There are fewer blooms for bees: Today in weird climate change news, it looks like a longer flowering season isn’t necessarily a better one. According to North Carolina State University scientists referencing 40 years’ worth of climate data, plants are producing the same number of flowers, just over a longer period, meaning there are fewer blooms for bees to bumble in. READ MORE

Fire news just keeps getting worse: Three days after powerful winds spread more than a dozen wildfires across Northern California, firefighters were still struggling to contain the fast-moving blazes. By Wednesday afternoon, state officials said, they had made little progress, and many of the fires were growing and out of control. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

In U.K., it’s OK to eat raw eggs! Benefits of eating raw or lightly cooked eggs from British hens now exceed the risks, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for the United Kingdom. Therefore, FSA has changed its official advice, which previously warned infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly against eating eggs that had not been thoroughly cooked. Only eggs with the “British Lion” mark have the all clear from FSA. In all of its previous history, FSA has advised that vulnerable groups should not consume raw or lightly cooked eggs, because eggs can relatively easily become contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, which can cause serious illnesses. READ MORE

Cyclosporiasis outbreak continues to stump CDC: Only Texas has more domestic infections of cyclosporiasis than Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And the CDC still doesn’t know what’s causing this year’s swell of cyclosporiasis, topping 1,000 cases so far. If you’re wondering “what the heck is cyclosporiasis?” this is how the CDC explains it. A single cell parasite, cyclospora cayetanensis, rides food into your system to cause an intestinal infection. While rarely fatal, the infection usually causes watery diarrhea, explosive bowel movements along with increased flatulation, weight loss, cramping, bloating and nausea. READ MORE

Hepatitis A in Alabama: A pizza restaurant in Alabama is working with the state Department of Public Health, after discovering that one of the restaurant’s food handlers is infected with hepatitis A. The Alabama Department of Public Health has contacted many customers of Marco’s Pizza in Anniston directly regarding the highly contagious virus, according to a news release. Post-exposure treatment is available, but must be administered within two weeks of exposure to be effective. READ MORE 

CYBER SECURITY

How safe is antivirus software? So far this week, separate reports have indicated that Russia exploited software from Kaspersky Lab to trawl U.S. systems for classified data—in at least one case, successfully—and that North Korea hacked into classified South Korean military files. The common culprit? Antivirus software. While antivirus software ostensibly seems like a benefit—it can stop malware from infecting your computer—many security researchers have expressed reservations about it for years. And though the recent Russian and North Korean incidents involve fairly specific circumstances, they serve as sobering reminders of just how much can go wrong when you grant deep system access to software that may not be as secure as it seems. READ MORE

Auburn awarded grant to train cyber specialists: Auburn University has been awarded a $4.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help address a shortage of public sector cybersecurity professionals. The award is part of NSF’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service, or SFS, program that provides students with scholarships and stipends to fund their education in a cybersecurity field in return for service to a government agency after graduation. A longtime participant in the SFS program, Auburn plans to use the new grant to expand its involvement in the program, recruit students from underrepresented populations and raise cybersecurity awareness in Alabama communities. READ MORE

Could our power grid be targeted? Hackers likely linked to the North Korean government targeted a U.S. electricity company late last month, according to a security firm that says it detected and stopped the attacks. It’s the latest evidence of cyberespionage from various government-backed hackers targeting U.S. energy utilities, though experts say such attacks are often more about creating a psychological effect. Could it happen here? READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

Why so much PEDV? In 2013-2014, infection of pig farms with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was a frequent event, even on farms using the highest level of biosecurity. In an effort to determine how this could happen, Scott Dee, DVM, began investigating. He found all the farms affected received emergency feed deliveries. Thus began a quest for answers by Dee and the team at Pipestone Applied Research, along with scientists from South Dakota State University. Their search has expanded to include the survival of high-risk viruses and the potential dangers of imported feed ingredients. READ MORE

TERRORISM

NYC takes on ‘dirty bombs’: Major hospitals and research institutions in New York City have agreed to reduce the number of medical devices that contain radiological material as part of an effort to eliminate threats of a so-called “dirty-bomb” attack, city health officials said Wednesday. READ MORE