The fear of resistant infectious bacteria is rising. These can spread rapidly across countertops, stethoscopes, and catheters. These â€œsuperbugsâ€ infect up to many patients a year in the United States, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and theyâ€™re quick to evolve defenses against even the most powerful antibiotics. Janice Spencer and a team of researchers at the University of Strathclyde are developing nylon sutures coated with bacteriophagesâ€“viruses, found naturally in water, that eat bacteria while leaving human cells intact. New research by the Scottish team found that phage-coated sutures effectively stemmed infection in live rats. Bacteriophages are not a recent discovery. During World War II, Russian doctors used cocktails of these viruses to treat soldiers infected with bacteria such as dysentery and gangrene. In water, these natural-born killers are extremely effective at eating up bacteria. The virus binds to bacteria and injects its DNA, replicating within its host until it reaches capacity,
The price of fruits and vegetables is climbing faster than inflation, while junk food is actually becoming cheaper, the findings of a new study suggests. Using retail prices at major supermarket chains in Seattle, researchers at the University of Washington found that low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods â€” mainly fruits and vegetables â€” were far more expensive, calorie for calorie, than sweets and snack foods. Moreover, the average price of the lowest-calorie foods â€” including green vegetables, tomatoes and berries â€” increased by almost 20 percent over 2 years. In contrast, in the same time period there was a 2-percent dip in the cost of the most calorie-laden fare, such as butter, potato chips, cookies and candy bars. This is really no surprise; you just have to go to McDonald for a value meal to see the low price of unhealthy food.