HBO’s The Last of Us has successfully brought fungal pathogens to the forefront of the pandemic discourse, raising questions as to whether a fungus could really pose a significant threat to humans. While scientists agree that the fungus featured in the show, cordyceps, won’t be making the required inter-species jump any time soon, there is a fungal pathogen that has been taking root in hospitals across the U.S. which gives some cause for concern: Candida auris.Continue reading “Confronting an Emerging Pathogen: Candida auris”
A Cup of Coffee, Hold the Rust
While at my desk early in the day last week, one headline struck me as particularly troubling: “Coffee Rust Regains Foothold”.
Reports from the Institute of Coffee of Costa Rica estimate that the latest coffee outbreak may cut by 50% the 2013-14 coffee harvest in that country. Coffee specialists in the U.S. are calling it the worst outbreak of rust in Mexico and Central America since rust arrived in the region, 40-some years ago.
And in Kenya, Africa, coffee rust has been described as causing ever-greater problems, even with Kenyan coffee varieties resistant to rust being grown.
Several Central American governments are enacting special legislation to fund projects against spread of the fungus.
It’s early February and in this little corner of the world, times seem tough. We are suddenly (although typically, for southern Wisconsin, USA) getting regular snowfalls: 3” this day, 6” a day later. It adds up to a lot of shoveling. There is nothing like a fresh snowfall and 30 minutes of shoveling to slow the morning commute. Continue reading “A Cup of Coffee, Hold the Rust”