Monday, July 27, 2015

Coding Responsibly Part III: Testing Your Code

Keep practicing, and code responsibly! :)
Earlier this week I was reading about code testing and control, and I thought this topic would also be a great addition to the 'Coding Responsibly' series here on Prophage. Because many other people have written about the topic, I am going to offer some of my own perspectives and experiences to the discussion. The goal here is for us to simply become better programmers.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Advances in Antibiotic Alternatives for Better Health: Promising Research for "Weeding" Bacterial Communities

Antibiotic treatment can be like weeding a garden with
pesticides that kill everything. Scientists are working on
more targeted approaches, like pulling individual weeds.
The discovery and production of antibiotics, which was certainly one of the most significant medical breakthroughs of the twentieth century, has not been without its shortcomings. One shortcoming that has gained recent attention is the lack of bacterial specificity. Antibiotics are often used to prevent or treat specific bacterial infections, but they often target a range of bacteria, many of which are actually beneficial to human health.

The broad destruction of bacteria within a human ecosystem can open the niche up to other harmful bacteria, and can cause long lasting effects due to altered bacterial recolonization. This is a similar effect to covering your entire garden with harsh herbicides to kill the weeds. You will certainly kill the weeds, but you will also destroy the beneficial flowers and vegetables. Because the resulting garden bed is an open patch of dirt, other plants will start to recolonize, including other weeds, leaving the garden very different from how it started. This is why other approaches are generally used in gardening.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Hidden Microbial World On Your Cash And What It Means For Your Health

We all know cash can be super dirty! <SOURCE>
We have all thought and talked about how dirty money is. Those notes are transferred all over the world, touched by thousands of people, and find themselves in every sort of hygienic situation. But how dirty is money really? What kinds of microbes (bacteria, viruses, etc) are sitting on your cash, and can they make you sick? To provide us with some insight into these questions, Jalali S et al recently reported a study in which they used high throughput sequencing techniques to look at the money microbiome and its potential for causing disease. The goal of this post is going to be briefly discussing the main points of the paper, and what they mean for us in general. This work was published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, so you can go ahead and check it out for yourself for free.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tips for Quick and Easy File Transfer

And we're back! As I mentioned on my Twitter (below), I took a brief hiatus through June to focus on other projects. It was a great month, marked by gaining permission to begin writing my thesis and set the date for my defense/graduation. I am very excited to complete my graduate training and move on to the next stage in my career. But enough about me. My goal for this post is to talk a little about computer file transfer.