One-Two Punch Of Combining Antibiotics Could Help Combat Ever-Increasing Drug Resistance
With antibiotic drug resistance on the rise, those in the medical field are looking for ways to outsmart bacteria. In other public health news: vaccines, walking drunk, testosterone, exercise, probiotics and more.
As Drug Resistance Grows, Combining Antibiotics Could Yield New Treatments
Combining certain antibiotics could help them pack a one-two punch against harmful bacteria, according to a new study published Wednesday in Nature. Nassos Typas and his colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany tested 3,000 different combinations of antibiotics with each other or with drugs, food additives, and other compounds on three common types of bacteria that infect humans. (Thielking, 7/4)
Did Pandemic Flu Vaccine Trigger An Increase In Narcolepsy Cases?
Nearly a decade on from the 2009 influenza pandemic, scientists are still trying to solve what is proving to be an intractable medical mystery: Did some of the vaccines used to protect against the new flu virus trigger an increase in narcolepsy cases? A major attempt to unravel the mystery — a study that’s still in the publication pipeline — did not find evidence that vaccines containing a boosting compound called an adjuvant sparked a rise in cases of narcolepsy, a serious but rare sleep disorder. (Branswell, 7/5)
Walking Drunk Can Be Deadly
Whether they’re emptying out of bars, going home from football watch parties, or trying to get across the highway, drunken walkers are dying in traffic crashes nationwide at alarming numbers. A third of pedestrians killed in crashes in 2016 were over the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s nearly 2,000 people — up more than 300 since 2014. (Bergal, 7/5)
Los Angeles Times:
An Extra Dose Of Testosterone Increases Men's Preference For High-Status Luxury Goods, Study Says
An extra shot of testosterone, it seems, makes a man act like an animal. You know the type: one of those male birds who unfurls some of his most spectacular feathers when the ladies are around, or the buck who uses his crown of antlers to advertise his virility. In short, an animal prone to making showy displays of his power, beauty or wealth to win mates, gain allies and intimidate competitors. (Healy, 7/4)
The New York Times:
Exercise May Aid In Weight Loss. Provided You Do Enough.
Can working out help us to drop pounds after all? A provocative new study involving overweight men and women suggests that it probably can, undercutting a widespread notion that exercise, by itself, is worthless for weight loss. But the findings also indicate that, to benefit, we may need to exercise quite a bit. (Reynolds, 7/4)
The Other Victims: First Responders To Horrific Disasters Often Suffer In Solitude
The day a gunman fired into a crowd of 22,000 people at the country music festival in Las Vegas, hospital nursing supervisor Antoinette Mullan was focused on one thing: saving lives. She recalls dead bodies on gurneys across the triage floor, a trauma bay full of victims. But “in that moment, we’re not aware of anything else but taking care of what’s in front of us,” Mullan said. Proud as she was of the work her team did, she calls it “the most horrific evening of my life” — the culmination of years of searing experiences she has tried to work through, mostly on her own. (de Marco, 7/5)
The New York Times:
Probiotics May Be Good For Your Bones
A probiotic supplement could be good for your bones, a new study suggests. Researchers studied 90 women, 75 to 80 years old, all generally healthy but with low bone mineral density. They measured their bone density at the start of the study, and then randomly assigned them to a placebo or to two daily doses of freeze-dried Lactobacillus reuteri, an intestinal tract microbe that occurs naturally in many, but not all, people. (Bakalar, 7/3)
Carbon Dioxide Increase Could Lead To Nutritional Deficiencies And Disease
The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that crops are becoming less nutritious, and that change could lead to higher rates of malnutrition that predispose people to various diseases. That conclusion comes from an analysis published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, which also examined how the risk could be alleviated. In the end, cutting emissions, and not public health initiatives, may be the best response, according to the paper's authors. (Chisholm, 7/3)
The New York Times:
It’s Time For A Chemistry Lesson. Put On Your Virtual Reality Goggles.
There was a time when biochemists had a lot in common with sculptors. Scientists who had devoted their lives to studying a molecule would building a model, using metal and a forest of rods to hold up the structure of thousands of atoms. “Slow work, but at the end you really know the molecule,” said Michael Levitt, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013. These days simulations on screens have replaced such models, sacrificing some of their tactile value while gaining the ability to show movement. But what if you could enter a virtual reality environment where the molecules lie before you, obeying all the laws of molecular physics as calculated by supercomputers, and move them around in three dimensions? (Greenwood, 7/3)