Let’s face it — we couldn’t possibly have a discussion on overprescribed medications without mentioning Big Pharma’s billion-dollar cash cow, antibiotics. Continue reading
This health e-letter addresses the recent craze for the use of antibacterial soaps in the war against germs. You see them everywhere. They can be found in friends’ and family members’ homes, in the library soap dispenser, in schools, and public washrooms.
What’s responsible for this recent fad? According to many commercials, you need antibacterial soap to kill all the bad bacteria that are out there waiting to cause disease. Ads promote antibacterial cleansers that kill 99.9% of bacteria.
This sounds great, except that not all bacteria are bad. And consider this health advice: repeated use of antibacterial agents can cause those bacteria that are harmful to become resistant. Continue reading
In many ways, modern home appliances have made life simpler by reducing the amount of time it takes to clean, cook, and perform other routine household activities. But some of these technological advances may be responsible for increasing the prevalence of harmful “super” pathogens that have grown resistant to stimuli that used to eliminate them, suggests a new report in the British Mycological Society journal Fungal Biology.
According to the report, household appliances that use water, which include dishwashers and washing machines, have become a new point of infestation for potentially deadly fungi like Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. These strains and others, which would normally be killed off by heat and detergents, have become tolerant to them, and are now being found in a majority of the household appliances tested.
Researchers from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia gathered samples from the dishwashers, washing machines, Continue reading
Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.
This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.
So if you’re curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence.
The genetic code reveals the history Continue reading
Twenty years of careful research and development on a new apple variety has produced an amazing fruit that New Zealand’s Scoop news states is “sweet, tangy and delicious.” And the most amazing aspect of Swiss orchardist and researcher Markus Kobelt’s new RedLove apple variety is that it was designed to be resistant to disease, appealing to the palate, and easy to grow — and all without the use of any sort of artificial genetic modification.
For many years, researchers from other organizations have been working on creating a genetically modified (GM) apple variety that would be higher in nutrients, more resistant to disease and pests, and appealing to growers and consumers. But Kobelt beat them to the punch Continue reading
A deadly new multi-drug resistant bacteria called carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, has now been reported in 36 states—and health officials suspect that it may also be triggering infections in the other 14 states where reporting isn’t required. High rates have been found in long-term care facilities in Los Angeles County, where the superbug was previously believed to be rare, according to a study to be presented in April.
CNN and other news outlets reported in March that in Los Angeles alone, 356 hospital and nursing home patients were infected in just seven months, from June Continue reading