After spending many hours in a microbiology lab in college – an activity I very much enjoyed and look back on fondly -I was able to accurately identify parasite eggs, fungi, and much more through a microscope.
One of the labs consisted of swabbing the nose of our lab partner and inoculating a petri dish to determine if he or she was a carrier of Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus can cause mild skin irritations and more serious illnesses such as Toxic Shock Syndrome and inflammation of the heart. If you’re wondering, I don’t actually know if I’m a carrier because my lab partner eagerly volunteered her nose for this lab exercise.
There was one Gram-positive strain of Staphylococcus aureus that I knew I would never want to encounter. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus or more commonly referred to as MRSA.
However, Matt has not been as fortunate and encountered firsthand what it’s like to battle an antibiotic resistant bacterium. A few years ago, while enlisted in the Marines, Matt discovered a small red spot on his arm. As the spot turned into what appeared to be the first stages of septicemia, Matt continued to work with military doctors to treat his arm. Nothing was working and he was due to ship out of the country soon. Although incredibly ill, Matt still shipped out to Japan on his scheduled date and continued treatment with doctors at his new base. I’ll spare you the details of his arm’s condition. As one of the last resorts, he was given Rifampin. The drug made him incredibly sick, but with no other choices available, it was his only option.
Today he likes to tell people the story – complete with gross details – about his encounter with MRSA. When I learned that a company called GIANTmicrobes carries a plush MRSA doll, I knew it would be a perfect gift for Matt.
Many of the microbes are available in a range of sizes: 5″-7″, 15″-20″ or mini. I requested the 5″-7″ plush doll for Matt.
The MRSA plush microbe came with a description card that explained what MRSA is and had a cute tagline, “So be a superhero: stay clean and follow your doctor’s orders.” This life-threatening “superbug” looks pretty cute as a plush doll, doesn’t he?
Some of the GIANTmicrobes Originals include the microscopic aquatic organism Rotifer, the allergy Hay Fever, and Tick. You can easily navigate their site to locate the microbe of your choice by a common name, scientific name, or category.
If you’re looking for a graduation gift, the plush neuron Brain Cell or the Graduation Brain Cell Musical Doll are available for purchase. The musical doll plays Pomp and Circumstance. Their products would also be useful for explaining the microbial world to children. An entire line of merchandise including Christmas ornaments, mugs, and microbe dolls that make sound are also available for purchase.
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Win a GIANTmicrobes Original Plush Doll
GIANTmicrobes is giving the readers of Our Virginia Home the chance to win one of the GIANTmicrobe Originals plush dolls.
What GIANTmicrobes Originals plush doll would you most like to win and who would you give it to? – Enter your answer in the blog comments AND Rafflecopter form.
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Ends 11:59PM on June 7, 2012. US Only, 18+
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I received the GIANTmicrobes Originals plush doll for the purpose of a review. However, my honest opinion was expressed.