"If the history of public health has until now been embodied by the map—as in British physician John Snow’s famous map, which allowed him to curb the London cholera outbreak of 1854 and to found, in doing so, the modern field of epidemiology—Snitkin was embarking on a new kind of epidemiology: one founded on the phylogenetic tree." Writing for Wired, Carl Zimmer describes how Evan Snitkin and Julie Segre used genome sequencing to halt a bacterial outbreak at the National Institute of Health's Clinical Center. (via The Feature)
IBM researchers working on nanoparticles to destroy drug-resistant bacteria Hot on the heels of a report on the horrific threat of antibiotics-resistant bacteria, this article highlights one possible solution- using polymers that would attack bacteria membranes, instead of drugs. [more inside]
Welcome to a world where the drugs don't work - it's here, today. 'A new wave of "super superbugs" with a mutation called NDM 1, which first emerged in India, has now turned up all over the world, from Britain to New Zealand.''After Alexander Fleming's 1928 discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin, we quickly came to assume we had the chemicals to beat bacteria. Sure, bugs evolve to develop resistance. But for decades scientists have managed to develop new medicines to stay at least one step ahead of an ever-mutating enemy. Now, though, we may be running out of road.' [more inside]
Superbugs. "The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat."
U.S. bioterrorism research leaps past defensive tactics - Scientists are now able to explore creating genetically engineered superbugs, plus the means to mass-produce and spread them ... 'If any other country set forth a program like this, U.S. intelligence undoubtedly would call it an offensive program,' said Edward Hammond, head of the Sunshine Project, a group in Austin, Texas, that tracks bioweapons and biodefense issues.