Friday, October 24, 2008

For the biologically technical

Hopeful news first, depressing second.

Could there be a cure for the common cold (I'd welcome it right now! Fie on my immune system!) in the near future? Scientists investigating the immune response to it are hopeful.

In case you're not in the mood for viruses and proteins, how about bacilli and enzymes? Eleven babies in a British NICU have come down with a drug-resistant E. coli strain, two with fatal results. The particular strain is ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing), meaning that the bacteria produce an enzyme that breaks down the beta-lactam ring in certain antimicrobial drugs.

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