“Solve the Outbreak”: a fun way to learn disease investigation (Game developed by CDC)

Solve OutbreakSolve the Outbreak

“New outbreaks happen every day and CDC’s disease detectives are on the front lines, working 24/7 to save lives and protect people. When a new outbreak happens, disease detectives are sent in to figure out how outbreaks are started, before they can spread.

In this interactive, engaging app, you get to decide what to do: Do you quarantine the village? Talk to the people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better your answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly you’ll save lives. You’ll start out as a Trainee and will earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.”

Fun to play and learn

Perfect for teens, young adults, and public health nerds of all ages, Solve the Outbreak is a great way to take the study of epidemiology outside the classroom.

  • Learn about diseases and outbreaks in an engaging way.
  • See how disease detectives save lives around the world.
  • Try your hand at solving an outbreak.
  • Post your scores on Facebook or Twitter and challenge your friends to do better!

Description Provided by Developer

Go to this site to play and learn:  http://www.cdc.gov/mobile/applications/sto/web-app.html (for PC)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.cdc.sto&hl=en (for android)

Have fun while learning!

Tips for spotting ‘predatory’ journals


Brief and useful predatory journals identification approaches.

Originally posted on Ottawa Citizen:

• Bad ones are often listed on Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers. Good ones are often on the Directory of Open Access Journals. Both are online, but neither is definitive.

• Look at their websites. The predators use poor English and have shadowy contact information — often just a gmail account in a generic name like “editor@.” The editor-in-chief’s name is misspelled.

• Archives are brief. These journals come and go — bad news for a researcher who hopes to leave a paper online permanently.

• The website has prominent instructions about how to send money to a bank in India, China or Nigeria.

• You submit an article and it passes peer review in a day. The website then falsifies the submission date to hide this.

• Authors must do their own layout.

• A journal lists an office in Canada and you ask to come in and meet…

View original 9 more words

World’s Most Portable Molecular Diagnostics System Unveiled

Cepheid’s GeneXpert OmniGeneXpert® Omni, the world’s most portable molecular diagnostics system enabling unprecedented access to accurate, fast and potentially life-saving diagnosis for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola in even the most remote areas of the world.

“For too long, access to best-in-class molecular diagnostics has been limited by the complexity of the tests and the systems that run them,” said John Bishop, Cepheid’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  “With the GeneXpert Omni, global accessibility to molecular diagnostics is possible for the first time.  The system’s unprecedented portability means that it can literally go anywhere, and deliver critical diagnostic test results to support disease determination, treatment, and improved patient outcomes.”

Read more: World’s Most Portable Molecular Diagnostics System Unveiled

The Pros and Cons of Powerpoint: “The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life Sciences”

PPTThere was much excitation that arose with the advent of digital presentation started to replace the ‘chalk and board’/ “chalk and talk”. In fact, the “chalk and talk” is still around and being used as method of preference by many educators in some countries. However, with the excitation and the simplicity of its use, PowerPoint has also brought unintended consequences that contribute to the ineffective teaching and learning process. Over the past few years, much criticism and concerns have been raised about the problems with the use of PowerPoint and how it compromised the teaching and learning processes and business communications.

The problem with PowerPoint

Continue reading

Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

SoTL_Blog Pics_I’m interested in learning that’s motivated by reverence for life, that’s motivated by a desire to learn skills, to learn new things that help us to better contribute to our own well-being and the well-being of others. And what fills me with great sadness is any learning that I see motivated by coercion.” – Marshall Rosenber

I was nudged to write this article shortly after I completed a two day very exciting and enlightening training workshop on Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (SoTL). I did not know much about it and I was even reluctant to attend the workshop thinking that I may get nothing new about teaching and learning.

Continue reading

Evidence of Paper Mills Seeking to Collaborate with Legitimate Journals?

Originally posted on Scholarly Open Access:

International Bauhaus Science Press A front for a paper mill?

Paper mills are companies that write scholarly articles and then sell the authorship to researchers needing extra publications. They then arrange to have the articles published in prestigious journals. I have evidence that a possible paper mill is looking for journals in North America that will collaborate with it and publish its brokered articles in exchange for money.

View original 370 more words

A whitepaper, Oil-Encapsulated Nanodroplet Array for Bio-molecular Detection: Has the time come for PCR to be ‘obsolete’ ?



Cellgen Diagnostics  has recently announced a free whitepaper on a molecular diagnostics platform that can rapidly detect genetic material to identify various illnesses and diseases in humans. It  was also  said to provide absolute quantification for the purpose of gene expression analysis for research and discovery.

The technology does not require the thermal cycling component, costly enzymes, or sequence specific labeling procedure like PCR/Amplification technologies, and presents as an innovative solution to provide near real time, quantitative results in a number of markets. These include disease diagnosis, veterinary diagnostics, companion diagnostics, food and safety testing, agriculture improvements, environmental testing, GMO testing and biological research testing.

Designed as an open platform able to detect any and all nucleic acid signatures, this detection platform was reported to be able to  offer one of the fastest and most sensitive methods available, detecting concentrations as low 10fM. This level of sensitivity  was said to enable the detection of nucleic acids in less than 30 minutes.

Will this be the death of qPCR as claimed?

Continue reading

Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers as described by Jeffrey Beall

Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers  as described by Jeffrey Beall. Read the criteria here or Criteria (from http://scholarlyoa.com/2012/11/30/criteria-for-determining-predatory-open-access-publishers-2nd-edition/).

Open-acces publication and Beall’s list of predatory publishers

There are much more positive sides to the emergence and popularity of open-access publications in the scientific community.  Some of the advantages of open-access publication are: faster review and publication, easy and free dissemination of  research findings, perhaps better citation (as the papers can easily and freely accessed by other researchers) and alternative avenue for budding researches to get foothold in the scientific community.

Continue reading

Powerful Time Management App

Time RescueWith the ever increasing offline and online destructions, effective time management and utilization has never been more challenging. There is too much to read, know, do and enjoy.  Everyday, each of us are faced by bunches of  seemingly important, but destructive information and activities. One of such sources of distraction is social network sites. We get into Facebook to see updates from our friends, family or whoever it might be,  but before we know it, several minutes and even hours have gone without doing anything meaningful or productive. We get disappointed, feel guilty and overwhelmed that other things which were supposed to be our priorities are waiting for us.

Continue reading