Mar 15, 2008

Penicillin is pretty

Sorry, not feeling too creative tonight; I've gotta lazy brain, made lazier by micro...

But! Had my last wet lab in micro today (awwww), but penicillin under a microscope is quite pretty, versus Candida (think yeast infections), which is blah. Guess that's why penicillin is the good guy. Also, from cultures last week, discovered that my throat, though covered in stuff that grows disgusting looking stuff on blood agar (though not half as disgusting as the stuff isolated from black sand beach), doesn't have anything too destructive in it, which considering that I'm a slob, is amazing.

In other micro news, Dr. Cool-Guest-Lecturer-from-Immuno is back! Bringing in the pain with a cool story about the founder of microbiology...

Apparently, the revered Dr. Koch, in an effort to demonstrate that cholera causes... well, cholera, attempted to showmanship this idea in front of his rival, whose hypothesis was that cholera came from "bad air". Dr. Koch had a jug of isolated cholera, which his rival, to prove him wrong, drank.

And didn't get cholera. Oh schnap.

This was supposed to be a demonstration of how the host's immune system always plays a role in infectious disease, and we should keep that in mind when we study it. I, naturally, took the more selfish lesson that considering I've been disgusting since infancy, I have an immune system that by now has probably made me impervious to fungi, bacteria, and bullets, and can continue eating street meat in Grenada, tacos from beaten up shacks in Ensenada, and fish cheeks in the Philippines with impunity.

Though the fact that Dr. McP from parasit got malaria not once or twice, but five times, might be sufficient to give me pause. Or not... Maybe it just means I have to be careful of mosquitoes, but not feces-infused drinking water.

Another notable microbio fact is that 80% of SGU students as of a couple years ago, show antibodies for dengue. I haven't learned yet whether this means my immune system is stronger or if it means that if I get bitten by a mosquito carrying a different strain of dengue, I'll start bleeding out of my eyes. We haven't gotten to that lecture yet.

It was also a relief not to hear about Jenner for the fifteenth time. Jenner, for those who don't know, discovered the smallpox vaccine... by injecting it and smallpox into a small child. Whatta hero. I think I like Salk and Fleming better.

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