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Disease Prone

Disease Prone

To be sensitive or susceptible to disease. Exactly what this blog is.
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The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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As I look down the list of amazing bloggers joining this SciAm network my guess is that I fall into the category of bloggers labelled “who’s that guy and what’s he doing here?” Well, let me introduce myself.

My name is James Byrne. I’m currently trying very hard to finish my PhD thesis in bacteriology where I work on Streptococcus pneumoniae. For those bacteriologists out there, I work on the regulatory machinery that controls the production of capsular polysaccharide for S. pneumo, and other related bugs. I have written about it here and for the more adventurous here as well.

Hi there!

After doing research for a few years I have realised I don’t really have the patience to turn it into a career but I love to read and teach others about the world of infectious disease. Recently I managed to turn this into a job at the University of Adelaide where I am employed as an associate lecturer.

My main interest and passion is disease (ewww that just sounds gross, I should point out I mean that strictly from a writing point of view). Diseases of humans, plants, insects, whatever. The whole story behind disease, infection and pathology has always interested me and in particular I have always been interested in microbial diseases, I guess that’s why I did my undergraduate studies in genetics, microbiology and immunology.

My hope for this blog is that it will be a place where I can look at a disease and talk about what it is, where it comes from, throw in a bit of history and back it up with some current info. I’ll keep it as jargon free as possible but I’ll make sure I link to everything always so if you want extra info, or to double check something, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Of course sometimes I’ll just blog for me, because I can :D

I’ll keep posting regularly but if you’re stuck for something to read can I suggest any of the other wonderful bloggers on our fancy new network or, if you are really keen, you check out my old blog over at and for a limited time I have some posts up at but they will be re-posted here over the next few months.

On top of that I have a Facebook group page that was set up with a friends blog and I twitter at @JB_Blogs so please follow like and etc. if you want to keep in the loop.

I’d also like to point out that a good friend and artist Rogan Tinsley did the artwork on this blog. You should go to here and click about, his stuff is pretty amazing. He also keeps a tumblr that you should follow. Go do it now!

Thanks for stopping by, nice to have met you and I hope to see you around more often. This should be a lot of fun!

James Byrne About the Author: Dr James Byrne has a PhD in Microbiology and works as a science communicator at the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus), Australia's unique national science hub, which showcases the importance of science in everyday life. Follow on Twitter @JB_blogs.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Disease Prone
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  1. 1. notscientific 10:04 am 07/5/2011

    Good to know there’s someone on the network who is sleeping while I’m sleeping and posting while I’m awake! Looking forward to the blog (:

    Link to this
  2. 2. Jbyrne 3:22 am 07/6/2011

    Thanks mate! I do feel a bit like the token southern hemisphere inclusion :D

    Link to this

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