The Hainan Gibbon – a species on the brink of extinction

The Hainan Gibbon – a species on the brink of extinction

Hainan gibbons, or Nomascus hainanus, love to sing. As a new day dawns the adult males, their fur a deep, rich black, climb to the top of the canopy to greet the rising sun with their warbling cry. Soon the females, distinctive by their golden colouring, and their young join in, adding their voices to … Read more

Preserve the Power – taking the fight against antimicrobial resistance to the big screen

Preserve the Power – taking the fight against antimicrobial resistance to the big screen

Attention, movie fans and aspiring filmmakers of Australia – a generous cash prize is on offer for the winners of a national short film competition, called ‘Preserve the Power’. The contest, created in partnership between NPS MedicineWise and American Express Openair Cinemas, is intended to spread awareness about the danger of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Each … Read more

How was New Scientist Live 2017? A visitor’s experience

How was New Scientist Live 2017? A visitor’s experience

On Sunday, I managed to visit New Scientist Live for the last day of this year’s show. It’s the second year for the event, being previously awarded ‘Event of the Year’ by the British Media Awards, and when I saw the range of exciting and engaging (and some quite bizarre) exhibits and talks they had … Read more

A major source of antibiotics may also contribute to antibiotic resistance, new research suggests

A major source of antibiotics may also contribute to antibiotic resistance, new research suggests

Could pathogens obtain antibiotic resistance genes from the same organisms that we use to produce our antibiotics? A new study suggests that this could indeed be the case, as resistance genes bearing striking similarity to one another are found in two key groups of microorganisms. In addition, the study resulted in the proposal of a … Read more

Researchers uncover the structure of anti-TB drug target, and identify a new weapon against the deadly disease

The fight against TB has taken several promising steps forward – scientists from Rutgers University have not only uncovered vital new information about how rifampicin, the frontline anti-TB drug, binds to its target, but have also discovered a completely new class of compounds that specifically kill TB bacteria. The paper was published in the journal … Read more

Invading microbes: Another threat for our vanishing coral reefs

New evidence suggests that coral reefs are facing another danger that puts their existence at risk – inland sources could be introducing invasive bacteria and fungi, disrupting these delicately maintained ecosystems. Using ‘Illumina-based next generation sequencing’, the research team were able to analyse the samples collected around the southeast coast of Florida, including inlet discharges, … Read more

Nursing homes rarely use isolation precautions against multi-drug resistant infections, a recent study shows

Nursing homes may be infrequently applying isolation precautions to prevent the spread of infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO), a recent study suggests. The study, which was published on the 17th February 2017 in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, was carried out at Columbia University School of Nursing in an attempt to … Read more

The Minicare HNL wins the Horizon Prize – a device which could help reduce the misuse of antibiotics

A handheld device, which can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections, and could help reduce the number of incorrectly prescribed antibiotics, has won the first ever European Union ‘Horizon Prize – Better Use of Antibiotics’ in Leuven, Belgium. The HNL test, developed by Royal Philips and Diagnostic Development, uses the Philips’ Minicare I-20 handheld diagnostic … Read more

A living antibiotic?

We may have found a new ally in the fight against antibiotic resistance… though it might not be what you’d expect. Researchers have found exciting evidence to suggest that a predatory bacteria, Bdellovibro bacteriovirus, could be used to deal with dangerous bacterial infections as a ‘living antibiotic’. The study, published on the 23rd November in … Read more

A new, powerful antimicrobial peptide that can give the immune system a helping hand

A modified antimicrobial peptide has been developed which goes the extra mile: as well as showing activity against a wide range of harmful bacteria, it also backs up the immune system, helping it to deal with infection more effectively. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short sequences of amino acids, produced across all kingdoms of life, which … Read more