Thursday, 17 January 2013

Bio Design in the Home - The Beauty of Bacteria

Bio Design in the Home - The Beauty of Bacteria -

Interesting take on how Pantone's new colour for 2013 "Emerald" is being used by designers by incorporating bacterial cultures into chandeliers and furniture.
Consider Bacterioptica, a chandelier designed by Petia Morozov of Montclair, N.J., with petri dishes loaded with bacterial cultures nesting in a tangle of fiber optics. The pattern and color of the blooming bacteria (ideally supplied by individual family members, including pets) changes the quality of the light.

Other furniture has been model based on bone structure and DNA models.

I'm not sure how practical this is for someone's home , but it's definitely and interesting idea!


Friday, 11 January 2013

List of Flu Clinics across Canada for 2013

Public Health Officials are strongly recommending getting the flu shot, even if it is later in the flu season that usual.

There have been many reports of high rates of flu activity within the US and Canada reaching an epidemic level. Because of this, many provinces are continuing their flu vaccination clinics to combat the virus and prevent further illnesses.

You can find more information on

British Columbia Flu Shot Locator:

Alberta Health Services:


Manitoba Seasonal Flu Clinics:



Ottawa: Flu clinics not operation but vaccinations available at walk-in clinics and doctor’s offices.

Reminder that you can also get your flu shot at most Pharmacies in Ontario as well. (ex. Shopper’s Drug Mart)

Quebec Vaccination List:,216,0,0,1,0&PHPSESSID=887f624ac7e715916d063c4ef3987d28

Nova Scotia: Flu clinics not operating, visit walk-ins and doctor’s office. 

New Brunswick Influenza Report:

Prince Edward Island Flu Information:

Have to phone care providers to get more information.


Yukon Flu Clinics:

Northwest Territories:


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Last Semester of Theory!

Monday marked the start of my final semester of theory in my Medical Laboratory Science program! I can't believe the time has come already. I remember two years ago sitting in the computer lab at my University looking at schools in Ontario and finally taking the chance and applying. Best decision I ever made!

I am thrilled to be moving through this program towards Simulation Clinical in the summer and my clinical placement in fall. This semester has some of the topics I was most looking forward to including Respiratory infections in Microbiology, Leukemia in Hematology and Tumour Markers in Clinical Chemistry.

We have also just begun the process of selecting our clinical placements, which is extremely stressful on all of us. Everyone, of course, wants to go somewhere that is an ideal location for them (close to home, friends, family etc) making this selection difficult. I did my rankings today out of the 13 placement areas and I will not find out where I am placed for a week! My anxiety levels will surely be through the roof by next week. I know wherever I get placed will be a great learning experience and will allow me to receive exposure to how a lab really functions.

My next task is looking for a nice pair of scrubs to use for our histotechnology labs to prevent from getting wax all over my nicer clothing. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know!


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

First Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Cases Detected in North America

First Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Cases Detected in North America - US News and World Report.
In a study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of scientists led by Vanessa Allen of Public Health Ontario, found that 6.7 percent of patients with gonorrhea at a Toronto clinic still had the disease after a round of cephalosporins, the last effective oral antibiotic used to treat the disease. Of 133 patients who returned for a "test of cure" visit, nine remained gonorrhea-positive. This is the first time cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea has been found in humans in North America.

Cephalosporins are a class of B-lactam drugs. B-lactams include penicillins, monobactams and carbapenems. Without having use of these antibiotics, not much is left to treat gonorrhea. After this, I believe intravenous Vancomycin would be the treatment of choice to clear the infection. Vancomycin is extremely powerful and usually only reserved for very serious infections such as MRSA (as long as it's not VRSA).

Currently, based on CSLI guidelines, labs are only required to test for B-lactam resistance and send the culture to Public Health for further testing. I can't imagine the effect on labs if this antibiotic resistance version of Neisseria gonnorheae continues to spread.