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Posts Tagged "Antibiotics"

Food Matters

Resistance from the Rear – Hospital Effluent and the Growing Antibiotic Crisis

Not the actual sewer pipe in this story. Click for source.

If you ever worry that you’re a bit too optimistic about the future, try reading Maryn McKenna’s posts about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. The primary tools we’ve had to combat microbial disease for the past century are failing, and it’s largely our own fault. Antibiotic resistance genes (or ARGs) are spreading fast, and [...]

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Guest Blog

World Health Day: Combat Drug Resistance

Without effective antibiotics, much of modern medicine would not be possible. The treatment of cancer, the care of premature babies and even the most common surgical procedures would not be possible. Yet as each day passes, we move closer to a post-antibiotic era. The severity of the problem, which has rendered many of the strongest [...]

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Guest Blog

Short Story Science: Lenina versus the Pneumococcus

Today is January 28, and Lenina has a smashing headache; she is a Streptococcus pneumoniae researcher. Not that this was the main reason for the headache, but an important meeting was being held today to launch the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network’s [PMEN] new paper in Science. Oddly enough, her role at the meeting is to [...]

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Observations

End of the Antibiotic Age: You’ve Been Warned

pills spilling out of a bottle

Widespread antibiotic resistance is no longer a potential problem but has become a major threat, according to the World Health Organization. This news comes as no surprise to the Scientific American community, thanks to Maryn McKenna‘s prescient feature article “The Enemy Within,” which ran three years ago in the April 2011 issue. Naturally, you’ll think [...]

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Observations

Coughs Fool Patients into Unnecessary Requests for Antibiotics

cough illness duration expectation prescription antibiotic

No one wants a hacking cough for days or weeks on end. But research shows that it generally takes about 18 days to get over a standard cough-based illness. Most of us grow impatient after a week or so and head to the doctor to get a prescription. The problem with that recourse, however, is [...]

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Observations

Common STD Grows Resistant to Treatment in North America

antibiotic resistance gonorrhea std

The most commonly acquired sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S., chlamydia and gonorrhea, are usually cleared out swiftly and easily with a dose of oral antibiotics. But one of these infections is growing bold and finding ways to evade treatment. More than 321,000 cases of gonorrhea are reported each year in the U.S. alone—and [...]

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Observations

Growth Factor: How Bacterial Infections Persist through Antibiotics [Video]

bacteria persists with antibiotics by growing

Some strains of nasty bacterial infections, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), come loaded with resistance to antibiotics built right into their genes. But certain infections seem to acquire an ability to persist in the face of drugs that should knock them out—without developing the genetic hallmarks of antibiotic resistance. For decades, researchers have thought [...]

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Observations

Common Antibiotic Not Helpful for Cough and Respiratory Infection

antibiotic not effective cough respiratory infection

When I was growing up in the 1980s and ’90s with two younger brothers, the antibiotic amoxicillin was a frequent guest in our house. Strep throat, sinus infections, sore throats, coughs; we all remember that thick, pink, bubble gum-flavored liquid perhaps a little too well. But this popular drug, like many antibiotics, is overprescribed—often given [...]

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Observations

Food Safety: Romney and Obama Focus on Different Solutions

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

We now have responses to the Top Science Questions facing the US from Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. So I thought I’d look at some of the specifics in their answers to the next question in our weekly list–number 7, on agriculture and food safety. (For this election-year project, Scientific American partnered with [...]

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Observations

Soil May Help Pathogens Make Us Sick

soil

Tetracycline—a powerful antibiotic—came from the soil. Researchers isolated the drug, used to treat everything from sexually transmitted diseases to bacterial pneumonia, from the soil-dwelling microbe Septomyces aureofaciens, which produces tetracycline to kill its microbe neighbors. So it comes as no surprise that other soil microbes have evolved ways to resist this antibiotic But a new [...]

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Observations

Cave Bacteria Finding Suggests Ancient Origins of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

Lechuquilla cave

Our pill-popping culture and over-zealous livestock farmers typically take the blame for the widespread resistance of many harmful strains of bacteria to entire classes of antibiotics. And the Food and Drug Administration took a bold move today with a new voluntary plan to help curtail the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture. But the capacity to [...]

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Observations

Cut the Appendix Surgery–Antibiotics are Effective for Uncomplicated Appendicitis

appendicitis

For something thought to be largely extraneous, the appendix can be a real pain. Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. have appendectomies each year, often for an appendix that is swollen rather than ruptured. But a new study suggests that many of those surgeries might often be as unnecessary as the organ they’re [...]

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Observations

Gonorrhea Could Join Growing List of Untreatable Diseases

The arms race between humanity and disease-causing bacteria is drawing to a close—and the bacteria are winning. The latest evidence: gonorrhea is becoming resistant to all standard antibiotic treatment. Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world—with about 600,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A few years ago, [...]

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Symbiartic

Marketing Campaign Drags Science Through the Streets for the Jeering Masses…

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Next time you see a scientist in the street, grab him or her and ask who they view as the enemy. Quite likely they’ll give you a weird look, and perhaps they’ll run away, but if they don’t, I’d bet they’d say journalists. Many scientists I know brace themselves for speaking with journalists about their [...]

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