For as long as 14,000 years, the First Nations people of the Heitsuk Nation have made their home along the Central Coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Among the territory's inlets, islands, rivers, and valleys lie a clay deposit on the north side of Kisameet Bay, near King Island. For as long as most can remember, the tribe has used the clay as medicine. Now science says microbes that live in that clay may have important antibacterial properties.
Despite the threat of superbugs, physicians continue to prescribe antibiotics when they might not be needed, and patients are suffering.
News: Antibiotics in Infancy Can Have Major Harms Later in Life—A New Test Could Help Parents Avoid Them Without Worry
Antibiotic use in infants has been associated with a host of childhood conditions later in life. Yet when an infection is suspected in a newborn, usually a sample of their blood is drawn to check for the presence of bacteria and 5 to 8 percent of them receive antibiotics while the diagnosis is pending.
Humanity is standing on an infection precipice. As antibacterial resistant grows, we're running out of options, and a recent scary case of total antibiotic resistance is a frighting view of our potential future. In the end, it was septic shock that took the life of a 70-year old woman with an incurable infection. One of few such cases in the US, her death could nonetheless be the shape of things to come.
Even though the Ebola virus was discovered as recently as 1976, over 30,000 people have been infected since, and half have died a horrible death. Since there's no way to cure the infection, the world desperately needs a way to prevent it — and the five similar viruses in its family, the ebolaviruses.
Drug-resistant bacteria have made curing some infections challenging, if not nearly impossible. By 2050, it's estimated that 10 million people will be dying annually from infections with antibiotic-resistant organisms.
Scientists are constantly on the search for new organisms, species, and other types of life. A special group of these researchers, calling themselves "bioprospectors," dive deep into mines to find unique lifeforms with special properties not found anywhere else.
New research reveals how E. coli bacteria construct elaborate and effective tunnels to pump unwanted molecules like antibiotics and other toxins out of cells. The discovery could help us better understand how antibiotic resistance occurs and give us a leg-up to beat them at their own game.
The noses of kids who live in areas of intense pig farming may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria, presumably acquired from the animals, according to a new study by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
News: Step Aside Penicillin — A Deep Dive into Fungus Genes Reveals Over 1,300 Potential Antibiotics Waiting to Be Discovered
On October 17, 1943, a story in the New York Herald Tribune read "Many laymen — husbands, wives, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — beg Dr. Keefer for penicillin," according to the American Chemical Society. Dr. Chester Keefer of Boston was responsible for rationing the new miracle drug, penicillin.
News: Dangerous Bacterial Films Communicate with Electric Pulses, Which Means We Could Zap Them to Interfere
Lighthouses and signal fires may have been the first social media. Without the ability to share language, a distant light meant "humans here." A new study from the University of California, San Diego, finds that bacteria can also send out a universal sign to attract the attention of their own, and other bacterial species.
The bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bad actor known for being antibiotic-resistant and causing a variety of serious infections in hospitals, including pneumonia, surgical site wounds, and meningitis. K. pneumoniae is something you do not want to encounter if you have a compromised immune system.
Long admired for their active and cooperative community behavior, some types of ants also wear a gardening hat. Nurturing underground fungus gardens, these ants have a win-win relationship that provides food for both ants and fungi. If we humans understand it better, it may just help us out, too.
News: Our Communities Are Now More Likely Than Hospitals to Give Kids Antibiotic-Resistant Infections
Antibiotic-resistant infections that usually occur only in hospital settings are spreading in communities, increasing hospital stays—and danger—for young children.
Our quest to find novel compounds in nature that we can use against human diseases —a process called bioprospecting — has led a research team to a small frog found in India. From the skin slime of the colorful Hydrophylax bahuvistara, researchers reported finding a peptide — a small piece of protein — that can destroy many strains of human flu and can even protect mice against the flu.
A 'superbug' fungus is currently running riot in the hospitals of New York and New Jersey. This outbreak of Candida auris has contributed to 17 deaths in NYC, according to recent reports.
An advance in the race to stop birth defects caused by Zika-infected mothers has been made by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. They have identified the process Zika uses to gain entry into the placenta, and published their findings in the journal Biochemistry.
Wound infections don't usually enter the blood and become systemic, spreading the infection throughout our bodies, and there's a good reason for that: Our bodies actively work to prevent it, according to research that discovered a new use for a protein first discovered decades ago.
Phase 2 of a Zika vaccine trial began in the United States this week, along with Central and South America.