Friday, May 4, 2012

Running out of time

I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as she watches the red sand spill through the gigantic hour glass. Dorothy of course was in fear for her life if she didn't give up the ruby slippers. I, on the other hand, am lying in wait for the first contraction to start the whole process of labor and (finally) bring this child into the world.

In the meantime, I am driving myself and everyone else crazy (not purposefully of course) with my nesting stage. Everywhere I look I seem to find dust, something I never do. I mean I like things tidy but I am not a cleaning fanatic by any means. But now I'm washing clothes that I just put in the hamper (some of them don't even make it to the hamper) because I'm losing my mind! Unfortunately I cannot DO everything that I see that needs to be done and that is where I have to ask (or rather nag) my husband to help me. My sister has been a huge help as she is the cleaning fanatic in the family (and God bless her for it!).

I woke up quite a few times last night in pain and thought for sure today would be "D" day. I was wrong however so now I just get to wait some more! :P I am finding it more and more difficult to do everyday things. I can't stand up for too long so complicated meals are not an option.

My daughter has been teething for the past week and so the nights for me have been long as I try to comfort her through the pain. I recently tried teething tablets which seem to help but there are some doctors who don't agree with using them so I'm not sure yet if I'll continue. Thankfully she only complains of the pain at night which may be irritating to me but it's better than her complaining all day and being cranky. She has a great disposition so I would hate to see her in pain during the day as well.

Great news! My blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award by ! This award is for bloggers who have fewer than 200 subscribers, and one of the responsibilities for award recipients is to nominate five more bloggers, for each nomination received. I will post my nominees in my next blog.

Still no news on queries. I am waiting patiently as some of the agents have response times of 6 and 8 weeks. We will see soon enough.

As for the My Name is Not Bob April Platform Challenge... it is over! Yay! And although I wasn't able to complete every task it was a total win-win situation. I learned so much about social media platforms and made some wonderful and valuable friendships in the process. Since it's a continual learning process I will be posting anything new that I am working on in regards to platform building... including my web page... under construction at the moment but definitely in the works.

And now for the science portion of my blog... We are looking at a "plasma flashlight" that can destroy bacteria on the skin in seconds.

This type of portable device, created by a team of Australian and Chinese researchers, would be of use in hospitals, ambulances and on the battle field. It allows for penetration through layers of bacteria called biofilms that can be impenetrable at times. Biofilms are thick layers of bacteria, like what is normally found as plaque on our teeth, but these layers can also form in wounds halting the healing process.

The design is essentially a handheld plasma jet. The device was tested on one of the most antibiotic- and heat-resistant bacteria. The bacteria was grown in an incubator until it was approximately 25 micrometers thick (that's about 1/4th the thickness of a human hair) and 17 layers deep. Normally biofilms at this thickness are highly resistant and the high temperatures needed to kill them would burn our skin. The temperature of the plasma jet however is between 68-73 degrees F (20-23 degrees C), which is right around room temperature. Resistors on the device keep it from overheating so it is safe for use. After 5 minutes of flashing the biofilm from a 5 millimeter distance the very bottom layers of the biofilm had been penetrated. For smaller colonies or individual bacterium it could take less than a second.

The researchers are not quite sure how the antibacterial effect works using this device. They hypothesize that the plasma jet combined with the surrounding air could possibly create an environment much like our own immune system. The cost per unit will be around $100.

For more information:

link to the abstract in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

link to article in ScienceNow

Well that is all for now... I'll catch you next time on Fiction, Family and Science (maybe with an added member to the family!!).

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  1. Hi Claudine -
    I hope you don't have to wait too long for your next family member! That is very exciting news. Actually, this post is full of exciting news: you also won the Liebster Award, which is fantastic! I am so happy for you! It makes it all worth it, eh? All the hard work of writing the blog, formatting, advertising, etc.

    And the other news is that there is a plasma flashlight on the horizon. I think these will be a bit more expensive than the antibacterial cremes/soaps we use. But it sounds more effective! :)


    Look forward to seeing how things are for the next time you blog!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Monique!

      I am very excited for the new baby which makes the wait all that more difficult. But apparently he/she is not ready to make their grand entrance yet so wait I must!

      Yes, the Leibster Blog Award was a surprise! It made me feel like someone was actually reading this stuff! LOL.

      As far as the plasma flashlight it will help make surgical complications due to bacterial infection a thing of the past. Burn victims will be able to heal properly without the risk of infection. Soldiers out in the field will also benefit from the device as most cannot be treated in sterile conditions leading the way for major bacterial infections. It is very exciting news!

  2. Ah, those last days... What a treat. Nothing I can say will make you feel better, so I
    Will keep my snark to myself. (**gasp**) Wait, that's untrue... I am delighted to learn that
    I will be able to break through the biofilm on my hands in the not so distant future! Thanks for adding a new
    Wrinkle to my brain!

    1. Brain wrinkles... good. Skin wrinkles... bad. I will continue to wrinkle your brain as long as you continue reading my blog!

      I was early with my daughter so this waiting part just sucks! T-minus 3 days to due date and counting... Ugh!

  3. I like the science in this post. Do you have any links so I can check it out more?

    1. Rebecca,

      I added the links into the post. Sorry it was late last night when I finished so I was not exactlyu thinking straight. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I had forgotten the joys of being in the final days of pregnancy. I'm looking forward to the plasma hand cleaner! No more worries about public bathrooms being out of paper towels and having to dry my hands on my jeans. Way to go science!

    1. Some day I will be able to say "I've forgotten..." but until then... I'm knee deep in it! ;)

      I'm sure the plasma flashlight will make it into a restroom near you. But at $100 a pop it may even be better to have your own so you can pull it out anywhere you may need it for example at the grocery store to sterlize the cart handle!

  5. Good luck with the coming addition. My days of child-rearing are long past and if it weren't for my wife and her sister I would live in not squalor, but an organized clutter. You seem to have a lot going on in your life and on your blog.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lee!

      Yes it's been a crazy ride so far but it's always fun! :)

  6. Hang in there Claudine...It could be worse. My youngest was born the end of January and she sent me to the hospital on icy streets three times before she finally decided to make an actual appearance. At least, it's spring. Small comfort I know, but it will be over soon.

    Congratulations on the new baby and the Liebster. I am really excited about the plasma flashlight. Hey, maybe it'll put a stop to the recent spate of post surgical staph infections.

  7. My mom tells me I was born in the middle of a blizzard so yes I am grateful for the timing.

    Thanks for the good wishes! And yes that is exactly the kind of use that the "plasma flashlight" was made for. I am excited at the range of possibilities for its future. :)

    Thanks for popping by!

  8. Congrats on the new baby! Hang in there! Sorry to hear about the teething issues. Tablets didn't work for me nor the numbing gel. Mostly, we used those vibrating rings--although my arm appeared to be a nice substitute as well. Glad you got the Liebster Blog Award and finished the MNINB challenge! Interesting news on the plasma flashlight--maybe I can carry less antibacterial wipes now.

  9. Well hopefully you're labor will go quickly (unlike mine, 42 hours with the first, and then I cut it in half with the second and shaved off a few more hours with the third). Interesting "science" stuff - I'm so bad with science, so it goes over my head, but it's fascinating. Take care!

  10. Ha! I didn't realize you'd already been nominated. I was just coming here to comment and let you know that I nominated you! Oh well, you're worth two nominations. I hereby nominate you for a Liebster, for making science fascinating and entertaining!

  11. Oops, forgot to include the link to my blog so you can see your nomination.

  12. Hoping to hear good news in your next blog. I would have nominated you also for the LIebster Blog Award - great posts!

  13. Hi Claudine,

    Congratulations on your new baby and your fabulous blog! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Read more about it here:

    Have a great day!