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Jan 10, 2019

Staphylococcus aureus: Study describes development of resistance to antibiotic for the first time

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is one of the commonest pathogens and can even cause sepsis. The new antibiotic dalbavancin is very effective against many bacterial pathogens. However, resistance to the antibiotic was seen to develop during the long-term treatment of a patient with an infection caused by an implanted cardiac device. A team of researchers led by infectiologists from the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine within the Department of Medicine I at MedUni Vienna, Manuel Kussmann and Heimo Lagler, have now described the phenotypical and genotypical mechanism of this development of resistance for the first time. The study was published in leading journal “Emerging Microbes & Infections”.

Staphylococci are bacteria and are part of the normal flora on the skin of humans and animals. Approximately 20% of the Austrian population permanently carry the germ, which is often located in the nasal cavity. There are harmless variants, which only cause mild symptoms, if any at all. In serious cases, the pathogen can find its way into the bloodstream and cause endocarditis and sepsis.

A problematic strain is Staphylococcus aureus, which can be acquired outside hospital but also in hospital as a so-called “hospital-acquired infection”. There are multi-resistant forms of it, which do not necessarily cause serious illness in healthy people. However, in weakened hospital patients or where the natural skin barrier is damaged, infection can result in complications. Nowadays dalbavancin, a latest generation antibiotic, is one of the drugs successfully used to treat multi-resistant bacteria. One of the advantages of this drug is its very long half-life of approximately nine days, so that intravenous treatment can be given on an outpatient basis. However, clinical experience has shown that, sooner or later, resistance develops to any therapeutic use of new antibiotics, so it was just a matter of time with this one.

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Jan 10, 2019

Create beautiful network visualizations of your thoughts, ideas, and writing

Posted by in category: futurism

Abstract constellations of thought. Visualize your ideas and texts as a network, generate interesting insights along the way.

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Jan 10, 2019

Old people can produce as many new brain cells as teenagers

Posted by in category: neuroscience

By Helen Thomson

Old age may have its downsides, but losing the ability to grow new brain cells isn’t one: healthy people in their seventies seem to produce just as many new neurons as teenagers.

The discovery overturns a decades-old theory about how our brains age and could provide clues as to how we can keep our minds sharper for longer.

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Jan 10, 2019

3D Atomic Quantum Chips and Advance to Eventual Large Scale Quantum Tech

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Australia’s New South Wales scientists have adapted single atom technology to build 3D silicon quantum chips – with precise interlayer alignment and highly accurate measurement of spin states. The 3D architecture is considered a major step in the development of a blueprint to build a large-scale quantum computer.

They aligned the different layers in their 3D device with nanometer precision – and showed they could read out qubit states with what’s called ‘single shot’, i.e. within one single measurement, with very high fidelity.

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Jan 10, 2019

Drug sponge could minimize side effects of cancer treatment

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Absorbent polymer sops up chemotherapy drugs from bloodstream after treatment.

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Jan 10, 2019

Researchers develop bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Washington State University researchers have developed a novel way to deliver drugs and therapies into cells at the nanoscale without causing toxic effects that have stymied other such efforts.

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Jan 10, 2019

Handover for fully flexible satellite

Posted by in category: quantum physics

UK engineers complete the build of a novel software-defined telecoms satellite called Quantum.

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Jan 10, 2019

Giving Cas9 an ‘on’ switch for better control of CRISPR gene editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

CRISPR-Cas9 is a revolutionary tool in part because of its versatility: created by bacteria to chew up viruses, it works equally well in human cells to do all sorts of genetic tricks, including cutting and pasting DNA, making pinpoint mutations and activating or inactivating a gene.

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Jan 10, 2019

Laser triggers electrical activity in thunderstorm for the first time

Posted by in category: climatology

A team of European scientists has deliberately triggered electrical activity in thunderclouds for the first time, according to a new paper in the latest issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal. They did this by aiming high-power pulses of laser light into a thunderstorm.

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Jan 10, 2019

New strategy may curtail spread of antibiotic resistance

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Spotless surfaces in hospitals can hide bacteria that rarely cause problems for healthy people but pose a serious threat to people with weakened immune systems. Acinetobacter baumannii causes life-threatening lung and bloodstream infections in hospitalized people. Such infections are among the most difficult to treat because these bacteria have evolved to withstand most antibiotics.

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