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."
Valentine's Day is all about sharing things with the one you love. But we can all agree that there are things that you probably shouldn't share. Like gonorrhea, for example. You can go ahead and keep that one to yourself, sport. But even when humans aren't grossly sharing gross STDs with one another -- which is gross -- they may be sharing more than they know with their diseases. Scientists at Northwestern have discovered a fragment of human DNA in the genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterial blip behind gonorrhea. This marks the first recorded instance of what some thought (OK, hoped) impossible - a direct transfer of human DNA to a bacterial genome. Kudos to the team at Northwestern, who had not only the patience and skill to isolate human DNA in the least likely of places, but the sense of humor required to start publicizing the story on Valentine's Day, reminding the single among us once again that other people are basically plague ships, anyway. Plague ships captained by microscopic bacteria who steal our DNA. Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! (via ScienceDaily. title pic via LAT)
The Leicester branch of the UK's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (which sounds an awful lot like group with a strategy to make teenagers pregnant, rather than help prevent it) has developed a YouTube campaign in order to help remind teenagers to wear condoms. Entitled "Game On!," the video seems to rip assets and ideas from Mario (warp pipes, bricks), Mega Man (the boy's sprite and animations), and Sonic (the title screen) in order to convey the safety involved with using a condom by having the boy fight off evil STIs.