Cephalosporins will be used in livestock only for very specific exceptions, after years of debate about the role of antibiotic resistance in farming and how it leads to new strains of microbes with the potential to shift into humans.
The FDA took this step to preserve the effectiveness of cephalosporin drugs for treating disease in humans, the agency announced in a press release.
In 2008, the FDA issued and then revoked an order that prohibited cephalosporins in food-producing animals with no exceptions. Three years later, the agency’s ban includes several exceptions:
–It doesn’t limit cephapirin, which the FDA doesn’t think contributes to antimicrobial resistance;
–Veterinarians will still be able to Read more »
Scientists have discovered a new, highly-transmissible gene that could, quite easily in fact, open a frightening new front in the ongoing global war against superbugs.
The antibiotic-resistant gene, NDM-1, was first identified in 2008 a Swedish patient that had received hospital care in New Delhi. NDM-1 produces an enzyme that allows bacteria to destroy most antibiotics. It exists on plasmids, which are pieces of genetic material that are easily shared between bacteria including E coli and other species that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and blood stream infections.
NDM-1 probably evolved in parts of India where poor sanitation and overutilization of antibiotics provide a perfect environment for the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The gene has been identified in three U.S. patients. All had received medical treatment in India, and all recovered from their infections. It has been found sporadically in Britain, Australia and nearly a dozen other countries as well. Most affected patients were “medical tourists” — that is, people seeking less expensive medical care in India.
“We need to be vigilant about this,” said Arjun Srinivasan, an epidemiologist at the CDC told the Washington Post. “This should not be a call to panic, but it should be a call to action. There are effective strategies we can take that will prevent the spread of these organisms.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*
The New York Timespublished an article (with VIDEO) about molecular animators, scientists who can visualize the microscopic segments of life in a professional way:
If there is a Steven Spielberg of molecular animation, it is probably Drew Berry, a cell biologist who works for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Mr. Berry’s work is revered for artistry and accuracy within the small community of molecular animators, and has also been shown in museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 2008, his animations formed the backdrop for a night of music and science at the Guggenheim Museum called “Genes and Jazz.”
“Scientists have always done pictures to explain their ideas, but now we’re discovering the molecular world and able to express and show what it’s like down there,” Mr. Berry said. “Our understanding is just exploding.”
*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*
My mother was very proud of the fact that none of her four children ever became sick from her cooking. While it’s true she may have erred on the side of overcooking the turkey, being spared food poisoning is yet another in the long list of gifts from my mom.
Every year, about 76 million Americans develop illness from food, more than 325,000 are hospitalized, and about 5,000 die. The most common cause is contamination with bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and E. coli — though other organisms such as viruses and protozoa can also be culprits. As summer begins, I thought it would be a good time to review some basic tips about food safety. Read more »
Remember “cooties” in grade school? You know, the germs or disease that girls gave boys or boys gave girls in grade school if they touched? Well, it seems they’re becoming an epidemic. Thank goodness someone checked for “cooties” on the Stanley Cup:
The NHL champion Blackhawks’ beloved trophy stopped by the Chicago Tribune newsroom, and so we took the opportunity to do something the Cup’s keeper said had never been done: We swabbed it for germs. We sent the samples to the Chicago lab EMSL Analytical, which found very little general bacteria and no signs of staph,salmonella or E. coli. “It’s surprisingly clean,” lab manager Nancy McDonald said. Just 400 counts of general bacteria were found, she said. By comparison, a desk in an office typically has more than 10,000.
No staph species detected? Hmmm. I think there was a sampling error…
-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
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