re the Chinese Trinity of seasonings.”

Openly admitting to using MSG – once a surefire way to keep your restaurant empty – certainly hasn’t undermined Bonnie’s success. It’s become one of the hottest tables in New York since opening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in late 2021, winning numerous Best New Restaurant awards from multiple media outlets.

Eng himself was named one of the best new chefs of 2022 by Food and Wine Magazine and was included on the 2023 Forbes 30 under 30 list, just to name a few of his recent achievements.

Demystifying MSG: ‘It was a taboo’

What Happened To Us?

It didn’t used to be this way

As a result we spend an inordinate amount of money on Health Care.

Yet our life expectancy is going down.

Even though we are smoking less.

But we picked up worse vices along the way.

I think a more sedentary life is one factor, but diet is my main culprit.

And we “Consume Vast Quantities”

Along with cheap processed carbohydrates, I mostly blame Sugar.

Do you agree?

If you want to understand a culture, look at its drugs of choice.

Scarface!!!!!!!!!!1“Drugs have always reflected a simpler, consistent truism. Sometimes we have wanted out of ourselves, sometimes we’ve wanted out of society, sometimes out of boredom or out of poverty; but always, whatever the case, we have wanted out. One can only guess where this is leading America and Trumponomics will be hard pressed to reverse it. In the past, this desire was always temporary — to recharge our batteries, to find a space away from our experiences and the demands of living pressed upon us. However, more recently, drug use has become about finding a durable, lengthier, existential escape — a desire that is awfully close to self-obliteration.”

Source: If you want to understand a culture, look at its drugs of choice.

What makes mosquitoes bite certain people and not others?

Many years ago in another twin study we showed that underarm body odour as perceived by human sniffers had a genetic basis – with huge variability in how strong smells were perceived. This showed that we have gene variations controlling both the odours we perceive and the chemical odours we produce. In this way we are similar to mosquitoes because they also have big differences in which odours and chemicals attract and repel them.

Different mosquitoes prefer different parts of our bodies to others. The species Aedes Gambiae prefers the odours of our hands and feet to other bits like groins and armpits. Some animals use their body odour to keep insects away and companies have been trying to unravel what the best chemicals are.

So, the next time you get bitten by a mosquito on the ankle – don’t blame bad luck or your cheap repellent – think of the amazing evolutionary match-making processes that hooked up your special mix of genes to a particular community of microbes that feed off your skin and produce a chemical that only certain species of mosquito find irresistible.

via What makes mosquitoes bite certain people and not others? – Agenda – The World Economic Forum.

Causes of Autism Found

Bird picture by autistic artist David Barth 2008
Bird picture by autistic artist David Barth 2008

“Let’s suppose you buy a book, we’re used to getting books where the cover’s on right, the pages are in order, and they tell a continuous story. But imagine a publisher that duplicated his pages, dropped some pages, changed the order of the pages. That’s what happens in the human genome. That’s copy number variation.”

This form of mutation turns out to appear with surprising frequency in the human genetic text. Wigler’s group first glimpsed the phenomenon in cancer cells, but his hunch was that similar “publishing” errors might also play a role in diseases like autism. Sure enough, when the researchers examined the genomes of people with autism, they often found weird, large-scale duplications or deletions of DNA—mutations not present in the mother or father. The fact that they were not inherited strongly suggested that they were recent corruptions of the genetic text, almost certainly arising in the sperm or egg cells of the parents.

“The evolutionary twist on this whole story, is that our genome is really set up to fail, in the sense that we’re prone to delete and duplicate. The flip side of it is that that selective disadvantage is offset by the emergence of novel genes that have conferred an advantage to us cognitively.”

via Genetic Advances Provide Insight into the Causes of Autism | MIT Technology Review.

Vampires Have Increased Risk Of Heart Attack

Edinburgh University research suggests sunlight helps reduce blood pressure, cutting heart attack and stroke risks and even prolonging life.

Heart disease and stroke linked to high blood pressure are estimated to lead to about 80 times more deaths than those from skin cancer in the UK.

Dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight” Dr Richard Weller Edinburgh University

Production of the pressure-reducing compound, nitric oxide, is separate from the body’s manufacture of vitamin D, which rises after exposure to sunshine.

via BBC News – Sun’s blood pressure benefits ‘may outdo cancer risks’.

More Baby Talk = More IQ

Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.

Hart and Risley later wrote that children’s level of language development starts to level off when it matches that of their parents — so a language deficit is passed down through generations. They found that parents talk much more to girls than to boys (perhaps because girls are more sociable, or because it is Mom who does most of the care, and parents talk more to children of their gender). This might explain why young, poor boys have particular trouble in school. And they argued that the disparities in word usage correlated so closely with academic success that kids born to families on welfare do worse than professional-class children entirely because their parents talk to them less. In other words, if everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all. (Some other researchers say that while word count is extremely important, it can’t be the only factor.)

via The Power of Talking to Your Baby – NYTimes.com.

How Vaccines Have Changed Our World

The data in this graphic come from the web site of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, but a graphic designer in Purchase, N.Y., named Leon Farrant has created a graphic that drives home what the data mean.

Below is a look at the past morbidity (how many people became sick) of what were once very common infectious diseases, and the current morbidity in the U.S.


via How Vaccines Have Changed Our World In One Graphic – Forbes.

%d bloggers like this: