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Antibiotics

  1. There’s a Mystery Foam on Some Hog Poop, and It Causes Explosions

    There are disadvantages to factory farming. The crowded conditions lead to health risks for the animals. As a result, they're given antibiotics which can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Oh, and also sometimes there's foam that makes pools of hog poop explode. Farmers don't know the cause of the foam, but they think they may have a solution, but it's not a very good one.

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  2. Clap On, Clap…Uh-oh: Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea Makes Its North American Debut

    The last oral antibiotic that is effective in curing the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea may not be effective anymore. A study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the oral antibiotic cefixime was ineffective in treating the disease in 7% of cases where it was prescribed. For those of you who have been playing along at hom, watching gonorrhea get scarier and scarier, you can move your "STD Doomsday Clock" one minute closer to midnight, as pretty soon, the only viable medical treatment for gonorrhea will be "getting set on fire and thrown on the pile."

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  3. Antibacterial Soap Could Cut ICU Infection Rate, Apparently This is Somehow A Novel Idea

    According to a study presented at infectious disease conference IDWeek, screening for diseases like MRSA as patients enter intensive care units is less effective than hosing them down with antibacterial solutions once a day. Which we kind of thought would be standard? Because you know, germs in an ICU seems like a thing you want want to exterminate with extreme prejudice rather than just be aware of, right?

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  4. The Economics of Disease: Keeping Cells From Sharing Resources Can Collapse Bacterial Communities

    The cells associated with cystic fibrosis are very good team players, working together to build thriving communities in patients' lungs. Those communities have their share of freeloaders, though, who consume resources without contributing, and researchers at the University of Washington are working on a novel way to use those lazy cells to treat the disease. By making it more costly for cells to share so-called "public goods" that the entire community needs to survive, researchers made selfish cells more common, causing the bacterial community to collapse when resources run dry.

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  5. Plasma Jet Kills Superbugs In Hospitals, Safe Enough To Use On Skin

    Superbugs, bacteria that develop in hospitals and are tough to kill with traditional antibiotics and antibacterials cleaning agents, are a growing problem in hospitals worldwide. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast may have found a chink in the armor of these hospital-acquired diseases like MRSA, a drug resistant strain of staph infection that killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2005. A blast from a jet of electrically infused plasma may be just what the doctor ordered, breaking up the drug resistant colonies, called biofilms, formed by many of these bacteria and making them easier to kill as individuals.

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  6. Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella Epidemic Is Up To 45% Fatal, May Spread From Human To Human

    Researchers following the spread of salmonella in Africa, which has reached epidemic levels, have found that the spread of the disease may be linked to the emergence of HIV on the continent, implying that the blood-borne disease may have followed in the wake of HIV, finding good hosts in people with compromised immune systems and becoming more prevalent as it did so. The same study has also identified some of the genes for antibiotic resistance that are partly to blame for the disease's increased virulence and mortality in Africa.

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  7. Antibiotics in Pizza Meat Kill Off Helpful Bacteria, Can’t Touch Salmonella

    Okay, look: No one thought pizza meat was a thing that was good for us. (If you've been laboring under that delusion, we apologize, but yeah, it's not.) Up until this morning though, most of us were able to suspend our disbelief on that front, for the sake of,  "Come on, you guys, it's a slice of pizza. I quit smoking, what do you WANT out of me?"  We calmly reassure ourselves -- usually somewhere around the 3rd of 4th slice -- that pepperoni is probably not actively bad for us. Wrong. According to a study published today in the online journal mBio, yes, Virginia, pepperoni is totally helping bacteria murder you every time you eat it.

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  8. New Weapon Against Persistant Bacterial Infections: Sugar

    For a few patients suffering from a bacterial infection, antibiotics simply won't cut it. Some bacteria have developed multidrug tolerance, a clever defense against the best weapons doctors have to fight them. But a new study published in the journal Nature has shown that by simply adding sugar to a drug regimen, even the most persistant bacteria can be killed off. The crux of an assault on bacteria is that they, like organisms, must eat to survive. When antibiotics are introduced, the bacteria consume the drugs and eventually die off. But some more wily bacterial invaders have learned to shut down their metabolic processes when their breathern start to die off. During this time, they don't eat or reproduce. It could be compared to bears hibernating through the winter. These so-called persisters can remain dormant for months until finally waking up to reproduce once again. To counter the persisters, researchers sought to trick the dormant bacteria into eating even while the antibiotic was still present in the patients.

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  9. Geekolinks: 6/22

    Great mockups for future World Cup stadiums (designboom)

    Master Chief: Steampunk edition (Hawty McBloggy)

    Gizmodo feature on possible anti-quorum sensing antibiotics in Belizean jungles (Gizmodo)

    The inevitable Star Trek-Tik Tok mashup (io9)

    Female condom with teeth deputs at World Cup (NY Daily News)

    Neat profile of Elon Musk (NYT)

    Do not try teaching science to Juggalos (Slashdot)

    (title image via Agent M Loves Tacos)

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