Formula maker Abbott faces DOJ criminal probe following infant deaths

The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022.

Enlarge / The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022. (credit: Getty | Jeff Kowalsky)

The Department of Justice’s consumer-protection branch has opened a criminal investigation into the conduct of Abbott Laboratories, one of the country’s largest formula makers, at the center of a contamination scandal and ongoing nationwide shortage.

The existence of the investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Though the DOJ is not commenting on it, a spokesperson for Abbott said the department has informed them of the investigation and that the company is “cooperating fully.”

Federal regulators last year found numerous violations and “egregiously unsanitary” conditions at Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan, plant, the largest formula factory in the country. The regulators previously received reports that at least four babies who drank formula made at that facility fell ill with dangerous infections of the bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii, which had also been detected in the plant. Two of the infants died.

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#abbott, #babies, #bacteria, #contamination, #cronobacter-sakazakii, #doj, #fda, #food-safety, #formula, #infants, #science

Can a Federally Funded ‘Netflix Model’ Fix the Broken Market for Antibiotics?

Shortages and drug-resistant germs have renewed attention on a $6 billion proposal in Congress that would reconfigure the way antimicrobial drugs are developed and sold.

#antibiotics, #bacteria, #clinical-trials, #drug-resistance-microbial, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #hospitals, #infections, #law-and-legislation, #politics-and-government, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #united-states-politics-and-government

Brushing Teeth: Is It Better Before Breakfast or After?

It’s a hotly debated question in dentistry.

#bacteria, #carbohydrates, #content-type-service, #fluorides, #teeth-and-dentistry

Thawing permafrost exposes old pathogens—and new hosts

Thawing permafrost exposes old pathogens—and new hosts

Enlarge (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty)

The Arctic—that remote, largely undisturbed, 5.5 million square miles of frozen terrain—is heating up fast. In fact, it’s warming nearly four times quicker than the rest of the world, with disastrous consequences for the region and its inhabitants. Many of these impacts you probably know from nature documentaries: ice caps melting, sea levels rising, and polar bears losing their homes. But good news! There is another knock-on effect to worry about: the warming landscape is rewiring viral dynamics, with the potential to unleash new pathogens.

An underappreciated consequence of climate change is how it will exacerbate the spread of infectious disease. As the world heats up, many species are expected to up sticks and meander many miles away from their typical habitat, bringing various pathogens along with them for the ride. This means that previously unacquainted viruses and hosts will meet for the first time, potentially leading to viral spillover—where a virus jumps from one reservoir host to a new one, like our old friend SARS-CoV-2.

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#arctic, #bacteria, #climate-change, #pathogens, #permafrost, #science, #syndication

A New Approach to Spotting Tumors: Look for Their Microbes

New research is revealing that cancer is rife with bacteria and fungi — a rich ecosystem that scientists call the tumor microbiome.

#bacteria, #cancer, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #microbiology, #research, #tumors, #your-feed-science

UTI Treatment: What to Know About Supplements and Prevention

More than half of American women will have a urinary tract infection during their lives. But can supplements really stave that off?

#bacteria, #bladder, #dietary-supplements-and-herbal-remedies, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #infections, #social-media, #urinary-tract

What Is Legionnaires’ Disease and How Can I Protect Myself?

Nearly one out of every 10 people who gets sick with Legionnaires’ dies because of complications from the illness. Here’s what to know about prevention, detection and treatment.

#air-conditioning, #antibiotics, #bacteria, #content-type-service, #elderly, #emergency-medical-treatment, #hospitals, #legionnairesdisease, #nursing-homes, #pneumonia, #respiratory-diseases, #tests-medical

Are monkeypox scars permanent?

The best time to care for skin lesions is in their active phase.

#bacteria, #content-type-service, #monkeypox, #scarring, #skin

How Abbott Kept Sick Babies From Becoming a Scandal

Abbott’s lawyers at Jones Day negotiated secret settlements and used scorched earth tactics with families whose infants fell ill after consuming powdered formula.

#abbott-laboratories, #babies-and-infants, #bacteria, #compensation-for-damages-law, #decisions-and-verdicts, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #infant-formulas, #jones-day, #legal-profession, #meningitis, #suits-and-litigation-civil

Bacteria fight off viruses with a protein like one of ours

Group of E. coli like bacteria, colored green.

Enlarge (credit: KATERYNA KON)

Vertebrates such as ourselves rely on a complicated, multi-layer immune system to limit the impact of pathogens. Specialized B and T cells play a central role by recognizing specific pathogens and providing a memory of past infections.

Obviously, single-celled organisms like bacteria and archaea can’t take the same approach. But that doesn’t mean they’re defenseless. They also have an adaptive defense system that maintains a memory of past infections (and happens to make a great gene editing tool). Now, researchers have found that a family of related proteins is used to fight viruses in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. While the effects it triggers vary among organisms, it appears to be capable of recognizing a wide range of viruses.

Finding family members

Mammals have a family of immune proteins called STAND (for reasons that are unimportant) that are part of what calls the innate immune system. This arm of our immune system doesn’t recognize specific pathogens; instead, it recognizes general features of infection, such as molecules that are found on the surface of most bacteria.

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#bacteria, #biology, #evolution, #immunology, #science, #viruses

Gulf Coast tests confirm deadly tropical soil bacterium now endemic to US

<Em>Burkholderia pseudomallei</em> grown on sheep blood agar for 24 hours. <em>B. pseudomallei</em> is a Gram-negative aerobic bacteria, and it's the causative agent of melioidosis.

Enlarge / Burkholderia pseudomallei grown on sheep blood agar for 24 hours. B. pseudomallei is a Gram-negative aerobic bacteria, and it’s the causative agent of melioidosis. (credit: Getty | CDC/Courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory)

For years, health officials in the US noted sporadic, mysterious cases of a foreign bacterial infection, called melioidosis. The infection—which is difficult to diagnose, tricky to treat, and often deadly—was thought to only strike travelers or those who came in contact with contaminated imported goods or animals. Yet, now and then, an American would inexplicably fall ill—no recent travel, no clear links.

Now, health officials have a definitive explanation. And it confirms a dreaded, long-held suspicion: The deadly bacterium is foreign no more. Rather, it’s a permanent US resident entrenched in American soil.

Three samples taken from soil and puddle water in the Gulf Coast region of southern Mississippi tested positive for the bacterium, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. The sampling was part of an investigation into two mysterious cases in the area that occurred in 2020 and 2022. The positive test results mark the first time that investigators have caught the deadly germ in US environmental samples, though they’ve been looking for it for years.

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#bacteria, #burkholderia-pseudomallei, #cdc, #infection, #infectious-disease, #melioidosis, #public-health, #science

The Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth

When assessing how likely a given meal, snack or drink is to harm your dental health, there are two main things to consider, experts say.

#acids, #bacteria, #content-type-service, #diet-and-nutrition, #fluorides, #food, #fruit, #sugar, #teeth-and-dentistry, #vegetables, #xylitol

New bacterium roughly the size, shape of an eyelash smashes size record

The bacteria, <em>Ca. Thiomargarita magnifica</em>, discovered in the French Caribbean mangroves is a member of the genus <em>Thiomargarita</em>.

Enlarge / The bacteria, Ca. Thiomargarita magnifica, discovered in the French Caribbean mangroves is a member of the genus Thiomargarita. (credit: Tomas Tyml)

Clinging to sunken debris in shallow, marine mangrove forests in the French Caribbean, tiny thread-like organisms—perfectly visible to the naked eye—have earned the title of the largest bacteria ever known.

Measuring around a centimeter long, they are roughly the size and shape of a human eyelash, batting away the competition at 5,000 times the size of garden-variety bacteria and 50 times the size of bacteria previously considered giant. In human terms, this is akin to coming across a person as tall as Mount Everest.

Olivier Gros, a biologist at the University of the Antilles, discovered the prokaryotes in 2009, noticing them gently swaying in the sulfur-rich waters among the mangroves in the Guadeloupe archipelago. The bacteria clung to the leaves, branches, oyster shells, and bottles that sunk into the tropical swamp, Gros said in a press briefing.

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#bacteria, #biology, #microbiology, #science

Scientists Discover the Largest Bacteria Ever Seen

Researchers found bacterial cells so large they are easily visible to the naked eye, challenging ideas about how large microbes can get.

#bacteria, #guadeloupe, #microbiology, #research, #science-journal, #your-feed-science

How Bad Are the Germs in Public Restrooms, Really?

Communal bathrooms can harbor plenty of pathogens, but simple precautions will help keep them at bay.

#bacteria, #bathrooms-and-toilets, #content-type-service, #feces, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus-aureus, #norovirus, #salmonella-bacteria, #skin, #staphylococcus-aureus

What Really Caused the Baby Formula Shortage

The recent shutdown of one of the largest production plants in the United States has sent families scrambling to find essential food for their children.

#abbott-laboratories, #audio-negative-sad, #audio-neutral-informative, #bacteria, #food-and-drug-administration, #infant-formulas, #shortages

F.D.A. Chief Details ‘Shocking’ Conditions at Baby Formula Plant

Agency inspectors found a leaking roof, standing water and cracked production equipment before a facility shutdown that led to major shortages.

#abbott-laboratories, #baby-foods, #bacteria, #califf-robert-m, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #food-and-drug-administration, #infant-formulas, #michigan, #shortages, #shutdowns-institutional, #supply-chain, #united-states-politics-and-government

Baby Formula Shortage Reveals Gaps in Regulation and Reporting

The government has ordered more safeguards at an Abbott Nutrition plant. But the lack of reporting requirements and limited testing make it hard to monitor the deadly bacterium that led to a recall.

#abbott-laboratories, #bacteria, #food-and-drug-administration, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #infant-formulas, #product-tests, #recalls-and-bans-of-products, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #shortages, #sturgis-mich

FDA obliterates formula maker’s defense of contamination linked to baby deaths

The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022.

Enlarge / The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022. (credit: Getty | Jeff Kowalsky)

Formula maker Abbott continues to firmly deny that its infant formulas sickened four babies, killing two. The denial is despite the same dangerous bacteria that sickened the infants—Cronobacter sakazakii—being found at the company’s formula factory in Sturgis, Michigan, which the Food and Drug Administration alleges was producing formula “under insanitary conditions.” And at least one container of Abbott’s formula tested positive for the same Cronobacter sakazakii strain found infecting one of the infants.

Still, Abbott argues that the link hasn’t been confirmed, and its formula isn’t to blame. In a lengthy Twitter thread on May 13, the company made the blunt assertion: “The formula from this plant did not cause these infant illnesses.”

But that is a brazen and misleading claim, according to the Food and Drug Administration. In a press briefing Monday evening, agency officials thoroughly dismantled Abbott’s defense.

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#abbott, #baby-formula, #bacteria, #bacterial-strains, #cdc, #contamination, #cronobacter-sakazakii, #fda, #food-safety, #formula, #outbreak, #pathogens, #science

Hydroponic Lettuce Was Seen as Safe From Salmonella, Until an Outbreak

The F.D.A. criticized measures at a hydroponics greenhouse linked to an outbreak last summer, and offered guidelines that have ramifications for the popular industry.

#agriculture-and-farming, #bacteria, #brightfarms-inc, #food, #food-and-drug-administration, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #salmonella-bacteria, #united-states

Paul Sutter explores the origins of life, and DNA versus RNA

Produced and directed by Corey Eisenstein. Click here for transcript. (video link)

After spending three episodes looking to the heavens—first at dark matter, then Mars, then black holes—our intrepid host Paul Sutter now turns his gaze to a more terrestrial topic: Why are we here?

And I don’t mean in a Nietzschean sense (and if it’s Nietzschean discussions you want, Ars Deputy Editor Nate Anderson has you covered in his upcoming book on Nietzsche!)—Paul’s question is much more physical. Why are we here, specifically—we complex, multicellular sentient beings made of gobs and gobs of proteins and self-replicating DNA? Why is life a thing? How, billions of years ago, did Earth go from a planet devoid of life to a planet festooned with it?

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#ars-shopping, #ars-technica-videos, #bacteria, #dna, #edge-of-knowledge, #evolution, #feature, #features, #paul-sutter, #rna, #science

He Spent Decades Protecting Buffalo. A Microscopic Invader Threatens That Work.

Fred DuBray’s bison herd in South Dakota has been ravaged by Mycoplasma bovis, a bacteria that has decimated herds across the Plains and the West.

#agriculture-and-farming, #animals, #bacteria, #bison, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #great-plains-us, #native-americans, #ranches, #south-dakota

Her IBS Was Misery. But What If She Actually Had Something Else?

For two decades, the patient was told she had irritable bowel syndrome, and now there was little she was able to eat. Then her tests showed something strange.

#antibiotics, #bacteria, #bowels, #brucellosis, #dairy-products, #irritable-bowel-syndrome, #tests-medical

No, bad leftovers didn’t cause teen’s life-threatening infection, amputations

Stock photo of leftovers in a polystyrene container.

Enlarge / A metal ladle is used to serve takeout Chinese food from a plastic container, Lafayette, California, December 25, 2021. (credit: Getty | Gado)

Medical experts are calling out a rotten batch of news articles that wrongly claimed spoiled leftover Chinese food caused a teen to develop a life-threatening infection within hours, which led to the amputation of both his legs below the knees and parts of all 10 of his fingers.

In reality, the 19-year-old male suffered a rare and extremely severe complication from a blood infection with a bacterium that causes meningococcal disease. The bacterium—known as Neisseria meningitidis—is not foodborne, and its incubation period is longer than just a few hours.

N. meningitidis harmlessly colonize the noses and throats of about 10 percent of people. It spreads through very close contact and directly swapping saliva, such as through coughing, kissing, and living in close quarters, like dormitories. Given the risk in group settings, many colleges and universities require students to get meningococcal vaccines before attending. Still, there has never been a documented case of N. meningitidis spreading via food.

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#bacteria, #food, #foodborne-illness, #leftovers, #medical-case, #meningococcal-disease, #neisseria-meningitidis, #nejm, #science

Every Pore on Your Face Is a Walled Garden

A close examination of human skin found that each pore had a single variety of bacteria living inside.

#acne, #bacteria, #cell-hostmicrobe-journal, #microbiology, #research, #skin, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Hedgehogs Are a Source of Drug-Resistant Bacteria, Study Finds

Scientists chart how a battle between fungus and bacteria living on the skin of hedgehogs led to the emergence of a strain of MRSA that can infect cows and humans.

#antibiotics, #bacteria, #drug-resistance-microbial, #hedgehogs, #methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus-aureus, #nature-journal, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Smokers gave a home to bacteria that now sicken people with cystic fibrosis

Image of a smoking cigarette.

Enlarge (credit: Peter Dazeley / Getty Images)

Smoking can really clog up the lungs, even for people who’ve never been near a cigarette. Turns out that smoking habits from the early 1900s are still inflicting damage—not on tobacco users or their families, but on people with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary condition that makes afflicted people’s mucus thick and sticky. Their lungs become breeding grounds for bacteria that healthy people’s immune systems easily defeat. People with CF often take antibiotics to prevent lung infections, but antibiotics don’t kill everything. A bacterium called Mycobacterium abscessus (M. abscessus) is resistant to many common drugs, and it has become a plague in the CF community over the last couple of decades.

A few years ago, scientists began investigating how the plague originated. By analyzing M. abscessus genomes collected from people around the world, the researchers traced the bacterium’s spread over the last century. They found that decades before the 1950s—before medical advances let people with CF survive past infancy—M. abscessus was already spreading around the globe, and an old public health enemy was to blame. Smokers’ lungs created a reservoir where the pathogen could live and reproduce, a reservoir that quickly spilled over when people with cystic fibrosis began living into adulthood.

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#bacteria, #biology, #cystic-fibrosis, #epidemiology, #infections, #medicine, #science, #smoking

The Gene-Synthesis Revolution

Researchers can now design and mass-produce genetic material — a technique that helped build the mRNA vaccines. What could it give us next?

#2021-tech-and-design, #antibiotics, #bacteria, #biology-and-biochemistry, #biotechnology-and-bioengineering, #chemistry, #crispr-dna, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genetics-and-heredity, #ginkgo-bioworks-inc, #synthetic-biology

How to Minimize the Risk of Food Poisoning

You can protect yourself up to a point if you take proper precautions with the foods you purchase.

#bacteria, #e-coli-bacteria, #food, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #poisoning-and-poisons, #salmonella-bacteria

Mystery of deadly US infections solved; aromatherapy spray at Walmart to blame

Extreme close-up photograph of white flecks growing in red blood.

Enlarge / Burkholderia pseudomallei grown on sheep blood agar for 24 hours. B. pseudomallei is a Gram-negative aerobic bacteria, and it’s the causative agent of melioidosis. (credit: Getty | CDC/Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed that an aromatherapy gemstone spray sold at Walmart is linked to four mysterious bacterial infections in four different states. The infections left two dead, including a child.

On Friday, the CDC announced a break in the months-long mystery: A bottle of aromatherapy room spray in the home of a Georgia patient who died was contaminated with the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. The dangerous microbe is typically found in soil and water in tropical and subtropical climates, such as South Asia. When the bacterium is consumed or inhaled or enters a skin wound, it can cause a life-threatening but difficult-to-diagnose infection called melioidosis.

As soon as the CDC identified the contaminated spray, Walmart and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of the product, the Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones, which is manufactured in India. Walmart is offering customers a $20 gift card for the safe return of the dangerous spray bottles.

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#bacteria, #burkholderia-pseudomallei, #cdc, #melioidosis, #outbreak, #science

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Onions Sickens More Than 650

The C.D.C. urged consumers to throw away any whole red, white or yellow onions they purchased that do not have a sticker or packaging.

#bacteria, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #chihuahua-mexico, #food-and-drug-administration, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #idaho, #infections, #onions, #recalls-and-bans-of-products, #salmonella-bacteria

Tuberculosis, Like Covid, Spreads in Aerosols, Scientists Report

The finding upends conventional wisdom regarding coughing, long thought to be the main route of transmission.

#bacteria, #coughs, #disease-rates, #research, #south-africa, #tuberculosis, #your-feed-science

Should You Get a Microbiome Test?

Companies can tell you the kinds of microbes that live in your gut, but the results may not help you lose weight or fend off disease.

#bacteria, #content-type-service, #depression-mental, #diabetes, #diet-and-nutrition, #digestive-tract, #food, #genetics-and-heredity, #microbiology, #obesity, #weight

4th person in US mysteriously stricken with deadly bacteria from South Asia

<Em>Burkholderia pseudomallei</em> grown on sheep blood agar for 24 hours. <em>B. pseudomallei</em> is a Gram-negative aerobic bacteria, and it's the causative agent of melioidosis.

Enlarge / Burkholderia pseudomallei grown on sheep blood agar for 24 hours. B. pseudomallei is a Gram-negative aerobic bacteria, and it’s the causative agent of melioidosis. (credit: Getty | CDC/Courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory)

A fourth person in a fourth US state has mysteriously contracted a deadly South Asian bacterium without leaving the continental US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

Two of the four cases have been fatal, including the latest one identified in Georgia late last month during a post-mortem exam.

CDC investigators determined that all four cases are connected and they suspect a so-far-unknown imported product may be to blame. The CDC had previously released an advisory on June 30 about the three earlier cases.

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#bacteria, #burkholderia-pseudomallei, #cdc, #infectious-disease, #melioidosis, #public-health, #science

Send in the Bugs. The Michelangelos Need Cleaning.

Last fall, with the Medici Chapel in Florence operating on reduced hours because of Covid-19, scientists and restorers completed a secret experiment: They unleashed grime-eating bacteria on the artist’s masterpiece marbles.

#art, #bacteria, #buonarroti-michelangelo, #florence-italy, #leo-x-1475-1521, #medici-chapel, #museums, #restoration-and-renovation, #sculpture, #tombs-and-tombstones

Subway Swabbers Find a Microbe Jungle — And Thousands of New Species

A team of international researchers has assembled an atlas of microorganisms present in 60 cities around the world.

#bacteria, #cell-journal, #drug-resistance-microbial, #geography, #microbiology, #subways, #transit-systems, #your-feed-science

Stop Kissing and Snuggling Chickens, C.D.C. Says After Salmonella Outbreak

More than 160 illnesses and dozens of hospitalizations have been reported across 43 states, officials said. “These are not house pets and a lot of people confuse that,” a poultry educator said.

#bacteria, #birds, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #chickens, #content-type-service, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #poultry, #salmonella-bacteria

Where Does Covid End, and Long Covid Begin?

“Long Covid” is just the latest example of a pathogen causing surprising persistent effects.

#autoimmune-diseases, #bacteria, #chronic-condition-health, #chronic-fatigue-syndrome, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #disease-rates, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #helicobacter-pylori-bacterium

A Terrifying Disease Stalks Seaside Australia: Flesh-Eating Ulcers

As Buruli ulcer cases have risen, they have taken a physical and psychological toll but also offered hope that scientists can solve the bacteria’s many mysteries.

#australia, #bacteria, #ulcers

A Changing Gut Microbiome May Predict How Well You Age

People whose gut bacteria transformed over the decades tended to be healthier and live longer.

#bacteria, #diet-and-nutrition, #digestive-tract, #fiber-dietary, #immune-system, #microbiology, #weight

How Do Blind Worms See the Color Blue?

Eyeless roundworms may have hacked other cellular warning systems to give themselves a form of color vision.

#bacteria, #color, #evolution-biology, #eyes-and-eyesight, #genetics-and-heredity, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #light, #research, #science-journal, #senses-and-sensation, #worms, #your-feed-science

Lethal Chimp Disease Is Linked to Newly Identified Bacteria

Deaths at a Sierra Leone sanctuary that stumped people for 15 years have now been linked to a bacterium that seems to cause similar ailments in humans.

#bacteria, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #monkeys-and-apes, #nature-communications-journal, #research, #sierra-leone, #tacugama-chimpanzee-sanctuary-sierra-leone, #veterinary-medicine, #wildlife-die-offs, #your-feed-science

With All Eyes on Covid-19, Drug-Resistant Infections Crept In

The spread of other dangerous germs is surging — a result, in part, of the chaotic response to the pandemic.

#bacteria, #candida-auris-fungus, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #drug-resistance-microbial, #elder-care, #fungi, #hospitals, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #infections, #nursing-homes, #peru

Seeking an Obesity Cure, Researchers Turn to the Gut Microbiome

The link between the gut and metabolic disease is a growing area of obesity research.

#bacteria, #digestive-tract, #feces, #infections, #liver, #obesity, #transplants, #weight

These Microbes May Help Future Martians and Moon People Mine Metals

An experiment aboard the space station showed that bacteria were effective at extracting rare earth elements from rocks.

#bacteria, #international-space-station, #mars-planet, #mines-and-mining, #moon, #rare-earths, #space-and-astronomy

How Bacteria-Eating Bacteria Could Help Win the War Against Germs

While microscopic and little known, predatory bacteria are among the world’s fiercest and most effective hunters.

#antibiotics, #bacteria, #drug-resistance-microbial, #immune-system, #microbiology, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Are We Looking for the Wrong Coronavirus Vaccines?

The best vaccines don’t just prevent a disease; they also prevent the pathogen causing the disease from being transmitted. So why aren’t we focusing more on those?

#australia, #bacteria, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #children-and-childhood, #clinical-trials, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #food-and-drug-administration, #germany, #human-papillomavirus-hpv, #measles, #meningitis, #meningococcal-meningitis, #mumps, #pneumonia, #poliomyelitis, #preventive-medicine, #quarantines, #whooping-cough, #world-health-organization

Massive Salmonella outbreak sweeps US, Canada. Nearly 900 sickened so far

Close-up photograph of hand and knife chopping red onion.

Enlarge / Red onions have been fingered as the likely culprit. (credit: Getty | Thomas Trutschel)

An outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to tainted onions has mushroomed in North America. So far, the outbreak has sickened 879 people, hospitalizing 114 across 43 US states and seven Canadian provinces.

The US Food and Drug Administration traced the outbreak back to red onions produced by Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California. Thomson issued a recall of all of its onions August 1, covering red, yellow, white, and sweet bulbs that were shipped any time after May 1. But the outbreak numbers will likely continue to climb, given the potentially week-long period between eating a bad onion and developing symptoms, plus a typical two-to-four-week lag in case reporting.

The tainted onions were shipped to wholesalers, restaurants, and grocery stores across Canada as well as in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Affected stores include Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Publix, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, and H-E-B. The onions were sold under brand names: Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion.

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#bacteria, #canada, #cdc, #fda, #food-borne-illness, #food-poisoning, #infectious-disease, #onions, #outbreak, #recall, #salmonella, #science

Bacteria live despite burial in seafloor mud for 100 million years

Yuki Morono of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology handles bacteria that might be 100 million years old. Be careful!

Enlarge / Yuki Morono of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology handles bacteria that might be 100 million years old. Be careful! (credit: Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)

You know those videos where people open (or even eat?) military rations from World War II? It’s shocking to see just how well-preserved these “foods” can be after all those decades. In a way, Yuki Morono and his team of researchers at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology flipped that experience around by giving modern food to some old organisms. But their case involved bringing up ancient mud from the seafloor and adding some food to see if anything was alive in there.

There were, in fact, bacteria in the mud, which likely doesn’t sound surprising. But given the environment and the age of this stuff—100 million years—it’s actually pretty remarkable.

In deep

Life deep below ground or below the seafloor isn’t studied as well as the readily accessible surface world. Sampling has shown that seafloor mud in different parts of the ocean differ a lot in terms of the types and abundance of microbial life that are present. But in this case, the researchers sampled deep sediments in the middle of the South Pacific, where there’s extremely little organic matter available for life to grow on.

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#bacteria, #extremophiles, #science

These Microbes May Have Survived 100 Million Years Beneath the Seafloor

Rescued from their cold, cramped and nutrient-poor homes, the bacteria awoke in the lab and grew.

#bacteria, #extraterrestrial-life, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #geology, #microbiology, #nature-communications-journal, #oceans-and-seas, #pacific-ocean, #research, #your-feed-science