Musings of an autodidact

Health & Medicine

Science-Based Medicine

When I get a good tip on a quality source, I like to share so that more people know about it. So, here! If this is a subject of interest to you, Science-Based Medicine may be just the site you didn’t know you were missing.


New life in the lab? Major genetic engineering advance on the way


Picking our battles: good news about MRSA


Scientists ID’d the new antibiotic after swabbing people’s noses and culturing the different strains of bacteria they found. Among their menagerie were both MRSA (which lives in about 30 percent of people’s noses) and another bacterium (Staphylococcus lugdunensis) that killed it when the two were introduced. Its weapon, the team discovered, was lugdunin, which is the first member of a new class of antibiotics.


Antibiotic resistance: more than one way to skin a cat

Biology300NOVA Next: Beyond Antibiotics

President Obama has asked Congress for $1.2 billion over five years for developing new diagnostic tools, creating a database of antibiotic resistant diseases, and funding research to better understand drug resistance. It joins other, ongoing efforts to identify promising new candidates. In labs and universities around the world, researchers are hard at work identifying, testing, and perfecting strategies that go well beyond what, today, we call antibiotics.


Ars Technica takes on bad science journalism

Biology300Ars Technica: No, this isn’t the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, just bad reporting

Since the initial report, mcr-1-toting bacteria have been discovered on every continent. And the infected PA woman, who was suffering from a urinary tract infection, had not traveled in the last five months.

But this may or may not be concerning. It’s important to note that we don’t know exactly how long mcr-1 has been hanging around in bacteria or where it first came from. It may have spread around the globe in months or been lying low and spreading quietly for years. Either way, it was inevitable and expected that mcr-1-carrying bacteria would pop up in the US. (Although, in weeks of testing other bacteria from the Pennsylvania clinic where the patient was identified, no other mcr-1-carrying bacteria have been found.)


A brief introduction to fMRI imaging

So this is roughly the procedure used for that hypnosis study!

In other news, marketing is getting more than a bit creepy, don’t you think?

Progress and ethical dilemmas

Gynecology300New Scientist: Menopause reversal restores periods and produces fertile eggs

“It is potentially quite exciting,” says Roger Sturmey at Hull York Medical School in the UK. “But it also opens up ethical questions over what the upper age limit of mothers should be.”