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Stories by James Byrne

Nanopillars and a Disinfected World

The microbial world is ever-present and unrelenting. The enormity of it is hard to fathom, with facts like ‘there are 10 bacterial cells living in or on you for every one cell that is you’ and ‘estimates suggest there are five million trillion trillion bacteria on this planet’, that’s hard to predict, it may be plus or minus a few...

March 15, 2013 — James Byrne

Goodbye SciAm Blogs

I’m a little sad to be writing this but its come to that point. I have to leave the Scientific American network. I haven’t been asked to leave (as I thought I would) or lost interest in blogging, I just simply can not dedicate the time to do it properly and to a standard that I set for myself, so I am taking a break.I have been blogging (almost) every week since 2009 in various places and during that time I have been doing a PhD, getting jobs, getting married and now starting a family.Now that I have to finish my PhD thesis, while holding down a full time job, before I become a father in a few months it has become apparent that there is simply not enough hours in the day to dedicate to all my projects so job, thesis and baby round out the top three and until one of them gives I’m stuck.It is with great sadness (tinged with excitement and the good kind of terror) that I leave Scientific American and the amazing line up of bloggers I still struggle to understand how I was counted among...

April 25, 2012 — James Byrne

Bioengineering the bugs

“Probiotics” are an enormous field and even bigger market but and as interesting as they are an, arguably, more interesting –biotic is starting to gain traction as more innovative researchers explore its possibilities...

April 20, 2012 — James Byrne


Meliodosis is currently poking its head above the surface in Australia and is causing a few problems. This nasty little disease is caused by the bacterial species with my favorite name, Burkholderia pseudomallei ...

April 12, 2012 — James Byrne

What the fractal?

As part of my job at RiAus I get asked to write the occasional blog about an upcoming event. I wrote this for an event that occured last week about fractal geometry with the amazing Prof...

March 28, 2012 — James Byrne

You should rub honey on your everywhere

Honey is awesome. I’ve found its best consumed when combined with nougat and wrapped in dark chocolate but I digress. Indulge me while I digress my way to diabetes Honey also has some pretty amazing properties, it's broadly antimicrobial and seemingly able to promote healing...

March 21, 2012 — James Byrne

Adelaide Fringe 2012

I am so super busy at the moment because someone decided, a long time ago, that Adelaide should do all of the things in March. We have car races, Fringe festivals, multi-arts festivals, my wife’s birthday :) The kind of thing you see during the Fringe...

March 14, 2012 — James Byrne

Disease Prone on FiSTChat!

A week or so ago I was asked to be interviewed for a videoblog called FiSTChat. I tossed it around my head as to whether or not I should do it but then I remembered it is my boss’s videoblog and so I said yes immediately.I’ve embedded it below but you should head over to FiSTChat to see the last 60 episodes!...

March 7, 2012 — James Byrne

The bacteria in your belly Pt.1 - Babies

I previously blogged at a place called which is still going strong without me and this series of posts comes from when I wrote there.

February 15, 2012 — James Byrne

Can't fool me, I know you aren't you at all

One commenter didn't like my take on Cotard's last week. I ran it past a couple of friends who said they had no problems with it and I'm not an expert, just an interested researcher.

February 8, 2012 — James Byrne

No seriously, I'm dead.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again about other medical conditions but this is my favorite. Having a favourite condition sounds incredibly weird I know but its true.

January 31, 2012 — James Byrne

And yet more excercise...

I've been putting this update of for a while because, well I kind of stopped. I didn't mean to but my new job was really demanding and has a steep learning curve, I also had some writing assignments I wanted to finish off and also I have a thesis...

January 18, 2012 — James Byrne

Podcasting with me

I'm still on a kind of break, you may have noticed as I have been throwing up some pre-prepared material and today is no different. After writing that previous piece on vaccination coverage in the media I got contacted by Kylie from the Token Skeptic podcast and did a short interview with her which you can find here...

January 11, 2012 — James Byrne

Population Science

I organised my first event at my new job in early December, "Science Behind the Headlines: Beyond 7 Billion". This post was written up by a friend of mine, Captn Skellet from A schooner of Science after she attended the event...

January 4, 2012 — James Byrne

(Merry) Christmas Disease

An old post but a good one for Christmas time. This previously appeared on my blog when it lived at I hope you enjoy and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

December 23, 2011 — James Byrne

Aust. Government provides incentive for vaccination

Something that has really gotten to me in the last few years is the rise and rise in volume of the anti-vaccination movement. Particularly in Australia this movement has started to enter the public consciousness and continue to spout their nonsense into the public arena...

December 2, 2011 — James Byrne

World AIDS Day 2011

How bad a biomedical science blogger am I! I have been so flat out with all my other projects that I completely missed World AIDS Day. I feel a little dim about that but never fear as I was sent a great Q & A The Journal of Infectious Diseases has put together and I strongly suggest you all check it out.You can find the Q & A at this Oxford University Press page...

December 1, 2011 — James Byrne
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