Week 6 – Medical Advances…and Setbacks?

How do we heal medicine?

A_GawandeOur medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine — with fewer cowboys and more pit crews.
New → Books by Gawande, Atul

…. A next-gen cure for killer infections

K_MullisDrug-resistant bacteria kills, even in top hospitals. But now tough infections like staph and anthrax may be in for a surprise. Nobel-winning chemist Kary Mullis, who watched a friend die when powerful antibiotics failed, unveils a radical new cure that shows extraordinary promise.


Related Resources

August 29, 2014. Superbug NDM could ‘change face of healthcare’ experts warn New_Delhi_Metallo-_2894695b A study by Public Health England found that most bacteria carrying the NDM enzyme were resistent to the ‘last resort’ antibiotics. Only one drug, from the 1950s, remains effective against infections carrying New Delhi metallo, and it will soon become resistant to that as well, researchers said. ….

NDM-1 facts

NDM-1 stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, which is an enzyme produced by certain strains of bacteria that have recently acquired the genetic ability to make this compound. The enzyme is active against other compounds that contain a chemical structure known as a beta-lactam ring. Unfortunately, many antibiotics contain this ring, including the penicillins, cephalosporins, and the carbapenems.

PBS: Frontline. Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria


This PBS program, first aired in October, 2013, is available for viewing online,  It will be re-broadcast on Tuesday, March 6, 2014 on APT. The Frontline website also has the latest on the nightmare bacteria, superbugs, and related issues.

…. ….

More → Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections
Gram-negative bacteria infections in healthcare settings
Emergence of KPC-producing bacteria
Eight ways to protect yourself from superbugs


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