EPISODE 2: JAMES VS. ZOMBIES

Welcome to Episode 2. james thumb_000000

James is a PhD student studying evolution and virulence. On the show we discussed zombie pathogens (both fictional and actual), whether or not zombies can twerk and the reason cats can’t be trusted.

News and Nonsense Stories:
Zombie virus research could make vaccines last longer, be more available, save billions of dollars.
Missouri State May Ban Nerf Guns After 911 Call, Lockdown Over Zombie Shootout Game.

​Follow James and his work:
James’ Channel
History of Infection Series
His Podcast with Myles Power

You can follow and engage with the show on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

​Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Music used:

In a Heartbeat“, “Cut and Run“, “Scheming Weasel (faster version)“.

All music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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One thought on “EPISODE 2: JAMES VS. ZOMBIES

  1. Jes says:

    I just found your podcast via skepchick, and was listening along all happy-like until we got to “that’s why vets don’t wear masks when they operate…” This is just flat wrong, which strikes me as highly ironic given the concept of your podcast.
    I am a veterinarian, and I and every other veterinarian I know wear masks (as well as gloves and hair-covers and gowns) for operating. This is, in fact, a requirement to be certified by the American Animal Hospital Association, and is a requirement to be considered for hosting or mentoring students from veterinary or veterinary technician schools.
    The risk of infection in a surgical site is just the same for animals as for humans (which are, after all, just another animal from a biological point of view). While there are bacteria specialised to live in/on certain hosts, and a great many viruses which are species-specific in their infections, there are plenty of bacteria that will happily infect wounds on a wide variety of species.
    Additionally, there certainly is a non-zero risk of transmission of disease across species. I am currently handling a dog kennel case in which several dogs have been diagnosed with Brucella – this disease crosses species quite readily and can make humans very ill (or dead). Exposure to blood or reproductive tissue is a huge risk, and while I know that THIS kennel is affected, brucella screens prior to c-section or ovariohysterectomy are not standard. I would be risking not only infection of my patient, but infection of myself and my staff if we did not wear gloves and masks during such procedures.
    Veterinarians are KEENLY aware of the existence and risks of cross-species disease transmission, as well as the more general risks of surgical site contamination – you wouldn’t want your veterinary surgeon to accidentally sneeze in your dog’s joint surgery, even though the specific cold virus she has doesn’t readily infect dogs.
    And I’m going to stop there, but since there are entire text books and year-long courses covering the topic of zoonotic diseases, I think you shouldn’t be so quick to brush this off, and you do a disservice to veterinarians and veterinary technicians by perpetuating images of us as so far out of step with the expectations of modern medicine.

    ***************

    Toxoplasma is shed in feces, not urine. Also, you probably did not get it from “Mittens around the corner” or your own pet cat; infected cats shed for only a short period of time (less than 3 weeks), and only the first time they encounter the organism. You are more likely to get exposure through eating undercooked meat, or fecal contamination of vegetables, which are often not cooked. This misunderstanding contributes to a frustratingly high number of people (and medical doctors, who should know better!) assuming that pregnant women must get rid of pet cats and avoid all contact with cats during pregnancy, when actually the risk of transmission is very low.

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