Saturday, February 02, 2008

Top Roles of Microbes in the Superbowl

Well, it is the time of year for everyone to hunker down and watch some good ads on TV in between football plays (I am a football fan, but most years, the ads are better than the game).

And in the spirit of microbiology education I have created a my list of some of the fun roles microbes will play in the superbowl.
  • Can anyone say HGH? Sure you can get it from grinding up cadavers, but it is a bit easier to get it from engineered bacteria.
  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness.With all the blood, grass, sweat, and other stuff from the Championship games, cleaning those uniforms is going to be tough. Better use some detergents with extra enzymes like these.
  • Victory celebration. To the victor goes the bubbly. And boy, that bubbly would really rot without microbes.
  • Making a good football. Without some serious processing, a cowhide or pigskin is not something you would want to throw around. Enzymes are a key part of most leather processing. And hey - who makes most of the best enzymes on the planet. That's right, microbes.
  • Obesity epidemic. Sure, pumping iron and taking steroids will get you big. But maybe those linemen just have a health dose of some of Ruth Ley's gut bacteria.
  • Avoid double dipping. MSNBC (and everyone else) is reporting this story. MSNBC says "Keep an eye on the salsa this Super Bowl Sunday: A researcher inspired by a famous “Seinfeld” episode has concluded that double dipping is just plain gross." Not just gross. "They found that three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from an eater’s mouth to the remaining dip sample."
  • Football transmits bacteria much like STDs. Yes that is right. Tara Parker-Pope in a blog via the New York Times is reporting about a Salon.Com discussion of MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Salon was weighing in on a recent study that focused on transmission of MRSA among gay men. Salon dug out an New England Journal of Medicine article about MRSA transmission among football players. And Salon says "When it comes to spreading the bacteria, it is not homosexuals we have to worry about….The medical researchers were not studying gays, they were studying the St. Louis Rams. That is correct: football players; in particular, linebackers."


  1. NHS (UK) spent some £2 Billion cleaning hospitals and now accepts (Hospital organization, specialty mix, & MRSA) there is no association between cleanliness and spreading MRSA. They are pointing the fingers at practical procedures (IV lines, cannulae, and catheters) as a major contributing factor.

    Most people including doctors believe a drug company will soon bring in a new antibiotic or a vaccination. Since 1970s there has been no new antibiotic introduced or any research to learn more about these bugs. I spoke to a senior microbiologist in charge of infection control; she thinks CA-MRSA is a major problem in USA and not a threat in UK. Either these seniors are ignorant or they are from different planet. Unless doctors understand the gravity of the situation and know what to look for, we won't know we have a community-acquired MRSA problem until it's a very big problem.

    This is frustrating because the problem is going to be a major threat to us all and unless we educate the healthcare providers that this threat is real and many health people especially children and young adults will be dying. In UK, Daily mail published an article on 21st January, warning about the threat in UK. NHS Trust hospitals are still wasting time and recourses cleaning the hospital instead of investing in cleaning their act.

    Today I read news is Telegraph, Muslim doctor refused to clean her hands properly because she cannot expose her hands. Yesterday, I came across a mother who refuses to keep her child away from school because she cannot organize child care. The head teacher told us the doctor has given permission for the child to go to school, so if something other child gets infected the school will hold the doctor liable. What is the point in taking legal action, if the child gets killed due to infection?

    With all these problems the bug is getting more opportunity to muscle themselves up and we all need to suffer.

    Doctors and scientist keep publishing articles about the incidence in various community but they are not getting their act together and find ways of educating their own clan about what they must do to stop introducing them into people in the hospital. I can see an end of modern medicine unless they introduce drastic changes in how they perform minor and major surgical procedures. One in three patient entering hospitals will bring in the bugs, if we help them to spread in the hospitals, we will never win this battle.

  2. I am surprised that NHS concluded that cleanliness plays no role when they are certainly many studies that suggest this. I have found that doctors in general and hospital administrators are beyond arrogant about this. So few of them in many hospitals wash their hands that government in the US are having to pass laws requiring medical personnel to wash their hands. From what I can tell, the medical personnel are generally not going to lead this fight. The public and others will have to force them to do it.

  3. It appears that Fresno, CA is the only city in the entire nation to react to the mrsa outbreak by increasing medical benefits for city employees, while refusing to address what is contributing to the escalation of staph / mrsa in Fresno. THEY ARE!

    The City of Fresno is annihilating innocent residents as they lie and cover up felony altering of sewer/water lines. Rather than give warning or chance to protect family or belongings, deliberate and intentional discharging of infections, disease-carrying sewage, leaving a trail of asthma, illness, infections, amputation, death. Destruction of lives, property and businesses - new deeds entailing fraud and illegally altered property lines. With no permits or inspections on file, newcomers are duped into paying for property they believe is original - further held liable for the haphazardly clamped sewer/water lines, in some cases, switched with corroded lines! This is why there are no older records of Fresno - and why the city does not stand behind the ones they do have. The felony alterations are still in progress - massive fraud, corruption, cover-up. Including burglaries, ID theft, forged deeds, forged insurance papers, suspected homicide - extensive measures are taken in order to vacate property so they can alter the sewer and water lines. Then alter records in an attempt to cover it up.

    The Dept. of Public Works is knowingly spreading deadly bacteria as their risk analyst lies and conspires with a former city appraiser in running people off their property by more fraud and loosening of illegally clamped sewer and water lines. Former appraiser's entourage boasts of mold insurance claims, mold lawsuits, bankruptcy, foreclosure. The City of Fresno is assisting in the annihilation of various residents at the same time tax payers are forced to pay their increased medical benefits!


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