Double-barreled news today from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an analysis of several sets of hospital data, gathered by the agency and also purchased from independent databases, the CDC said it found that more than 37 percent of prescriptions written in hospitals involved some sort of error or poor practice, increasing the risk of serious infections or antibiotic resistance. And in a surprise announcement timed to the release of the federal draft budget, the agency said it is in line to receive $30 million to enhance its work combating antibiotic resistance in the US.
Just sixty years ago polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases in the U.S. Vaccination campaigns effectively stamped out domestic cases of the disease, with the last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the U.S. in 1979. But news that a small number of children have developed polio-like symptoms in California has fueled instant public interest and concern. Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Stanford University, said in a report released February 23 that five children between August 2012 and July 2013 had developed paralysis reminiscent of polio.
Calico cats obtain their fur color from the inactivation, or ‘silencing,’ of one of their X chromosomes. Scientists have now discovered a technique allowing them to observe the inactive X chromosome of female cells in immortalized mouse cell lines.
A small number of children in California have come down with polio -like illnesses since 2012 — suffering paralysis in one or more limbs and other symptoms — and physicians and public health officials do not yet know why.
In the long fight over antibiotic use in agriculture, one of the most contentious points is whether the resistant bacteria that inevitably arise can move off the farm to affect humans. Most of the illnesses that have been associated with farm antibiotic use — resistant foodborne illness, for example — occur so far from farms that opponents of antibiotic control find them easy to dismiss. So whenever a research team can link resistant bacteria found in humans with farms that are close to those humans, it is an important contribution to the debate.