1147: "Evolving"

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RogueCynic
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby RogueCynic » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:15 pm UTC

I'm recovering from pneumonia. Two months, two trips to the hospital and plenty of antibiotics later, my temperature is rising and I suspect I'll be spending Christmas in the hospital. Perhaps the virus I caught is evolving?
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Infectious diseases, gotta catch me all!
I love you.

Icalasari wrote:...Has to be poking fun at how overused antibiotics are

More of a misuse of antibiotics. Drug resistant TB has to do with people not following through with antibiotic regimens more than it has to do with people treating TB. But I agree that too many people take them, ever other day I have a friend online say "sick, going to the doctor tomorrow"; It's a 99.9% chance of being a cold, tough it out you baby.

JoeyJo0 wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Flucloxacillin I CHOOSE YOU!


I've had that stuff before.

I'd prefer to call it 'diarrhea liquid'.

Would you like to give your new medicine a nickname?

RogueCynic wrote:I'm recovering from pneumonia. Two months, two trips to the hospital and plenty of antibiotics later, my temperature is rising and I suspect I'll be spending Christmas in the hospital. Perhaps the virus I caught is evolving?
No, it's just got a high level or is a type strong against you.
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby w.h. rad » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

Just piping in as someone who recently went back to take a look at the original Pokémon games, but also knows enough about biology to find the comic hilarious.

YttriumOx wrote:A large proportion of an entire generation or two think "oh, evolution is something that happens in an individual, in direct response to an environmental stimulus".
I think Pokemon is at least slightly to blame for this.
To those with similar concerns, Bulbapedia has a link in the "evolution" article which goes directly to Wikipedia's "metamorphosis" article; people can tell video games from reality. Similarly, I haven't been able to find any evidence that anyone under the age of 30 in Japan or the USA who was affluent enough to own a handheld video game console is also more likely to be running/participating in a dog-fighting ring.

However, in the case of those who are not as biologically literate, you have to admit that some of the mechanisms of evolution have not been greatly understood or taught to the general public. It wasn't until I had heard about Dr. Susan Lindquist's work with heat shock protein 90 that I felt I had some understanding of how the stress experienced in one generation could express a new trait.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby TimXCampbell » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:52 pm UTC


Holy cats! That's amazing! Wow!

Now I'm starting to think that the radiation-powered beings in the Fallout series of video games aren't completely absurd. They're anthropomorphic, not unicellular, so that makes it more difficult. But before reading that Wikipedia link I thought that, yeah, some extremophiles are resistant to radiation, but surely none of them use the radiation.

Wow, talk about inhabiting a niche safe from predators! Until, of course, evolution starts creating alternative versions of those same bugs, whereupon they'll erupt from Chernoybl and come after us. Can I call dibs on the B movie rights for this?

CorruptUser wrote:Infectious diseases, gotta catch me all!

Ha! The current cartoon is really bringing out some funny Pokémon quips!

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby samwyse » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:48 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
screen317 wrote:
In fairness, I hadn't been diagnosed yet. But in retrospect, the symptoms were classic diabetes. The doctor assumed it was some kind of infection -> give the man some antibiotics!

I ended up getting much much worse, as you can imagine.
Who is this idiot doctor?

Some random university doctor whose name I did not care to memorise. I had actually visited that clinic a week earlier with the same symptoms, and was told by another doctor that it was just exam stress and I should just walk it off.

I have Bupa medical insurance these days. I'm done trusting the NHS.


Speaking of medical horror stories... I had a bone spur removed from my right big toe. Three weeks later, I had the stitches remove, and three weeks after that I had a follow-up. The surgeon noted reddened skin and a slight warmness to the touch and decided that I was coming down with -- wait for it -- gout. According to Wikipedia, the most consistent symptom of gout is extreme sensitivity to touch; even breathing on the site will cause excruciating pain. Needless to say, I was completely pain-free.

So I called my regular doctor and he could see me that afternoon. By the time I get to his office, I'm running a slight fever. An hour later, I'm at the emergency room, getting (in order) a nasal swab, X-rays, IV antibiotics, and an MRI scan. Twenty-eight hours later (at 9pm), a different surgeon reopens the incision, cleans out all the infected tissue and takes lots of bone biopsies, which get sent to an infectious disease specialist.

It turns out that, yes, it was MRSA. I was in the hospital for six days, and before I left, I got a PICC line for another five weeks of self-administered Teflaro. This is because your toes have extremely poor circulation, so apparently you've got to really pile on the antibiotics to be sure you've killed everything. The PICC line came out this last Monday, and now I'm taking an oral antibiotic for another 60 days, just to be sure.

FYI, the first Wikipedia article referenced above reflected my experiences. The PICC was inserted in an X-ray room, with an ultrasound to find the vein and a fluoroscope watching the actual insertion. I had a Statlock, which is the jet-plane shaped thing in the photograph, taped to my arm to hold the line in place. Removal was fairly anti-climatic; a nurse came twice a week to day blood samples, and at the end she just untaped everything and pulled the tube out in one smooth motion. It was just like when you're done donating blood, except my tube was 48 cm long, and she checked to make sure the entire length was retrieved. ("Don't worry, they hardly ever break.")

So, yeah, I found this comic very interesting.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby RogueCynic » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

So I'm not the only only member here with experience using a PICC line. I feel better. I think the worst part of my hospitalization was my first visit. I did not respond to the medication as expected, so they moved me to a "reverse pressure room" and kept asking questions about my drinking (not since 1988), drug abuse (~1988)and sex life (1984). After almost two weeks things got better so they sent me home. Two weeks at home and the fever, nausea and diarrhea returned so I went back to the hospital for two more thoracenteses and a change of antibiotics. The last three days my temp has been 100 f or close. I'm not looking forward to January. they found blood in my stool the last time I was in the hospital. The hospital staff said it was probably hemorrhoids but my primary doctor wants to do a colonoscopy. Fucking Mayans and thier faulty predictions.
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby bmonk » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:20 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:When a Pokémon ("Pocket Monster") has won a certain number of battles (with a certain total amount of difficulty), it “levels up” in a special way. This is indicated by a distinctive tune accompanied by an animation. The game says that your Pokémon is evolving. As others have noted, that's not evolution, that's metamorphosis. This is why Pokémon is not taught in college.

You hope it is not. I suspect that, somewhere, Pokémon is being taught in college. For credit.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Joe O » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:27 pm UTC

Good fun. I have a PICC line right now and I'm taking Cephtriaxone daily.

At some point several weeks ago I brushed my teeth. Streptococcus mitis (a bacteria common in human mouths) entered my bloodstream (this is thought to happen to people once a week on average). Because my pulmonic valve used to reside inside some cow's neck, it is susceptible to infection. I felt sick for a week and then I spent most of 5 days in the hospital. The antibiotics have taken care of the immediate symptoms, but it's not known if the bacteria has infected my valve in a place where the blood-borne antibiotics cannot reach. If that is the case, the infection will resume upon the termination of my antibiotic course and I will go in for open heart surgery #2.

The strep is a really weak strain at least, and is not even immune to penicillin. So for the next month I'm hoping it just dies.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:33 pm UTC

Nevermind diseases. The day somebody evolves Missing No., we are all screwed.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby BlitzGirl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:15 am UTC

mr-mitch wrote:
musashi1600 wrote:
slimjim8094 wrote:Should have held 'B'


Should've used a species that needs an evolution stone or a trade to evolve; no need to press B there.


You just need to let it hold an everstone.


But then it can't hold anything useful. Stupid Pokemon, only capable of holding one item at a time.
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby hwillis19 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:55 am UTC

YttriumOx wrote:I still can't help but twitch a bit at the implication than an individual SA bacterium is evolving in to MRSA; where of course the reality is that it was always that way as long as it's been a bacterium (it just happens that all of the non resistant bacteria die and so don't multiply and we only end up with copies of this and other resistant ones).

Not necessarily so, good Sir.

The vast majority of beta-lactamases, for example, are plasmid-encoded. Plasmids are mobile genetic elements, meaning that bacteria "born" susceptible to penicillins can acquire the resistance trait from contact with a resistant bacterium.

The mecA virulence cassette responsible for methicillin resistance in MRSA is also mobile, so resistance gets spread within colonies by horizontal transfer between bacteria.

Indeed, the "trading" of virulence factors is much more effective at increasing resistance gene prevalence in bacterial populations than the simple mutate-select-proliferate model.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby TravDogg » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:49 am UTC

hwillis19 wrote:
YttriumOx wrote:I still can't help but twitch a bit at the implication than an individual SA bacterium is evolving in to MRSA; where of course the reality is that it was always that way as long as it's been a bacterium (it just happens that all of the non resistant bacteria die and so don't multiply and we only end up with copies of this and other resistant ones).

Not necessarily so, good Sir.

The vast majority of beta-lactamases, for example, are plasmid-encoded. Plasmids are mobile genetic elements, meaning that bacteria "born" susceptible to penicillins can acquire the resistance trait from contact with a resistant bacterium.

The mecA virulence cassette responsible for methicillin resistance in MRSA is also mobile, so resistance gets spread within colonies by horizontal transfer between bacteria.

Indeed, the "trading" of virulence factors is much more effective at increasing resistance gene prevalence in bacterial populations than the simple mutate-select-proliferate model.


Very cool. I didn't realize genes could be transferred by contact. Now I can come closer to pretending that injecting yourself with plasmids to gain superpowers like in Bioshock really is possible!

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Rotherian » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:17 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:I think you need to write "F#@^%-ing Pokemons: how do they work?"



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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby addams » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:36 am UTC

On a more serious note.
Have you ever seen MRSA?
I have. It is an ugly sore.
(Pretty bug. Ugly sore.)
Both the good and bad news is victums say it does not hurt much.

That is good news, because it looks like it should hurt.
Bad news, because victums will avoid seeking medical care.
I have seen a lovely young woman self treating MRSA with home remidies.

Note to all. That stuff is catchy. Wash your hands.
MRSA can and does 'flash' through communities.

Yes. Treatment takes time. Full recovery is long after the bothersome sx. go away. That's how we got this thing.
Take ALL of your antibiotics!
The people I have seen with it have all been young, heathy adult. Two little children. They caught it from the adults.
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MathUhhhSaurus
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:22 am UTC

Should have pressed "B"

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby mountainpenguin » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:48 pm UTC

TravDogg wrote:...

Very cool. I didn't realize genes could be transferred by contact. Now I can come closer to pretending that injecting yourself with plasmids to gain superpowers like in Bioshock really is possible!


Injecting yourself could work, as long as you electrocute yourself afterwards :)
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby GodShapedBullet » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:43 pm UTC


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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Klear » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

What's that about the B button?

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby hwillis19 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:27 pm UTC

Klear wrote:What's that about the B button?

Pokémon in-joke: the B button inhibits a Pokémon's evolution. Certain moves/abilities can only be acquired by lesser-evolved Pokémon and not by their more advanced counterparts, so this can sometimes be advantageous.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby humanalien » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:24 am UTC

http://cowbirdsinlove.com/518 Cowbirds in Love did this joke ages ago.
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I discovered a distance between two points that's shorter than a straight line! It's called a straight line segment.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby webgiant » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:31 am UTC

chalkie wrote:Isn't the observation here that we grossly overuse antibiotics? Particularly in the American (and probably elsewhere) livestock industry where they are routinely used as a growth promoter. I wonder how that works - Maybe if the animal stays healthy most of the time it keeps eating and getting fatter?

Actually its more along the lines of healthy animals gain weight and do not infect other animals, like the Red Queen in "Through The Looking Glass": the constant dosing of antibiotics is like running really hard to remain in the same place. The growth promotion part doesn't make the animal bigger than it would have been otherwise, it just permits the animal to grow to its normal size despite the cramped living conditions.

Crowded living conditions breed disease. Its why we try to avoid this in humans. That and no one eats humans yet.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:02 am UTC

YttriumOx wrote:And even though this comic is funny (or at least I find it so), I still can't help but twitch a bit at the implication than an individual SA bacterium is evolving in to MRSA; where of course the reality is that it was always that way as long as it's been a bacterium (it just happens that all of the non resistant bacteria die and so don't multiply and we only end up with copies of this and other resistant ones).


What? You don't believe in mutation?

Or are you saying that mutation only happens during cell division?

I don't get what you're saying here.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:What? You don't believe in mutation?

Or are you saying that mutation only happens during cell division?

I don't get what you're saying here.


He might be saying that evolution is the result of variation across a population producing different levels of ability to survive and pass on those variations - that it's something that happens to populations, not to individuals...

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Garnasha » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Or are you saying that mutation only happens during cell division?
To be fair, that is roughly how it works in multicellular organisms, and to a far lesser extent in unicellular ones: while all living cells can gain mutations at any time, cell divisions involves copying the entire genome, which means copying errors (although those are rare, in the order of once every 1000 to 10000 divisions in E. Coli). If I had to make an educated guess about the contribution of various sources of damage, I'd say division is, in unicellular organisms, just another source of damage/mutations, although not an insignificant one. Damage in general is fairly rare. To be more precise requires doing some research which I don't have time for right now, but might tomorrow.

In multicellular organisms, it's a different story. Sure, you get the same error rates from most sources and probably a better copying fidelity, driving the relative contribution of division down. But you don't generally notice those errors, because they're in somatic cells, which might never read the damaged DNA. Generally, there's two common occurrences where a mutation matters: One is when it affects a germline cell, which leads to it being passed on to a sperm or egg cell, and if it's really lucky, to a fertilised egg, which leads to a child with the mutation (and disabled if something important mutated), or a spontaneous abortion (or the pregnancy aborts for other reasons). The chance of this happening might also be increased per division compared to somatic (non-germline) division, since I think I recall reading about the DNA polymerase used in the production of gametes being a non-standard flavour, and less precise than most. The other common way to see the effects of mutation in humans is cancer.

So, multicellular organisms effectively only mutate between generations. Since that case is often taught in biology classes, with the "populations, not individuals, evolve" message being hammered home repeatedly, you can't really fault someone for generalizing to the unicellular case and getting it wrong. The only reason the list of things that are oversimplified in high school isn't infinite is because the list of things taught in high school in the first place isn't.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

Misrepair of damage doesn't have to have anything to do with cell division although very often it does.

Each variety of variability doesn't come down to us from the distant past, lots of mutations happen this generation, in individual bacteria.
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Garnasha » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:06 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Misrepair of damage doesn't have to have anything to do with cell division although very often it does.

Each variety of variability doesn't come down to us from the distant past, lots of mutations happen this generation, in individual bacteria.
The very short version of my first paragraph, about unicellular lifeforms.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:03 am UTC

Garnasha wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Misrepair of damage doesn't have to have anything to do with cell division although very often it does.

Each variety of variability doesn't come down to us from the distant past, lots of mutations happen this generation, in individual bacteria.
The very short version of my first paragraph, about unicellular lifeforms.


Yes, thank you.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby MarylandTom » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:43 am UTC

samwyse wrote:FYI, the first Wikipedia article referenced above reflected my experiences. The PICC was inserted in an X-ray room, with an ultrasound to find the vein and a fluoroscope watching the actual insertion. I had a Statlock, which is the jet-plane shaped thing in the photograph, taped to my arm to hold the line in place. Removal was fairly anti-climatic; a nurse came twice a week to day blood samples, and at the end she just untaped everything and pulled the tube out in one smooth motion. It was just like when you're done donating blood, except my tube was 48 cm long, and she checked to make sure the entire length was retrieved. ("Don't worry, they hardly ever break.")

Thanks--that's very helpful! I got a PICC line from a MRSA infection behind of my eye just before Thanksgiving, and the line comes out tomorrow, at home. I'm glad to hear it's not so rough. Watching the PICC installation was almost as interesting as my catheter angiogram (my heart was totally fine)--it's amazing to watch your own heart beating up on a screen while they release contrast dye, and you can feel the synchronized beats inside your chest.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 am UTC

chalkie wrote:Isn't the observation here that we grossly overuse antibiotics? Particularly in the American (and probably elsewhere) livestock industry where they are routinely used as a growth promoter. I wonder how that works -


The usual claim is that the animals don't get sick as much. This is possible.

Here's another -- Typically antibiotic-resistant bacteria make specific enzymes that degrade particular antibiotics. When the antibiotic concentration is high, that can easily result in 3% of the bacterial protein being anti-antibiotic enzymes. Sometimes they sit in the cell membrane, where they crowd other membrane proteins.

Isn't it plausible this would result in more than a 3% slowdown in growth for those bacteria? When they grow slower, the animals have more chance to get nutrients before the bacteria get them. Also, whichever bacteria die early enough will themselves provide protein etc to the animal.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Ifritho » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

Am I the only one reading AUREUS as ARCEUS?
Like WTF, how can a GOD evolve?

Pokemon related comic and just below 70 replies, the trainers are a diyng breed I tell you.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Hairy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

If anybody's still interested in a biologist vs. physicist bunfight, may I recommend you have a listen to the Infinite Monkey Cage episode on "brain science". (It won't let me post urls, so google it.) You can hear, at one point (about 24:30) Brian Butterworth (Prof. of cognitive neuropsychology at UCL) gets stuck in to Brian Cox (well known astronomer). You'll also learn about rats laughing.

I don't know if this will be available outside of UK as it's BBC. I don't know how that works.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby addams » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc

That may be the link. What fun!
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Hairy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:24 pm UTC

That's exactly what I was looking for. Cheers, nice one!

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby QuantaCat » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

Why that particular bacteria? Is it that common?

Im asking because my leg got infected with it when I broke it many years ago, and Ill never get rid of it. Thanks, doctor! (it ended up infecting the bone marrow)
Not that Ive had a hard life due to it, not at all, but if my immune system is weakened, itll be back.

Just found it really weird to find it in an XKCD comic.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby addams » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:09 am UTC

QuantaCat wrote:Why that particular bacteria? Is it that common?

Im asking because my leg got infected with it when I broke it many years ago, and Ill never get rid of it. Thanks, doctor! (it ended up infecting the bone marrow)
Not that Ive had a hard life due to it, not at all, but if my immune system is weakened, itll be back.

Just found it really weird to find it in an XKCD comic.

Yes. The Mother bug is very common. On all human skin, from what I understand.
M.R.S.A. is a daughter strain gone bad.

Common? Sometimes. People touching people. Can't stop it. Wouldn't want to. People are dangerous. It is possible to catch any number of things from them.. The little ones are germ factories...
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby QuantaCat » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:10 am UTC

addams wrote:Common? Sometimes. People touching people. Can't stop it. Wouldn't want to. People are dangerous. It is possible to catch any number of things from them.. The little ones are germ factories...


More like touching the inside of my leg.

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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Rotherian » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:27 am UTC

addams wrote:
QuantaCat wrote:Why that particular bacteria? Is it that common?

Im asking because my leg got infected with it when I broke it many years ago, and Ill never get rid of it. Thanks, doctor! (it ended up infecting the bone marrow)
Not that Ive had a hard life due to it, not at all, but if my immune system is weakened, itll be back.

Just found it really weird to find it in an XKCD comic.

Yes. The Mother bug is very common. On all human skin, from what I understand.
M.R.S.A. is a daughter strain gone bad.

Common? Sometimes. People touching people. Can't stop it. Wouldn't want to. People are dangerous. It is possible to catch any number of things from them.. The little ones are germ factories...


Is it a bad thing that I initially read that as Mrs. A. ?

I blame my time in the Army, where a M.R.E. (Meal, Ready to Eat) was better known as a Mr. E. (Mystery).
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Please do not argue with me unless your opinion falls into the latter category.
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addams
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby addams » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:37 am UTC

Both the finest food and the deepest mysteries are better when shared.
That goes for mysterious food, too.
I'll eat it. After you.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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XTCamus
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby XTCamus » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:05 am UTC

M.R.E. as Mr. E/Mystery is new to me. When I was there it was the wonderful mental image of Meals Refusing to Exit.

Rotherian
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Re: 1147: "Evolving"

Postby Rotherian » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:17 am UTC

XTCamus wrote:M.R.E. as Mr. E/Mystery is new to me. When I was there it was the wonderful mental image of Meals Refusing to Exit.



Well, to be fair, some did refer to the older ones (the dark brown package, as opposed to the newer tan package) as Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. (Although, if you haven't eaten for three days, even the Ham and Chicken Loaf started sounding appetizing. So I doubt that nickname had any basis in fact.)
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Please do not argue with me unless your opinion falls into the latter category.
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