Brain eating Amoebas- Naegleria fowleri- found in Louisiana water system

The infectious amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, has been discovered in the water supply of a parish in Louisiana that serves 12,000 people. The amoeba cannot infect humans that drink the water and can only infect humans through water contact with the nasal passage in extremely rare cases. More info from Daily Mail online.

Though no illnesses have been reported, the Naegleria fowleri amoeba has been found in the system running to Reserve, Garyville, and Mt. Airy, according to the  the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals in a statement released Wednesday.

Infections with the bug are extremely rare – perhaps 132 cases have been reported from 1962 to 2014 – but of those who’ve fallen victim only three survived.

This is Louisiana’s third water system to test positive for the amoeba. 

Previous CauseScience post: Brain eating Amoebas!!! What is it like to be infected with Naegleria fowleri?



Happy Birthday Panda Triplets!! #awww


For your daily does of cuteness, these extremely rare panda triplets (one female, two males) are celebrating their one month birthday and are in good health!

Panda’s are an endangered species that rarely give birth, and even when they do, oftentimes the babies don’t survive.  These triplets are thought to be the only surviving triplets currently alive.  Cute!

American Society for Cell Biology Awards

The ASCB COMPASS (Committee for Postdocs and Students) is offering several awards and opportunities to show off your talents!  Win up to $500 with the “Share your Science” video contest or Comic Strip Contest.

Additionally, if you have great outreach ideas, apply for up to $1,000 with the Outreach Grant.

These are great opportunities for scientists to communicate with the community, show off their creativity, and display their passion for science.  For a full list of awards, go here.

Activity of Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano continues, ice melting in volcano caldera @eruptionsblog


Check out today’s update on ERUPTIONS blog for pictures and detailed information from Erik Klemetti!

Scientists from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and University of Iceland took a number of flights over the region  to observe these features that have come to two main preliminary conclusions: (1) these depressions are likely caused by melting of the ice from below and (2) these depressions lie along the water divide Jökulsá á Fjöllum River, which flows beneath 400-600 meters of ice.

#Science Quotable: Mark Gerstein on genetic model organisms!


“One way to describe and understand the human genome is through comparative genomics and studying model organisms. The special thing about the worm and fly is that they are very distant from humans evolutionarily, so finding something conserved across all three – human, fly and worm – tells us it is a very ancient, fundamental process.” – Mark Gerstein on genetic model organisms, and the modENCODE and ENCODE projects.

Read more at:

Want to be a scientist? Here is what to expect from a scientific career. #science


The Globe and Mail has a nice piece that will answer all your questions about being a scientist, including your possible salary at the various stages of a scientific career. In addition, the article summarizes required education, job prospects, challenges, motivation, and misconceptions.

“There is no single description, but what is unifying is that a scientist is somebody who uses systematic methods and tries to advance knowledge,” says Dr. Salim Yusuf

On job prospects: 

There are entry-level jobs for new scientists, “but people shouldn’t mislead themselves into thinking this is an easy career,” Dr. Yusuf says. “Moving up is a challenge.”

On misconceptions of scientists:

Scientist aren’t the stereotypical dishevelled, socially awkward introverts hiding away in labs, surrounded by test tubes, Dr. Yusuf says. “The nutty professor image” is mostly in the movies, he says. “Most scientists are well-organized professionals that run teams.”

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