We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Copper Blocks Antibiotic Resistence
This is actually important although how it can be integrated into the
at risk environments is going to be a challenge. The simple fact is
that copper requires incessant cleaning and polishing. Perhaps the
proper solution is to use a normal alloy such as bronze and to allow
the working surface to fully oxidize into its natural green blue
color. Then normal cleaning is sufficient.
It will still be hard to keep the clean freaks from turning it into a
shining object just because they can. Like the military, it will
become necessary to order folks to not shine their combat boots.
The revelation here though is that gene transfer occurs outside the
host on working surfaces and this provides a clear reason to make
working surface naturally antibiotic. Copper is the low hanging
the spread of global antibiotic-resistant infections
New research from the
University of Southampton has shown that copper can prevent
horizontal transmission of genes, which has contributed to the
increasing number of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide.
transfer (HGT) in bacteria is largely responsible for the
development of antibiotic-resistance, which has led to an increasing
number of difficult-to-treat healthcare-associated infections
paper, which appears in the journal mBio, shows that while HGT can
take place in the environment, on frequently-touched surfaces, such
as door handles, trolleys and tables, which are made from stainless
steel - copper prevents this process from occurring and rapidly kills
bacteria on contact.
Lead author Professor
Bill Keevil, Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of
Southampton, explains: "Whilst studies have focussed on HGT in
vivo (an experiment that is done in the body of a living organism),
this work investigates whether the ability of pathogens to persist in
the environment, particularly on touch surfaces, may also play an
important role. Here we show prolonged survival of multidrug
resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae on stainless
steel surfaces for several weeks.
However, rapid death
of both antibiotic-resistant strains and destruction of plasmid and
genomic DNA was observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces, which
could be useful in the prevention of infection spread and gene
horizontal transmission of genes (for example, those governing
antibiotic resistance) occurs on touch surfaces, supports the
important role of the environment in infection prevention.
summarises: "We know many human pathogens survive for long
periods in the hospital environment and can lead to infection,
expensive treatment, blocked beds and death.
"What we have
shown in this work is the potential for strategically-placed
antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to not only break the chain of
contamination, but also actively reduce the risk of antibiotic
resistance developing at the same time. Provided adequate cleaning
continues in critical environments, copper can be employed as an
important additional tool in the fight against pathogens."
Beyond the healthcare
environment, copper also has a wider role to play in infection
control. Professor Keevil explains: "Copper touch surfaces have
promise for preventing antibiotic resistance transfer in public
buildings and mass transportation systems, which lead to local and -
in the case of jet travel - rapid worldwide dissemination of
multi-drug resistant superbugs as soon as they appear.
inadequate hand hygiene could exchange their bugs and different
antibiotic resistance genes just by touching a stair rail or door
handle, ready to be picked up by someone else and passed on. Copper
substantially reduces and restricts the spread of these infections,
making an important contribution to improved hygiene and,
copper touch surfaces have already taken place across the UK and
around the world, harnessing copper's ability to continuously reduce
bioburden and consequently the risk of HCAI transmission.
This research offers
additional evidence to deploy copper (and copper-containing alloys
that benefit from the metal's antimicrobial properties) in the form
of touch surfaces to provide extra protection alongside standard