Midnight In The Desert — microbiology

The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

Posted by K R on

The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics. The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coliresistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery “heralds the emergence...

Read more →

Could Alien Diseases Wipe Out Humanity?

Posted by K R on

Could Alien Diseases Wipe Out Humanity?

Space exploration is an essential enterprise for humanity. We need to go deeper into space to understand more about our planet and the universe, to pinpoint potential new homes in case this one goes kaput, to find new resources for mining metals and minerals, and maybe even to locate some intergalactic brothers and sisters. The space program has led to the development of new technologies and has been a source of hope for most of humankind. But with every scoop of extraterrestrial soil our rovers dig up, come some fears. The scoop could contain alien bacteria that might thrive here...

Read more →

El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

Posted by K R on

El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

Major climate events have opened up land bridges during prehistory, along which animals and humans traveled to new continents. A new study proposes that major weather events, like El Niño, open up “water bridges” that allow bacteria to do the same. An international team of researchers has been working with the National Institute of Health (INS) in Peru, looking at the genetic history of pathogens that have sprung up in Latin America over the past few decades. They found odd correlations with pathogens that were already established in Asia. This could be attributed to people or livestock carrying the pathogen...

Read more →