Living in the antibiotic-resistant future?

staphlyococcus epidermisAntibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.

We read an interesting blog post this morning on The Incidental Economist.  He makes the point about antibiotic resistance becoming a problem in the future.

In a recent Lancet series on superbugs, researchers found that human antibiotic misuse and overuse was one of the single biggest contributors to antibiotic resistance. It was followed only by the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture.

Use Antibiotics the Right Way:   Read More

There’s a Gaping Hole in the Scientific Case for Moderate Drinking

Past studies missed one big reason non-drinkers didn’t live as long as people who imbibed a bit.

It’s an irresistible headline: People who drink alcohol in moderation actually live longer than those who abstain entirely. Counterintuitive studies that show the purported benefits of a drink or two a day prompt flurries of bright news reports. You can hear the glasses clinking.
Buzzkill: It’s probably not true, according to a new analysis of existing research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

It turns out many studies showing that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers suffer from a big flaw: The “abstainers” category includes people who used to drink but have stopped, sometimes for health reasons. They may be inherently less healthy, as a group, than people who drink in moderation. That doesn’t mean that drinking in moderation causes people to live longer.