A new study published in Nature this week describes a new class of antibiotics that bacteria are not yet resistant to. This is an important break-through because the last class of antibiotics was found nearly 30 years ago. How do antibiotics work? How do bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics?
If you read the notes that come with the drugs, prescribed by your doctor, you may have noticed that many of them are usually used to cure multiple medical conditions. For example, aspirin, that became available in form of tablets exactly 100 years ago, is used as a mild painkiller, anti-inflammatory drug or to reduce fever. There are some indications that aspirin can even help to prevent heart attack and stroke. What is the mechanism by which aspirin acts and how could one biologically active compound be used to help in different medical conditions?
This week 17 years ago Hong Kong government ordered the entire population of 1.4 million chickens to be killed. The reason for their action was the spread of novel and potentially pandemic and deadly new type of bird flu, termed H5N1. What is influenza and why we still cannot find effective treatment against it?