I could write a “Say What?” blog post about Glenn Beck’s recent rant about the imminent danger of newly airborne Ebola being brought to America by Nigerian prison guards. Not a doctor

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In a recent post, I wrote about the establishment of a new Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors at Science magazine – a response, in part, to emerging concerns about poorly applied statistical methods in published research results. As I wrote, I believe that the establishment of a new research board is characteristic of how a healthy scientific community should react to signs of problems: no one benefits when insufficiently justified results are published.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug-resistant bacteria cause more than two million infections, and kill at least 23,000 people every year in the United States. At the same time, the development of new antibiotics has slowed to a trickle, partially because pharmaceutical companies know that the inevitable emergence of resistance will cut short the useful lifespan of any drug they develop.

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On June 25, 2014, the following scientific study made the cover of the prestigious journal, Nature: “Aspergillomarasmine A overcomes metallo-β-lactamase antibiotic resistance.” Doesn’t exactly sound earth-shattering, does it? But the discovery of a fungal compound that restores the efficacy of one of our antibiotics of last resort is, in fact, huge news.

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04.21.2014


Quick! What do you say when someone tells you that your entire body is covered in bacteria?

A) Yuck!

B) Yay!

If your answer was A, you’re not alone, but your gut would certainly disagree.

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