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July, 2014

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Brainteasers

Brain

Are you sure you
are up for this one?

Brainteasers

Prophylactic screening before a prostate biopsy

MacConkey

with Cipro

Over 30,000 men in the USA die each year due to prostate cancer. Diagnosis of this disease is usually accomplished by taking multiple (up to 12) core samples of the gland for microscopic examination. Because the biopsy needle is inserted into the rectum, there is the possibility of infection of the surrounding tissues from fecal bacteria.

Urologists often need to know in advance of this procedure if drug resistant bacteria, especiallyE. coli,  is present in the rectum.

Hardy’s MacConkey with Cipro Agar plate is useful in performing a pre-biopsy screen for this purpose. It allows fluoroquinolone resistant organisms to grow while sensitive organisms are inhibited.

Learn more

Viewthe Instructions For Use (IFU)

Seethe catalog listing

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Download Our
Mini Catalogs

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No matter what industry you may be in, Hardy has a mini catalog that contains the microbiology products that are needed in your lab.

  • Food and Beverage
  • Veterinary
  • Anaerobic Microbiology
  • Susceptibility Testing
  • Control Organisms
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Dehydrated Culture Media
  • And more…

View a complete listand download the PDF version.

Requestthe paper version.

Val catalog cover

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Making life easier
for the microbiologist…

Rapid Test Kits

Hardy offers hundreds of rapid methods and time saving short cuts.

Viewour on-line catalog

Requesta paper catalog

Aska question about our rapid methods.

Rapid MGP

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Clinical Microbiology
Update on Video…

Schreckenberger Seminar

Now you can watch a seminar on your computer that will bring you up to date on numerous topics in clinical microbiology. Hardy Diagnostics offers excerpts from the recent seminar that took place this year in Palm Springs, California. Paul Schreckenberger, PhD, a world renowned microbiologist, is the instructor. He is the director of Clinical Microbiology at the Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. This video and PowerPoint provides recent information to assist microbiologists in the identification and susceptibility testing of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Enterobacteriaciae
  • Non-Fermentors
  • Carbapenem Resistance
  • Urinary Tract Infection Pathogens
This course will provide almost five hours of detailed instruction. Once you are provided with the link, you can start, stop, and resume any time you like.

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Phraseology

“Running the Gauntlet”

To “run the guantlet,” literally means for a captive or new recruit to run between two rows of soldiers who take turns striking him.

Running the gauntlet in the
17th century in Gibralter

The word, gauntlet originally is derived from a Swedish word, “gatlopp,” which means “course.”

Starting in the early 17th century, Germans may have been the first to employ the gauntlet on its soldiers, but it was quickly picked up by the French, Swedish, English, Dutch, and Russian armies as well.

Not to be outdone by Europeans, in 1641 it was reported the Iroquois Indians forced Jesuit missionaries to run the gauntlet also.

Present day gauntlets are confined mainly to fraternity hazings and military initiations –  off-the-record of course.

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Control Organisms

Microorganism catalog 2

Hardy offers a complete line of microorganisms to be used for quality control purposes. These organisms, from MBL, are available in a variety of formats. They are designed for use in the food, pharmaceutical, water, and clinical industries.

Viewour catalog…

MB: catalog 2

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Think about it…

The Thinker

* When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does he wonder why you’re just sitting there staring at carpeting?

* If an orange is orange, why isn’t a lime called a green or a lemon called a yellow?

* Why does your nose run and your feet smell?

* Do hermits ever succumb to peer  pressure?

* There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot..

* I just got skylights put in my place. The people who live above me are furious.

* I was hitchhiking the other day, and a hearse stopped. I said, “No thanks-I’m not going that far.”

* Why in a country of free speech are there phone bills?

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Wisdom to ponder…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1803 ~ 1882

American essayist, lecturer, and poet

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

“The first wealth is health.”

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.”

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

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Lauren

Hardy Diagnostics…
  • Is celebrating its 34th year of serving microbiologists.
  • IsISO 13485certified for the manufacture of medical devices to give you confidence in our products.
  • Offers you detailed technical inserts, comprised of over 4,500 pages of information regarding microbiology.
  • Services over 9,000 labs and maintains a worldwide network of over 65distributors.

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Micro Musings…

Can Eggs be Stored
at Room Temp?

Americans and Europeans Disagree…

Why don’t people refrigerate eggs in Europe?

British supermarkets don’t refrigerate eggs which can be found between the canned vegetables and boxes of dry cake mix in the grocery store aisle with other traditionally nonperishable foods.

Eggs are usually not refrigerated in
European grocery stores, nor are they washed.

This is contrary to common practice in the U.S., where eggs are typically found in the refrigerated dairy aisle with the butter, cheeses, and milk. So what’s the logic behind this? Why aren’t Europeans concerned about eggs sitting in room temperatures for days on end?

It seems that different egg storage conditions come down to the different ways that eggs are farmed and processed in the U.S. compared to the U.K. and other European nations. In the U.S., the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that eggs destined to be sold on supermarket shelves – called graded eggs – are washed and sprayed with a chemical sanitizer before they are sold to the public to reduce the risk ofSalmonellainfection.

In the U.K., Grade A hen eggs may not be washed because the process is thought to “aid the transfer of harmful bacteria likeSalmonellafrom the outside to the inside of the egg,”according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. In fact,eggs from the U.S. could not be legally sold in the U.K.(and the other way around) due to these different preparation methods.

A typical large scale egg laying facility in the U.S.

That still leaves the question of why American eggs have to be washed in the first place and how this is related to refrigeration. There are two ways thatSalmonellacan infect eggs. The bacteria can be passed on from an infected hen to the inside of the egg as it’s developing, or it can get onto the outside of the shell after the egg is laid by coming into contact with the hen’s feces. In the U.S., large-scale laying houses are preferred over free-range system because farmers can produce more eggs on a smaller amount of land. Even with good sanitary practices, the factory farm environment makes eggs more susceptible to contamination.

Eggs are moved directly from the hen house to a conveyer belt that takes them through a washer. The eggs are sprayed afterward. It’s critical that the eggs are washed properly, otherwise this method can actually increase the chances of bacteria seeping into the shell from feces on the outside of it. “Wetting a dirty shell provides moisture in which bacteria may breed and assists their growth and penetration through the shell,” theUSDA’s Egg Grading manual explains. To get around the chance of that happening, the washing solution has to be hot enough – a minimum of 90 degrees F – to prevent the inside contents from contracting slightly as it cools and draws dirty water in through the shell, according to the USDA.

Europe takes a different approach to preventSalmonellacontamination. According to food safety officials in Ireland, “The priority in egg production is to produce clean eggs at the point of collection, rather than trying to clean them afterwards.” There is also a suggestion that not allowing the cleaning of eggs in the EU might help maintain good farm husbandry and practices,” said Mark Fielder, a professor at London’s Kingston University and medical microbiology expert.

Additionally, scientists have found that thewashing processmay damage an outside layer of the egg shell

known as the cuticle. Without that chemical barrier, it becomes easier for bacteria to penetrate the inside of a clean egg.

The delicate outer cuticle covering the egg helps to seal the pores in the egg shell that could serve as a pathway for the entrance of Salmonella.

Cooler temperatures might prevent the eggs from deteriorating as quickly as well as inhibit the growth of bacteria.  Once eggs are washed, the USDA stipulates that clean eggs be immediately moved to cooler rooms that maintain a temperature of 45 degrees F or lower. Dirty eggs may be stored in temperatures of up to 60 degrees F.

After an egg is refrigerated, it must be kept at that temperature.  “A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria that could contaminate the egg,”according to the United Egg Producers association, “Refrigerated eggs should not be left out more than two hours.”  That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that U.S. consumerskeep eggs refrigerated at temperatures of 40 degrees F, in order to prevent illness from bacteria.  “In the EU it is generally suggested that eggs are stored at an ambient temperature of around 17 to 23 degrees C (62 to 73 degrees F),” said Fielder.

But there’s another reason the U.K is not as concerned about washing eggs as the U.S.:Salmonellais not as big of a health concern in Britain. Egg farmers have begun vaccinating their hens since 1997 after thousands of people were sickened by the bacteria. Although vaccination has been linked to arapid decline ofSalmonellacases in the U.K., U.S. regulators have still not mandated immunizations, althoughmany eggs producers do vaccinate their hens today. In 2010, the FDA said they would not legally require the vaccination of hens because “there was not enough evidence to conclude that vaccinating hens againstSalmonellawould prevent people from getting sick.”TheNew York Timesreported thatfarmers also complained that it would be expensive.

Instead, the FDA controls the threat ofSalmonellathrough regular testing, refrigeration standards, and strict sanitary codes in hen houses and processing areas, theTimessaid.

by Andre Hsiung, MS
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Optical oddities…

Retinal Imprints
Stare at the dot for 20 seconds,
then look up at the ceiling.

“Believe half of what you see

and none of what you hear.”

~ Marvin Gaye ~

Worst in History

Ebola Outbreak in Africa

According to WHO, since March of this year, 1,201 people have been sickened by the Ebola virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia; of that number, 672 have died.

It is important that health care workers be fully protected since any body fluid could be infectious.

This is the most deadly outbreak of Ebola in history. The current outbreak is West Africa’s first extended experience with the disease. Previous Ebola epidemics took place in East or Central Africa.

It is feared that the virus may have spread to Lagos, Nigeria, Africa’s biggest city, due to the recent death of a visiting government official from Liberia.

The Ebola virus at 108,000X magnification.

Two more victims of Ebola include a visiting American physician from Samaritan’s Purse and American health worker who recently tested positive. They are currently being treated in a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.

Ebola is not spread through the air; it is passed by blood or body fluids from one individual to another. Those infected usually include medical workers or close family members.

Laboratory diagnosis is usual made with
PCR or ELISA techniques.

The Ebola virus was first described in 1976 in the Congo near the Ebola River. It is thought that it originally was passed to humans from animal contact, possibly from fruit bats.

Fruit bats are thought to be the
reservoir for the virus.

Non-human primates, such as monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas are also susceptible to the disease.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Ebola other than maintaining electrolyte balance, and monitoring oxygen status and blood pressure in the patient. Incubation times could be from 2 to 21 days. As the disease progresses, internal and/or external bleeding can occur. With a death rate up to 90% of those infected, Ebola is the deadliest disease known to man.

~ by Jay Hardy, CLS, SM(NRCM)


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Robert Koch

“If my efforts have led to greater success than usual, this is due, I believe, to the fact that during my wanderings in the field of medicine, I have strayed onto paths where the gold was still lying by the wayside.

It takes a little luck to be able to distinguish gold from dross, but that is all.”

Robert Koch

German microbiologist who discovered

the pathogenic agent for 21 diseases

before he died in 1910.

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RUBES

Find more

of Leigh Rubin’s cartoon humor.

Want tobook Leighas a speaker at your next event?

A palindrome is a word or phrase that is the same when read forwards or backwards.

Question: What palindrome

describes Teddy Roosevelt’s
dream of building a famous canal?

“A man, a plan, a canal, Panama”

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* * *

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.

To the prudent microbiologist,
the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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* * *

My so-called career

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I just couldn’t concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn’t hack it; so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn’t suited for it.  Mainly because it was a so-so job.

Next, I tried working in a muffler factory; but that was exhausting.

I wanted to be a barber, but I just couldn’t cut it.

Then I tried to be a chef–figured it would add a little spice to my life but I just didn’t have the thyme.

Finally, I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn’t noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn’t have any patients.

Next was a job in a shoe factory; I tried, but I just didn’t fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn’t live on my net income.
I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

I got a job at a zoo feeding giraffes, but I was fired because I wasn’t up to it.

So then I got a job in a gymnasium, but they said I wasn’t fit for the job.

Next, I found being an electrician interesting, but the work was shocking.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

I used to work in a bakery; but I didn’t make enough dough and decided to loaf around for awhile.

My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

You got any ideas?  I’m opened for suggestions; ………maybe you have something that WORKS………

because I don’t.

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