5 Reasons Why You Really Should Wear Gardening Gloves

Gardening is a great way to relax, be one with nature and get your hands dirty. But lurking in that pleasant environment are some nasty bacteria and fungi, with the potential to cause you serious harm. So we need to be vigilant with gardening gloves and other protective wear.
Soils contain all sorts of bacteria and fungi, most of which are beneficial and do helpful things like breaking down organic matter. But just as there are pathogenic bacteria that live on your body amid the useful ones, some microorganisms in soil can cause serious damage when given the opportunity to enter the body. This commonly happens through cuts, scrapes or splinters.
Plants, animal manure, and compost are also sources of bacteria and fungi that can cause infections.

1. Tetanus

Traditionally, the most common and well-known infection is tetanus, caused by Clostridium tetani, which lives in soil and manure. Infections occur through contamination of cuts and scrapes caused by things in contact with the soil, such as garden tools or rose thorns.
Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against tetanus, which means even if you are infected, your body is able to fight back against the bacteria to prevent it becoming serious. Symptoms include weakness, stiffness and cramps, with the toxins released leading to muscular paralysis and difficulty chewing and swallowing – hence the common term for tetanus of lockjaw.

2. Sepsis

Bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and Listeria monocytogenes are often present in gardens as a result of using cow, horse, chicken or other animal manure. Bacterial infections can lead to sepsis, where the bacteria enter the blood and rapidly grow, causing the body to respond with an inflammatory response that causes septic shock, organ failure, and, if not treated quickly enough, death.
A high-profile case recently occurred in England, where a 43-year-old solicitor and mother of two died five days after scratching her hand while gardening. This hits close to home, as a number of years ago my mother spent ten days in intensive care recovering from severe sepsis, believed to be caused by a splinter from the garden.

3. Legionellosis

Standing pools of water may hold Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease, more commonly known to be associated with outbreaks from contaminated air conditioning systems in buildings.
Related bacteria, Legionella longbeachae, are found in soil and compost. In 2016 there were 29 confirmed cases of legionellosis in New Zealand, including a Wellington man who picked up the bug from handling potting mix.
Another ten cases were reported in Wellington in 2017, again associated with potting soil. In New Zealand and Australia, Legionella longbeachae from potting mix accounts for approximately half of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease. There were around 400 total cases of Legionellosis in Australia in 2014.
The bacteria is usually inhaled, so wearing a dust mask when handling potting soil and dampening the soil to prevent dust are recommended.

4. Melioidosis

An additional concern for residents of northern Australia is an infection called melioidosis. These bacteria (Burkholderia pseudomallei) live in the soil but end up on the surface and in puddles after rain, entering the body through cuts or grazes, and sometimes through inhalation or drinking groundwater.
Infection causes a range of symptoms, such as cough and difficulty breathing, fever or sporadic fever, confusion, headache, and weight loss, with up to 21 days before these develop.
In 2012, there were over 50 cases in the Northern Territory leading to three deaths, with another case receiving publicity in 2015. Preventative measures include wearing waterproof boots when walking in mud or puddles, gloves when handling muddy items, and, if you have a weakened immune system, avoiding being outdoors during heavy rain.

5. Rose gardener’s disease

A relatively rare infection is sporotrichosis, “rose gardener’s disease”, caused by a fungus (Sporothrix) that lives in soil and plant matter such as rose bushes and hay. Again, infections through skin cuts are most common, but inhalation can also occur.Skin infection leads to a small bump up to 12 weeks later, which grows bigger and may develop into an open sore. An outbreak of ten cases was reported in the Northern Territory in 2014.
Aspergillus, usually Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans are other fungi that can cause lung infections when inhaled, usually in people with weakened immune systems. Gardening activities such as turning over moist compost can release spores into the air.
Of course, there are plenty of other dangers in the garden that shouldn’t be ignored, ranging from poisonous spiders, snakes and stinging insects, to hazardous pesticides and fungicides, poisonous plants, and physical injuries from strains, over-exertion, sunburn, allergies, or sharp gardening tools.

So enjoy your time in the garden, but wear gloves and shoes, and a dust mask if handling potting soil or compost. And be aware if you do get a cut or scrape then end up with signs of infection, don’t delay seeing your doctor, and make sure you let them know what you’ve been doing.

This article was originally Here  

Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old tale is still essential reading for scientists

Kai Kupferschmidt

In January 1818, a woman barely out of her teens unleashed a terrifying tale on the world: the story of a doctor who builds a creature from scavenged body parts, then recoils in horror, spurns it, and sees his friends and family destroyed by the monster. Two hundred years later, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is still essential reading for anyone working in science. The ill-fated creator she portrays has influenced public perception of the scientific enterprise unlike any other character, forever haunting the borderland between what science can do and what it should do.

The story has mutated and it has frequently been mangled. It has spawned countless books, plays, and movies—some pictured on these pages—and even a super- hero comic. It has inspired technophobes and scientists alike. “Franken-” has become a passe-partout prefix for anything deemed unnatural or monstrous.

Interpretations of the tale have also multiplied. A story of scientific hubris, a creator consumed by his creation, a male scientist trying to eliminate women’s role in reproduction, an attempt by Shelley to deal with the trauma of losing a baby. To the growing group of scientists pondering the ways in which science might eventually destroy humanity, it is the earliest warning of such risks.

None of this quite captures the secret of the story’s longevity. To borrow the monster’s own description of indelible knowledge, Shelley’s tale “clings to the mind … like a lichen on the rock.” In the preface to the 1831 edition, Shelley wrote: “Now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper.” It did. And it still does. 




セリアック病は小麦、ライ麦、大麦、オーツ麦などの穀物に含まれるタンパク質であるグルテンに対する免疫応答として知られている。様々な研究によると、一般的に約1.3%の人がセリアック病である。しかし、小麦を食べた際に不調を訴える人の割合は1.3%よりはるかに高い。セリアック病ではないがグルテン感受性を持つ人(NCGS; non-coeliac gluten sensitivity)の正確な割合は知られていないが、13%ほどもいる可能性があると示した研究結果がある。グルテンが犯人でなさそうだとわかったため、本当は何が原因なのかを調べる研究が増えてきた。

オーストラリアのモナシュ大学のピーター・ギブソンの研究チームはNCGSについて研究をすすめ、原因が短鎖炭水化物にあるかもしれないと発見した。短鎖炭水化物はFermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, Polyolsの頭文字をとってFODMAPとしても知られている。この短鎖炭水化物は腸で発酵しやすく、そのせいでお腹の張りや他の症状が引き起こされる。2014年のある研究では、FODMAPが少ない食事をするとこうした不快な症状が軽減されることが示された。





ギブソンはNew Scientistに「今まではセリアック病と、小麦を含む食事をやめたら症状が和らぐという事実からグルテンが犯人だと思われていたが、ついにその予想は間違いだと考えられる」と語った。






マダガスカル政府は、国の食糧生産の自給率を高め、国民の人口増加に追いつくために、SRI 農法(System of Rice Intensification, 稲集的栽培法)と呼ばれる米の生産性を高めるための新しい技術を推進しています。SRIは、フランスの宣教師であるロラニエ神父 (Henri de Laulanie: 1920 – 1995)によって1980年代初めにマダガスカルで開発されました。1990年代半ば以降、SRIは小さいなNGOであるTefy Saina (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/)によって注目され普及されてきました。SRIは最先端の難しい技術を駆使した近代的農業技術ではなく、苗の大きさや肥料や水管理といった誰にでもできる手法を組み合わせたものですが、その方法はこれまでの稲作の常識を覆すものです。SRIは収量の増大のみならず、環境を破壊しない持続的な農法として認められています。ただ、マダガスカルの多くの農家は先祖伝来の方法を変えようとせず、SRIを認めない農家多いのが現状です。SRIはまさに技術先行であり、収量増加について科学的な説明が追いかけていると言えます。現在は、SRIが非常に理にかなった手法であるとが明らかになっており、すでに世界の55カ国以上で採用され、数百万の規模米稲作農家の稲生産に貢献しています。




















青銅器時代にはよく使用されていたが今日はほとんど知られていない作物を使用して、シドニー大学の科学者たちは、小麦黒さび病菌に抵抗する小麦を作り出す道を開いてきました。「世界中の小麦作物はこのfungal diseaseに対して脆弱であり、アフリカや中東での収穫全体を荒廃させています。小麦黒さび病菌に対する抵抗力の高い小麦を作るということは農業にとって非常に重要です。」と大学の農業環境学部のHarbans Bariana教授は言う。

バリアナ教授の生徒であるSambavisam Periyannan先生は、学部の学者、CSIRO、アメリカと中国の科学者との間で、幹腐敗耐性遺伝子Sr33の分子クローニングに関する研究を行った。結果は最近Scienceジャーナルに掲載されました。研究者の最大の目標は、幹腐敗株Ug99に対する耐性を示す遺伝子の分子構造を理解することでした。世界の小麦の収穫量およそ90%はUg99に脆弱です。


CSIROの同僚たちは、最新のコムギ品種にSr33を挿入し、それを小麦黒さび病菌のテストすることによってSr33のクローニングを確認した。」とバリアナ教授は述べた。「オーストラリアは、1973年に南東オーストラリアでの伝染病の被害経験から、他の国々より小麦黒さび病菌の危険性を認識していた。これによりthe National Wheat Rust Control Programが生まれました」とBariana教授は述べています。

 オーストラリアの研究者は引き続き耐性菌の作出に取り組んでいましたが、一方でthe world wheat communityは、1999年にウガンダで非常に猛毒性をもち小麦黒さび病菌の仲間であるUg99検出を緊急の注意として促しました。



Sambavisam Periyannan先生は論文「DOI: 10.1126/science.1239028」