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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. Over at In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe discusses a paper whose authors are taking a new approach to treating Lyme disease -- by looking for an antibiotic that might treat the infection more specifically while sparing the gut microbiome:
The authors conducted a screen in soil actinomycetes, which as they note are a pretty well-studied source of antibiotics -- but not so much for really selective ones, because that's not where the focus has been, historically. And they uncovered a compound that's been known since the 1950s, hygromycin A (also known as totomycin). To the best of my knowledge, it's never been developed for human use, because it was not seen to be especially potent against panels of common disease organisms. But it does hit B. burgdorferi and several other spirochetes, interestingly, while having much lower activity against common gut bacteria.
The paper goes on to suggest that the compound could also be used to tamp down the presence of the disease in the wild.

2. Twitter recently updated the behavior of its site in a most unhelpful manner: If you keep multiple tabs open in your browser, leaving Twitter's tab and then returning to it results an a very irritating page refresh -- causing you to lose your place and wiping out any Tweet you might have been composing.

Shortly after, I found a better place to compose: Twitter Character Counter. (Fellow Emacs users can find similar functionality without having to use a web browser here. (HT: Mark Gardner))

3. Speaking of useful web sites, GeekPress links to a discussion thread titled, "What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about?" As he warns, it is a rabbit hole, but I quickly found several I could use, not including the above.


4. Scrimmaging with my son's soccer team the other day reminded me that, as I approach codgerdom, I might want to look into "walking football." My brother sent me the link to the YouTube video above, which I found to be a hybrid of the somewhat Monty-Pythonesque and -- as you might expect from the cultural reference -- worth filing away for later. Skip through the first five minutes or so to see a couple of English teams playing.

-- CAV

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