parasites in water

Out of the pool! Outbreaks linked to crypto parasites on the rise

Some icky news just in time for pool season: Reports of diarrhea outbreaks linked to cryptosporidiosis parasites in pools and water parks increased at least two-fold in two years, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The parasite, called crypto for short and spread through human feces, caused at least 32 outbreaks in 24 states in 2016, compared with 16 nationwide in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Final numbers for 2016, along with 2015 numbers, will come in a later report, but “we expect them to go up,” said Michele Hlavsa, head of CDC’s healthy swimming program.

It is possible the increase is linked to better reporting, but it is also possible the problem is becoming more common, Hlavsa said.

Helping Hand

“Dean it’s not that bad!” You exclaimed looking down at your leg. The leg that was sliced by a knife during your last solo hunt, and now the leg was looking rough.

Dean scoffed as he looked at your leg from afar, “Did you even clean it?”

His tone made your squint your eyes at him, “Did I clean my leg?” Your voice laced with sarcasm, “Yes I cleaned my leg, I’ve been doing this for just as long as you Dean.”

Looking down at the oozing leg made your stomach uneasy. It should not look this bad, “Got a first aid kit I could use?”

Without saying a word, he left the room but returned shortly with a small kit. A sympathetic smile appeared briefly on his face as he knelt in front of you. Carefully taking the remaining bandage off he looked at you concerned, “I’m gunna throw up, did you clean it with parasite infected water?”

“It’d probably be easier if you cut the leg off,” You tried to lighten the situation by joking.

“Not funny, Y/N,” he grumbled while attempting to clean out the wound, “You owe me for this.” 

Sporozoites of the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum emerging from their oocyst to infect gastrointestinal epithelial cells.

Cryptosporidium, commonly known by the comic book supervillian name “Crypto,” is transmitted by ingesting water or food contaminated with Crypto oocysts. Once ingested, the oocyte ruptures, and the sporozoites contained within infect the gut of their new host, causing watery diarrhea. 

Though outbreaks occasionally occur in the developed world, few infected in those outbreaks die from Crypto. However, in the developing world, some of those infected with Crypto develop chronic disease and die, particularly small, malnourished children.

For more on Crypto and how scientists are tackling this tricky parasite, check out this article on NPR’s All Things Considered about the work being done by the Striepen lab at the University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

Image courtesy Boris Striepen and Muthgapatti Kandasamy, University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases

How to Treat Fin Rot

No pet owner ever wants to have a sick pet…

In the fall of 2012, my roommate and I had a sick betta fish on our hands. We had went away for a vacation and returned to find our boy, Ianto, in a rough state. Although it was scary, we managed to bring our boy back to his usual self with patience and care.

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to find good information about how to treat sick bettas, so I’m making it my mission to do what I can to help make it easier for other betta owners to diagnose and treat their fish. 

Because we were able to successfully treat our sick betta, here is handy information about fin rot and what you can do to hopefully make your pet healthy again as well:

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  • me: *meets a person*
  • me internally: don't tell them gross medical facts don't tell them gross medical facts don't tell them gross medical facts
  • me externally: do you know what guinea worm is?
  • me internally: shit man ya really blew it.
45 Things I Want to See More of in Stories (Post-Apocalyptic Edition)
  1. Leftover inconveniences (braces, casts, etc.)
  2. Renewable energy
  3. Creative attempts at fuel
  4. Cooperation
  5. Warlords
  6. Increased infant mortality
  7. Change in hierarchy (laborers more important than white-collar workers, etc.)
  8. New governmental structures
  9. Mercenary groups
  10. Formation of new states
  11. Formation of non-state groups
  12. Regrowth of land
  13. Lack of food security
  14. Reduction in gun usage (as ammunition runs out)
  15. Decrease in age of pregnancy and/or marriage (as life expectancy decreases)
  16. Direct effects of the apocalyptic event
  17. Increased multi-generational homes (as building houses becomes difficult again)
  18. Increased multi-family homes
  19. Attempts at sophisticated surgery with rudimentary tools
  20. Reduction in birth control
  21. General reduction in technology that requires sophisticated manufacturing
  22. Simple food
  23. Handmade clothing
  24. Clothing from animal products
  25. Houses built for natural lighting
  26. Attempted—and failed—swift adjustments to lack of technology
  27. Changes in views of morality
  28. Different types of law enforcement
  29. Changes in religion
  30. Attempted attachment to old societies
  31. Deliberate breakaways from old societies
  32. Attempts to cling on to old ideas of beauty despite changes in available beauty products
  33. Reduction in hygiene
  34. Increase in water-borne illnesses and parasites
  35. Lack of clean water
  36. Reduction in luxury goods
  37. Increase in homelessness
  38. Lack of communication capabilities
  39. Return to radio
  40. Lack of light pollution
  41. Attempted school systems
  42. Return to apprenticeship-style teaching
  43. Return to agricultural-style living
  44. Dealing with environmental fallout from apocalyptic event
  45. Dealing with environmental fallout from previous generations
Tail Biting and Fin Rot

One of the things that people consistently ask me about is how to tell the difference between tail biting and fin rot. Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to tell the difference if it’s your first time dealing with the problem – and it can be tricky to tell even when you’re experienced, too!

Since we’ve experienced both cases with late bettas, here is a basic look at tail biting and fin rot:

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Lifestraw Portable Water Filtration System 

Lifestraw Personal Water Filter is a new invention by Switzerland-based Vestergaard Frandsen Group. It’s a compact water filter, which, according to the manufacturer, eliminates at least 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites.



Price: $20

LifeStraw is the perfect accessory life-tool for on-the-go camping, hiking, adventure-seeking trip. It is an award-wining device since 2005 that removes at least 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, surpassing EPA standards for water filters. Imagine having this “Brita-like” filter pen that can be used in that little stream running by your mountain trail. Additionally, it does not use any chemicals, iodine, or chlorine to do the hob, 

The perfect emergency tool to hydrate your body in normally the harshest of environments. 


finuiwen  asked:

Could you write a drabble 19. “The paint’s supposed to go where?” and 24. “You’re the only one I trust to do this.” with Coric+Rex bromance, spiced with some rexsoka? :> Or Cody alternatively if Coric isn't familiar to you.

This sounds like a Starbucks order and I’m all about that life. This was also a harder prompt than I anticipated! I kind of failed on the bromance front, but I hope you like it regardless.

19. “The paint’s supposed to go where?”
24. “You’re the only one I trust to do this.”

There was a word for this, for the empty victory of knowing how the future unfolded, only to long for those discovered facts days, months, or years in the past. “Énouement;” it was a kind of vocabulary confined to the more privileged circles among Coruscanti elite. For as little as Captain Rex even heard the word used (for the record, once or twice by Senator Amidala), he certainly experienced it more than he cared to admit.

Today, for instance. Rex’s past self would’ve happily accepted today’s knowledge about a week ago when General Skywalker looked him in the eye and told him, “You’re the only one I trust to do this,” before handing off an upcoming mission.

It was a joint operation with Commander Cody to the moon of Sijden, coupled with the most uninformative brief Rex had ever received from a rather hassled midshipman. In retrospect, the barebones brief of the lunar environment seemed to fit their surprisingly smooth mission. Until today, when they returned to the 501st flagship. 

The rare feeling of an objective efficiently accomplished fled from Rex’s mind not two minutes into their mandatory post-mission physical in the medbay when Coric screamed, “Get off the beds! Now!” 

It was the loudest Rex heard the medic shout off a battlefield, and the most frightened he’d seen Coric look when not in immediate danger. Rex and Commander Cody, sitting on the medbed next to him, complied, jumping to their feet, mirroring Coric’s expression of fear. They stood frozen, awaiting orders, in their mismatched uniforms– painted lower plastoid armor and black bodysuit tops. 

“What? What’s wrong?” Rex’s voice sounded far from composed; keeping a level tone was impossible when the legion’s head medic barely got words past his own surprise. 

Coric zipped back into his adjoining office. Noises identical to spelunking crashed about as Coric apparently explored every drawer he owned. “You came into contact with the water?!”


Coric’s last statement not ten seconds earlier had been so nonchalant. He didn’t even ask how they felt; he just outright surmised their physicals would be simple due to no exposure to water. 

It seemed innocuous to negate. Rex just as nonchalantly admitted how he and Cody had fallen into a lake on Sijden. And that’s when Coric flipped out.

“Microscopic parasites run rampant in the water on Sijden!” Coric shouted from the next room over, his drawer-slamming matching his vehemence. 

“That was conveniently left out of our brief,” Cody intoned.

And it would’ve been great to know, in hindsight.

“Any exposure to water needs to be examined!” Coric once more bustled into the medbay wearing protective gloves up to his elbows, goggles, and a face mask. “But don’t worry, I’ve just called in the hazmat unit.”

The officers exchanged wide-eyed glances. 

“You what?!” Rex cried, but Coric was already barking orders over the protests.

“Take all your armor off! Stack it here!” The medic didn’t let the fact that he only had basic sanitation spray stop him– he practically hosed down the growing pile of discarded armor with every dispenser he could get his hands on by the time two clones in large yellow protective suits waddled into the medbay.

Specialty squads like the hazmat unit were still an enigma to Rex, and seeing them in full gear gave him pause. Cody seemed to share his hesitance as he observed the new clones with a stiffness mirroring Rex, but Coric enthusiastically waved them in and directed them to the dripping armor pile.

While one investigated the armor with a handheld scanner, the second approached the officers bearing two canisters in each hand.

“We don’t have the tech on this ship to safely scan for microscopic parasites on organics,” the clone said from behind a thin shield of transpariplast. It was just large enough to show his nondescript face inside his yellow hood. “But put this on your skin and it’ll help amplify the scanners we can use.”

The second hazmat soldier joined his brother around the armor, leaving Rex and Cody to exchange glances once more, followed by a mutual, bracing breath.

Rex opened his canister to stare at the potent green paste inside. He grabbed Coric’s arm as the medic passed, pulling him between two possibly contaminated clones. 

“The paint’s supposed to go where?”

“On everything your bodysuit’s touching.” Coric slipped straight out of Rex’s hold and sprayed his own armor with sanitizer. He continued on his way, cleaning every surface he came across.

Cody leveled a glare at the captain. “This is your fault,” he mumbled as they both pulled off their shirts.

“You would’ve told him about the lake yourself!” retorted Rex.

“And the reason we fell into the lake in the first place was your fault, too,” Cody reminded. “This is going in your next Officer’s Report.”

“The 212th doesn’t contribute to my OR.” 

“It will this time.”

Despite their griping, their clothes came off and the cold paint went on. Yes, the énouement was bitterly strong today.

Cody winced the further down he spread the paste. “Is it supposed to burn like this?”

“Burning means it’s working,” one yellow-suited clone responded. They both waved different types of scanning equipment across the armor pile. One, sleek and oblong, made frequent beeping sounds as it emitted a transparent red beam; the other, wired to an outdated box gauge hanging from one clone like a satchel, clicked sporadically. 

Coric donned a new pair of medical gloves for the third time. His cleaning rampage ended– just short of scorching the medbay with fire– in time to see Rex and Cody painted from their necks to their ankles. 

“This is the last time I’m volunteering for one of your missions,” Cody muttered, shifting from foot to foot. 

Rex stood a little more compacted than before. “This is the last time I’m accepting one of these missions.”

“Don’t worry,” the medic assured them, “green’s definitely your color.” 

The yellow-suited clones closed in on them, waving a third type of scanner, one that screeched, over the green paint. Rex couldn’t remember a time he’d felt more exposed– or a time his body burned in so many places at once. To the hazmat unit’s credit, they were very thorough. That just meant the scanning process took upwards of an hour, and for that whole time Rex and Cody stood there in coagulating green paint. 

At least it gave Coric the courage to approach them once more. 

After the hour-long scan, the hazmat clones declared the officers were safe, but temporarily confiscated all their gear. The bodysuits they intended to burn, while the armor they loaded into a cart brought by additional clones from their unit. They planned to decontaminate the pieces in their own bay where they had access to much more specialized equipment, assuring the officers their armor would be returned… soon. 

“In the meantime, a night in the medbay for observation is the best thing for you,” a hazmat clone advised before the unit exited. The only trace they were ever there was the green paint left on Rex and Cody. 

Coric rubbed his large sanitized gloves together. “Perfect timing. Kix is on duty tonight!”

Rex tried to move. Faint cracking noises sounded from the top layer of paint; everything underneath was still congealing and the texture alone convinced Rex to not move again.

“I need out of this now.”  

Coric pointed the way to the medbay ‘fresher, and unfortunately for Rex, Cody pulled rank for the privilege of using it first. 

Énouement brimming, Rex sat on the edge of a medbed covered in coagulating, cracking, flaking green paint, while Coric escaped to his office once more. The medic returned in his standard armor, all preventative accoutrements gone. 

“This physical went a little differently than I was expecting,” Rex grunted. As much as he wanted to fling all limbs wide, he suffered the repulsive squish he created by hunching over, and modestly crossed arms and legs to hide places covered in paint anyway. 

Coric gazed across the spotless medbay. “It hasn’t been clean like this in awhile, but it’s not exactly worth a parasite scare.”

Rex chuckled despite himself, and a fresh series of cracks responded. A moment later, the door opened for Ahsoka to dash in, panting from what could’ve only been a long run. She held a wad of black in her hands.

“Kid–!” Rex fought all programming that demanded he jump to attention– or just stand in acknowledgment of her presence– at that moment. He managed to curl up a little tighter on himself, cheeks suddenly ruddy. 

“Rex!” Two steps closer, Coric held out a halting hand.

“Commander, you should probably, ah, keep your distance.” He intercepted her and received her bundle– a black bodysuit. “Thanks for this, sir.” While he brought the suit back to a medbed to fold properly, Ahsoka took a faltering step, as if remembering a half a second too late she wasn’t supposed to advance.

“Rex, how are you feeling? I heard from Coric about the quarantine and I wanted to check in on you.” The sincerity in her voice hit him as hot as the ‘fresher he was missing out on. “Plus I had to bring over an extra suit.”

Rex leveled a glare on the medic. “You called the commander to have her bring a change of clothes?!”

“I did no such thing,” Coric responded, hands defensively high. “I told her the situation and she ran errands all on her own.” 

“It’s fine, Rex,” Ahsoka spoke up. “I would’ve come regardless. Had to make sure you were all right.” She was close enough to see the pity in her eyes as she looked over his green body.

Rex’s limbs crossed him a little tighter, and he tried not to cringe at that extra squish of paint. “Thanks for your concern, sir. I’m fine. I’ll feel better once I get showered and change…” If Cody ever relinquished the ‘fresher.

Ahsoka smirked. If she hadn’t picked up on his body language, his dark blush must’ve clued her in. “As you were, Captain.” She casually retreated to the door. “If you need any help, just call.”

Healing with Amethyst 

Color: Purple to lavender 

Appearance: Transparent, pointed crystals. May be geode, cluster, or single point. All sizes

Rarity: One of the most common crystals

Source: US, Britain, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, East Africa, Siberia, India

Healing: Amethyst boosts production of hormones, and tunes the endocrine system and metabolism. It strengthens the cleansing and eliminating organs and the immune system. An excellent cleanser for the blood, amethyst  relieves physical, emotional, and psychological pain or stress, and blocks geopathic stress. It eases headaches and releases tension. This stone reduces bruising, injuries and swelling, and treats hearing disorders. It heals dis-ease of the lungs and respiratory tract, skin conditions, cellular disorders, and dis-ease of the digestive tract. It is beneficial for the intestines, regulating flora, removing parasites, and encouraging reabsorption of water. Amethyst treats insomnia and brings restful sleep. 

At a subtle level, amethyst balances and connects the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, linking them to the spiritual. It cleanses the aura and transmutes negative energy, and stimulates the throat and crown chakras. It is helpful for people about to make the transition through death. Amethyst can stabilize psychiatric conditions but should not be used in cases of paranoia or schizophrenia. 

Position: Wear or place as appropriate, especially as jewelry. Cluster and geodes can be placed in  the environment and single points are used in healing. Place the point in toward you to draw in energy, and away from you to draw off energy. Amethyst is especially beneficial worn over the throat or heart. For insomnia or nightmares, place under the pillow. Amethyst fades in sunlight. 

(Source: The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall)

Wild dolphins' immune systems are failing because of ocean pollution

Waste and contamination in the oceans is piling pressure on dolphins’ immune systems, the first study comparing the immune health of wild and captive dolphins finds.

Wild dolphins are struggling with high levels of mercury and industrial pollution in the oceans off the coasts of Florida and South Carolina. The pollution is putting their immune system on constant alert, which makes it less able to fight off bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites in the water, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE.

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The industrial pollution was strongest in the oceans near Charleston, South Carolina in the US. Organic compounds released into the water accumulate in microorganisms – that are eaten by fish, which are in turn eaten by dolphins. The toxins become more concentrated in each step of the food chain because the creatures do not have a way to clear them out of their bodies.

Large amounts of mercury were found in dolphins that live in the Indian River Lagoon. This is also a troubling sign for human health in the region, as mercury can build up in the food chain in the same way.

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Previous research has shown that the Indian River Lagoon dolphins developed a fungal skin disease because of their suppressed immune systems and new viruses. Some of these are also potentially infectious to humans.

By comparison, the dolphins kept in the Georgia Aquarium had fewer diseases and their immune systems were under a lot less stress. This is because the environment at the aquarium is more tightly controlled for water quality.

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“This is likely a result of encountering pathogens, parasites and anthropogenic pollutants in the ocean that do not exist in closely managed zoological habitats,” said study author Patricia Fair of the Medical University of South Carolina.

“Microbes are part of the natural world and help to develop the immune system. The key to a healthy immune system is a balance between being able to recognise harmful organisms and overstimulation and this study demonstrates the importance of the environment in these responses.”

Gregory Bossart, also a study author and chief veterinary officer at Georgia Aquarium, added: “In humans, this type of prolonged smouldering inflammation is associated with cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, and increased vulnerability to infectious disease.”

Keeping dolphins in captivity comes with its own impact on the overall health of the mammals. Dolphins are highly intelligent and have complex social structures that can’t be maintained in small tanks. As a result, dolphins in captivity live shorter lives than those in the wild, according to the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

“As a sentinel species, dolphins are an important way to gauge the overall health of our oceans,” said Bossart.

“If wild dolphins aren’t doing well, it could also indicate future impacts to ocean health and even our own health.”

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Glass Bead And 3-D Printer Make Cheap, Powerful Microscope

by Txchnologist staff

Researchers working to transform bulky and expensive lab tools so they can be deployed far and wide cracked open their history books to put a cheap microscope in every pocket. 

Rebecca Erikson, an applied physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, takes a simple glass bead and embeds it in a housing she built on a 3-D printer that fits over a smartphone’s camera. The system, which costs less than a dollar in materials to produce, can magnify objects up to 1,000 times. She and PNNL have made the 3-D design file freely available for all to use

Erikson’s instrument slips onto a number of smartphones and tablets, and gives the power of microscopic sight to emergency responders needing to identify biological specimens in the field, teachers, students and anyone with access to a 3-D printer. 

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Why You Should Hire Me

I’ve been a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer for three months. I’ve applied to dozens of jobs, edited and re-edited my resume, and crafted far too many passionate cover letters. There are several reasons that this weighs on me, but I think the biggest frustration is that I don’t think people understand exactly what having Peace Corps experience on your resume really means. How can one even condense the experience into a concise cover letter? I have yet to receive even a single interview, but if I did, here is what I’d say…

1. Do you have enough experience? We’re looking for someone with more experience…

For the past two years, my client base was the city of over 700,000 people who wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was one of the only native English speakers in a fifty-mile radius. Once they found out that I was a writer, the work came to me. I’ve edited countless student essays, tutored adults in grammar and syntax as they prepared for various English examinations. I’ve re-branded awkward businesses and provided new English language marketing strategies while explaining why their previous business names/slogans were less than ideal. (Anyone remember “Thumb Kindergarten”?)

I’ve created advertising copy for my school, filling brochures and writing up letters to various organizations. I’ve edited signage and translated material. If the street signs have proper English translations in my city, it could be credited to me.

2. We’re looking for someone who already knows the ropes…

If there’s something I don’t already know, I’m such a fast learner. I’m incredibly independent. I was dropped off in a part of China where locals speak an almost impenetrable dialect—I figured it out, I survived. I learned to read, write and speak Chinese. I wasn’t a teacher, and then suddenly I was. Not only did I do the work, I did it successfully. When I started teaching, almost half the student body simply didn’t attend. By the time I finished, my attendance ratings were high and my students were working harder than they had in previous years. True, this is teaching experience and not quite the same as what you’re looking for. It all just seems so easy to me, though. After having been through what I’ve experienced, the idea of having to learn my way around some new software feels almost laughably easy.

3. We need someone who is flexible, and who exhibits grace under pressure.

You’re looking at the girl who sang a duet in front of hundreds of Communist Party bigwigs even though she has a deep fear of singing in front of other people. I do what needs to be done, and I do it well.

I’m the girl who got out of bed in the middle of winter to shower in an unheated house, teach in an unheated classroom—all while suffering with bouts of giardia. Do you know what giardia is? Intense stomach pain caused by a parasite found in unsafe drinking water. It’s the definition of unpleasant, and I still performed. You want to know if I’ll be there during those crappy Buffalo snow days? I’ll be there, guaranteed. I’ll do the work, I’ll move my schedule around, I’ll do it.

4. This position requires creativity and new ideas, can you bring it?

Yes, yes! I single-handedly managed to whip up new and exciting educational ideas each week for the hundreds of bored and motivationally-challenged teenage boys in my classroom. I’m able to work with a client’s specific needs, even if they don’t match my own. I can write under pressure, I can create content like nobody’s business. Each week I was creating content for various classes, clubs and community events while also maintaining my blog.

5. What’s your biggest weakness?

Maybe it’s my “lack of experience”. I never had the financial stability to hold down an internship. I was working full-time straight out of college—long hours of waitressing in order to manage my student debt. I had to save my money for two years in order to even dream of applying for the Peace Corps. I didn’t have the luxury of searching for a job in my field back when I graduated. I don’t come from a family background that provides me with many connections. I’m catching up on all of that now, and I’m eager to show you the talent that’s currently languishing. Don’t ruin a good thing. Hire me. My “lack of experience” is going to blow you away.

M.O.D.: Adventures with Honey

Got a hangover?
Eat a few tablespoons of honey. The fructose will speed up your body’s recovery.
Got a sore throat?
Honey. You can mix it into lemon juice, if you want.
Cut, scrape, or a burn?
Slap some honey on it. It’s antibacterial.
Wanna get rid of parasites?
Mix honey, vinegar and water. 

Need the perfect skin moisturizer?
Honey. Slather it all over your body. Leave it for 30 minutes.
Conditioner for damaged hair?
Add honey to your regular shampoo. Leave it in there for 20 minutes

Put honey on your skin for 30 minutes.

Bath time?
Dump a few tablespoons of honey into your bath water. Pure bliss.

Need an energy boost?
Eat honey.
Have trouble sleeping?
Get a teaspoon of honey, sprinkle some salt on it, and eat. It’ll combat stress and help you sleep!

Zombie apocalypse?
Honey will never, ever go bad. Honey in ancient Egyptian tombs is still edible. Stock up.


(Thank you, Koi for the picture of M.O.D. as ruler of all bees.)