Subscribe to TWiM

...with iTunes:

iTunes

...with Miro

Miro Video Player

...with web-based podcatchers:

add2netvibes

addtomyyahoo4

...with something else:

feed-icon-12x12-orange RSS Feed

mail-icon-16x16 Email

Get more info on other podcatchers:

badge_juice


Letters

TWiM 66 Letters

Neva writes:
You may have seen this. Thought you all might enjoy this header illustration from
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/2013/08/24/wonderful-things-the-hidden-beauty-of-the-horse-dung-fungus/

All your podcast are my favorites!

Dan writes:
Hi guys,

(I should give the obligatory "love the show", but it is true: as a bioinformaticist of a fairly mathematical sort, it's nice to spend an hour a week really listening to why people care about comparing metagenomic samples, say, rather than just thinking about them as mathematical objects to be manipulated and analyzed.)

Anyhow, there was a question on TWiM about whether people wearing their scrubs home spread infections from hospitals to other environments. Vincent says people in NYC rarely wear scrubs on the subway there. Regrettably, that's not true here in Ontario. The bus I was riding while I was listening to TWiM stopped in front of our local hospital...and on came a woman wearing scrubs. And sandals!

Keep up the good work,

(here is the image)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8dwAT4VdQdjS0JtZVFNSFo0WVE/edit?usp=sharing


Steve writes:

Hi Vincent,

Always amused by the repartee on your podcasts, especially towards the end; and today I particularly enjoyed the continuation of your banter over washing. It reminded me of a visit to my local hospital - a large one, serving a fairly sizeable conurbation. I had to go for an ultrasound, which was based in a far corner of the building on an upper floor. I walked all through the building, past many signs about washing hands and the need for cleanliness, and then sat down in a waiting room. As I sat there, I soon became aware of a nasty smell, and was dismayed to find I had picked up a sizeable unwanted faecal donation from what must have been a very relieved dog. With this contribution, I had left a trail of filth all through the hospital, and, if I were to get up on a gurney, I would transfer it to that - and possibly some of the staff - too. What was I to do?

As nonchalantly as possible, I removed my sandal, and found its treads firmly plugged with very sticky and smelly mess; so I went in search of a wash basin. There one was; with shiny taps (faucets), and modern scalloped basin. There were elbow levers on the taps, and a large notice on how to wash your hands... The thing was actually a safety design nightmare. The scalloped basin was shallow, and would slosh, and splash the surroundings. The tap outlets were low down on the basin and close to the sides, so you could not put anything - like my shoe - under them; anyone washing their hands would likely touch the sides of the basin. What should have been there was a deep, square sectioned, basin, with a high outlet mixer tap, delivering a good volume of water into the middle, such that hands, fore-arms, and any objects that happened to need cleaning, could be cleansed with a minimum of splashing. But, it was much worse than that. In their wisdom, no doubt, someone had decided that the public could not be trusted with plugs: but they had also decided they still wanted plugs. So they made a plug that was captive to the outlet grille; a plug that one could not take out, but which would fall in when the tap was turned on. Thus it was impossible to run something like a turd-befouled sandal under a stream of appropriately hot water, to save a hospital from the infections it carried. But my shoe *had* to be cleaned! So you can picture the scene: trying to get some water from a badly positioned tap, onto a mucky shoe, while endeavouring to keep a plug from blocking the tiny basin, without getting filth on one's self, or the surroundings! In the end there was only one way. I had to fill the basin, put the sandal in it, and scrub at it with paper towels. Then I had to put my hand in the filthy water, to hold the plug out while the water drained! Then I had to try to wash the basin; then my hands; then my hands; then my hands... Every time you wash your hands in this hospital, you either leave a basin full of dirty water for the next unfortunate, or you dirty your hands again to let the water out!

With thousands of people traipsing in and out of hospitals, without removing their shoes, - and without putting on masks, and hair covers - there isn't a hope in Hell of keeping out the germs. Without really well designed washing and toiletry facilities for both staff *and* public, there isn't a hope in Hell, of beating hospital acquired infections.

Love the show,

Best wishes,

Steve Hawkins
Luton
Bedfordshire
England
(Rather humid and sticky, after a hot sunny day.)

Chris writes:

Just before listening to the last TWiM I had finished reading <i>The Drunken Botanist</i> by Amy Stewart. It is like a garden tour of the liquor store, with history, garden tips, recipes and odd little bits of trivia.

On page 59 is a box titled "Warning: Do not add water." It then explains that during prohibition California grape growers sold bricks of compressed dehydrated grapes, with a package of wine making yeast. The label warned to not add water and the yeast, because it would lead to fermentation and that would not be legal. ;-)

This is the book's website: http://drunkenbotanist.com/

Now I am going to try to make home made homemade grenadine from page 338 from a couple of pomegranates I bought this morning.

Thanks for the entertaining listening.

 

 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600

Copyright © American Center for Microbiology 2012. All Rights Reserved.