The Turbid Plaque

Life is complicated

It's time once again for a weekly aliquot of The Filtrate. Like a real vacuum filtration apparatus, we keep working when everything else sucks.

For years, researchers have been warning that some of the compounds used in food processing might not be good for us. The data have now persuaded the Amer...

Welcome to the second issue of The Filtrate, motto: "All the news that fits through a 0.2µm RSS feed."

This paper describes a new animal model for studying one of the most annoying aspects of dengue fever virus: post-vaccination infection enhancement, in which prior immunity to one strain of the...

"Gee, I should blog about that," says Alan a few times a day. Then the link goes into an immense pile of similar bookmarks, never to be seen on these pages. Let's try something different: a list of papers I've found interesting in the past week, with brief comments about each.

What if we could use...

In the November 1943 issue of the journal Genetics, Salvador Luria and Max Delbrück settled a long-running but arcane debate among bacteriologists. The original paper is freely downloadable, and is an amazing document to read today.

There's a delightful innocence in the simplicity of the exper...

Most people have by now seen the news about a mysterious "polio-like" illness paralyzing children across the US. To date, the CDC has confirmed 62 cases of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), in 22 states since August. Another 65 people are suspected to have it, but haven't had the...

Just in time for cocktail hour last Friday, the World Health Organization released a mammoth report on the health impacts of drinking. While reinforcing public health experts' image as Debbie Downers, the report lays out a compelling case for teetotaling. For those whose eyes have trouble focusi...