Lenski's work with E. coli has also led him into the digital world. Using computers, Lenski can achieve precise, rapid results by manipulating digital organisms. Software that evolves much like bacteria in the real world.
We now know that antibacterial soaps do not protect from preventable illness better than regular soap, but beyond that, some of these products are even shown to have deleterious long-term effects.
In 2011, the NIH Clinical Center had a cluster of infections of a pathogen that tops the CDC's list of urgent threats: antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. This bacteria, which can cause bloodstream and other infections, has recently developed resistance to the class of antibiotics known as carbapenems. The outbreak at NIH started with a single infected patient who was discharged weeks before any other cases were detected. This story of antibiotic-resistant infections is becoming more common around the world, and is especially dangerous in hospitals. Dr. Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute, will discuss how the outbreak was traced using state-of-the-art DNA sequencing.
The arrival in the US of plasmid-mediated resistance to colistin antibiotics, a last line of defense against many gram-negative bacilli, and a quorum sensing system in a eukaryote are topics of this episode hosted by Vincent, Michael, and Michele.
Lu, an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, talks with Jeff Fox about efforts to develop new phage varieties, swapping in phage tail genes that enable them to target specific bacterial pathogens, including those carrying virulence or antibiotic resistance factors.
Dr. Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute, discusses how the outbreak was traced using state-of-the-art DNA sequencing.
Rapid detection of antibiotic resistance is vital in assessing the appropriate antibiotic therapy for an infection. Participants present data on two new inexpensive tests to detect antibiotic resistance markers within hours or even minutes.
On the issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and animals, the first thing that comes to mind is livestock and other farm-based animals that are regularly fed antibiotics as growth promoters, but they are not the only source of resistance. Participants discuss studies showing that non-farm animals including pets, zoo animals and even houseflies serve as vectors for antibiotic resistance.