virus incubators?

Reasons you might consider foregoing that bacon sandwich you were planning to eat today. Not because you catch the flu from eating pork but because factory farming of pigs has become increasingly heedless of public welfare.

Unlike the US and many European countries, Denmark has laws that cap the number of pigs per farm and put a ceiling on the total number of pigs allowed to be raised in the country, because

"Influenza [in pigs] is closely correlated with pig density," said a European Commission-funded researcher studying the situation in Europe. As such, Europe's rapidly intensifying pig industry has been described in the journal Science as "a recipe for disaster." Some researchers have speculated that the next pandemic could arise out of "Europe's crowded pig barns."

An expert in flu virus evolution says confining pigs and poultry in cramped bunkers, near each other, with human staff between them that never rotates is a recipe for crossbreeding truly nasty, persistent viruses that potentially jump from animals to humans.

Washington's answer is spin: calling the recent flu outbreak a series of letters and numbers instead of "swine flu," which offends the pork industry.

(thanks to Charles Lemos at MyDD for the post linked to and recapped here)

Michael Bell-Smith

Michael Bell-Smith has moved his online vitae-slash-archive to from its former location. Worth a look--am especially happy to see some of the work linked to on my old blog back up, such as Video Created to Fix Stuck Pixels in Computer Monitors Recast (with Soundtrack and Sunset) as Video to Fix Your Stuck Mind. Also good to see some of the newer work such as Faceted Sphere on an Escalator, a sophisticated variant of the venerable chrome sphere on checkerboard motif.