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Infectious Awareables
Unique science based products designed to promote health awareness
Unique science based products designed to promote health awareness

Infectious Awareables's posts

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A Thanksgiving Story: A Courageous Mom and Her Craft -- Dr. Mark O. Martin is an associate professor of Biology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he teaches Microbiology to seniors, and Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology to freshmen. He is also an avowed "microbial supremacist," and as such, a kindred soul to our Awareables flock. 

Some years ago, using IA scarves, Mark's mom, Wanda, fashioned three very special vests, elevating Mark to the very cutting edge of sartorial microbia. Rarely have E. coli, anthrax and various foodborne felons been so creatively collected and couture-ized. 

Mark has remained in touch with us over the years, and we were sad to hear of Mom's passing this past October, after a courageous 14-year struggle against ovarian cancer. To learn more about Dr. Martin, Mom's skills and the "thing" he has for microbes, check out his blog at:

Meanwhile, here are the colorful and macroscopic results of Wanda Martin's loving efforts - gifts to a son, and surely Thanksgiving remembrances of special kind.

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A Happy Thanksgiving to one and all from the IA team.

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A moldy Stradivarius? Not exactly...but a Swiss researcher has found that applying a couple of fungi (names too long and obscure to repeat) to the wood used in constructing a modern violin caused the newly minted instrument to sound as rich in tone as the classic Stradivarius. So it was judged in a blind competition by a knowledgeable music audience, and now, lo and behold, the researcher is working on 30 more fungally crafted violins. The ghosts of Guarneri and Stradivarius are not happy about this...

Just in time for your holiday shopping - The Microbial Mall: Here are results of a recent expert environmental panel that ranked the major sources of unwanted "gifts" hanging out at your local shopping temple...along with fixes and preventive tips. Valley girls beware! We're for leaving the paranoia at home, but a little caution and some common sense never hurt.

Culprits and corrections:
-Restroom sink handles, soap dispensers. (Use paper towels for handling.)
-Food court tables. (Wipe down with hard surface disinfecting wipes.)
-Escalator hand rails. (A squirt of hand disinfectant for sure!)
-ATM keypads - "Enter" button is the worst offender. ( "Knuckle 'em" and squirt.)
-Toy Stores. (Unless sealed, wipe down with soap and water or wipes).
-Fitting rooms - try-on clothes. Skin cells, anyone? (Cover sensitive body parts. Bandage cuts. Be sure to wash items before wearing.) 
-Gadget Shops. (Wipe down those not-that-smart phones.)
-Makeup samples, testers. (Use only single use samples. Or use back of hand, wipe down.)

Investigative Panel included: Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center; Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of environmental microbiology, U. of Arizona; Elaine Larsen, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

As reported by;

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Presenting our newest design (available mid-October). The creative necktie and scarf patterns features complex INSULIN molecules accented by random - gulp - SUGAR cubes, symbolizing the balance required for the critical task of regulating carbohydrate metabolism. This new design is stunning in appearance and imminently wearable with a wide variety of your spiffiest duds.

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How does this happen? The New Year's thing, celebrations for Moms and Dads, fitting tributes to our Fallen, Veterans and Labor-folk, and now...yikes...Equinox, the fest of October is back and holiday madness looms large. Arguably the most satisfying month of the year...October gifts us time to go dormant, take a breather, smell the... leaves (?!) Apparently, roses just don't happen in autumn...but you get the idea. Fall back and take it all in! Catch our October eBorne newsletter here:

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Talk about aquatic activists! Pseudomonas, Legionella, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A, E. coli and Norovirus are all public health threats, i.e. potential water contaminants in healthcare and food service facilities, as well as community drinking water. Water-related diseases cause millions of fatalities annually, and are responsible for a great percentage of the world's illnesses. On the other hand, nasty or not, these are stylin' little swimmers make for a dramatic design on our Waterborne scarf.

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ANTIBODIES are part of the human immune system. They are composed of Y-shaped proteins used by our bodies to identify offending stimuli called antigens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, transplanted organs, etc). Antibodies attempt to neutralize intruders by locking on and binding to them - which is what this design will do to you, for sure. It's a stunner!

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Early detection of BREAST CANCER through screening – self exam, imaging and clinical exam – can result in successful survival rates exceeding 90%. While awareness is critical, continued VIGILANCE is imperative for detection prior to symptoms, when breast cancer is most easily treatable.

This design is a lively mix of awareness colors, camouflaging two subtle cell reminders that vigilance remains a key component to continued health.

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Presenting...the Human Genome. Go ahead...wear yourself out! Can't be too careful these days - you never know what could happen if you lost a couple of chromosomes. Never fear, IA to the rescue with all 24 of them. First isolated in 2003, along with the 3 billion pair DNA sequence, the IA recreation of the human genome is truly cutting-edge science on silk. And while you might bicker with the details (blue eyes, brown eyes, etc), while wearing this design, it really is "...all about you!"
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