“It's often said that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without.” A fair statement, no? If you asked any of the drinkers of the 2.25 billion cups of coffee drunk daily, they’d probably all give you a similar answer. Some research suggests that coffee may even have some positive health benefits. But this uniquity of caffeine consumption raises some serious questions about the damaging effects our coffee habits are having on the planet.
Let’s begin on a positive note: A research paper from April 2020 reviewed randomized clinical trials and other observational studies to show that coffee can reduce the risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as several forms of cancer. So perhaps you are inadvertently protecting yourself from some harmful conditions each time you pop into your local cafe.
Sadly, the positivity ends there. Our growing demand for coffee presents us with a multitude of issues, many of which require urgent action.
When we see mould on our food our immediate reaction is to throw it away. To us, it is an indication that the food has turned bad, and we assume that food would not taste the same because fermentation has started. Along with this, we begin to question the texture, aroma and appearance of the food.
However, we sometimes see mould as a delicious component of some of our favourite indulgences.
Mould is, of course, responsible for the speckles within blue cheese and it’s characteristic saltiness and sharpness. It is caused by the cultivation of Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum during the oxygenation of the cheese.
Mould can be seriously harmful to us, especially to those who suffer from an allergy to it, so is there a heightened risk from eating blue cheese?
We know that allergies and immune responses are influenced by our environmental exposures in our early life. In fact, eating cheese at 18 months of age shows a protective effect especially for eczema and...
We all know about the devastating effects that change in our climate will cause, from melting ice caps, rising sea levels and more extreme weather. But there is another risk too, and one that could potentially affect all of us in the way we build and look after our homes, and how we try to save the ones at risk.
One of the consequences of climate change that we are already seeing, and bearing witness to its effects, is changes in our weather. Namely, we are experiencing warmer and wetter winters along with warmer and drier summers. Amidst the plethora of changes this will cause, scientists are concerned about an increase in the severity of microbiological attacks of exposed timbers. This means that any type of wood used in construction could be more at risk to decay from mould and wood-rot fungi.
Scientists use something called the Scheffer Climate Index to monitor temperature and rain variables, which can be used to indicate how preferable the conditions are for harmful mould and...
Sometimes, it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do is to get to sleep. Be it struggling to drift off, tossing and turning in the early hours or waking up too early and not being able to get any more shuteye - it’s something we’ve all had to deal with at one point or another.
George Clooney blames his insomnia on a racing mind, helped only by going to sleep with the TV on, whilst Lady Gaga’s fibromyalgia and PTSD are both conditions known to negatively affect a person’s sleep. On the other hand, Rihanna’s reported ‘3 to 4 hours of sleep’ is self-inflicted, with the popstar admitting to binge-watching TV late at night.
A 2016 Centre for Disease Control report concluded that sleep problems, including insomnia, sharply increases the risk of heart attacks, cancer, and obesity. Moreover, insomniacs are far more likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression as well as being linked to all major psychological...
We all know the smell. That damp, pungent aroma that lingers in the air, it can be earthy, meaty and musty, like sodden socks or rotten wood. The odour has connotations of decrepit squalor, yet it is something we’ve all had to deal with at one point or another, so, just what is that smell, and is it worth a $5million lawsuit?
Megan Fox, actress and model, amongst other things, is suing a range of lawyers and agents after buying a Malibu property which allegedly had a mould problem. Miss Fox claims that the mould on the property, caused by damp, was causing her “chronic headaches” for which she received “holistic treatment.”
So it would appear that even the Hollywood elite are all too familiar with the pervasive aroma of mould, but just what is it that gives it that distinct scent?
The smell released from mould, or more generally fungi, are called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The’s VOCs can be pleasant, such as the odour emitted from wine or...
Hi there. My name is Dr. Cameron Jones and I'm an environmental microbiologist, and do I have an interesting show this week. Yep, we're going to be talking about something which affects all of us.
Now, we're going to be talking about the hidden dangers in pillows. And why this is an interesting topic and potentially affects every single one of us is because a fascinating publication came out in the research literature just one week ago. And it was focusing on something called invasive aspergillosis. And anyone who has been following my livestreams knows that I am continually focusing on the global impact of fungal infections and exposures and what we can do about it for better health. And what better way to introduce this whole topic of invasive aspergillosis than to talk about the microbiology of pillows. And to do that, I want to go back to a well-known publication about fungal contamination of bedding.
Now, why might this be important? Well, the global market for pillows is...
Hi there. Thanks for joining me. My name is Cameron and I'm an environmental microbiologist. And in this week's live stream, I have a fascinating piece of research, which has just come out in the academic literature one week ago. And what is this all about? Well, especially all of us who are still working from home, undergoing some type of lockdown, we've really never had such easy access to food. Now, imagine if the food that we eat has an impact on our brain, that's exactly what this research has shown. I want to drill into this today, and this is the topic of today's live stream: How a ketogenic diet could protect you from dementia by altering your gut fungi.
Last week, we saw that certain fungi are actually in the brain and are linked with dementia. So it stands to reason that particular diets can influence what is going on in our gut. Now I've talked before about the microbiome. That's the bacteria that live inside our gut, but there's also the fungi that live inside our gut....
Hi there. My name's Dr. Cameron Jones and I'm an environmental microbiologist. Well, we've all seen scary scenes of people on ventilators in the last couple of months due to the fact that they've been diagnosed with COVID-19. We all know that there are a range of lifestyle factors that can predispose individuals to potentially requiring mechanical ventilation, think of smoking. And we know that exposure to environmental pollutants can predispose individuals to a range of adverse health conditions like asthma, meaning that if they become immunocompromised, they might require mechanical ventilation.
That's the topic of today's presentation. We're going to be talking about the fungus that grows normally in the lungs. I want to work out and talk to you about whether or not there is a connection between these types of fungi and being able to predict whether or not certain individuals are at risk of having respiratory distress. In order to do that, I want to review a publication which was...
It’s one thing to get COVID-19 but another to not get better! Long term symptoms, delayed recovery. What’s going on? This is something that’s beginning to be actively researched in the scientific community. It’s called Long Covid and people are suffering ‘long’ after the first classic Covid signs like fever or a positive test result. Those individuals who don’t fully recover are calling themselves ‘Long Haulers’. In this weeks Livestream I’m going to cover what we know about post covid recovery, discuss what’s emerging in the literature about long covid and what some innovative social media data analysis reveals. I’ll also be discussing the link with chronic fatigue and mould hypersensitivity.
An Analysis of Self-reported Longcovid Symptoms on Twitter
Shubh Mohan Singh, Chaitanya Reddy
medRxiv 2020.08.14.20175059; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.14.20175059
Without medical breakthroughs, more than 6.4M Australians will be diagnosed with dementia in the next 40 years at a cost of more than $1 trillion. This week I want to discuss several exciting publications that have appeared in the research literature in 2020. It’s not just dementia, other diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, stroke, and even depression are increasingly being linked to something called mitochondrial dysfunction. The literature shows that 2 approaches called: methylene blue and photobiomodulation might be very effective. But why? This issue of mitochondria and its’ link with inflammatory processes has been known for some time. Especially, with respect to how fungal pathogens and environmental fungi seem to induce similar mitochondrial dysfunction in humans. I will look at what’s known about this and then review a paper from 2020 showing that fungi have been found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s...
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