In the debate about antibiotic resistance it's often said that the implications are too big to get a handle on - people say it's something that should perhaps only concern scientists or politicians - but along with an absolutely justified call for global action there are personal stories and personal actions we must all take.
Housed in the tower of one of Amsterdam's medieval buildings is something quite unexpected--a lab full of machines, incubators, petri dishes, and microbes. It might sound like the beginning of a gothic novel, but this is just where Waag Society's open wetlab--an initiative that strives to make biotechnology more accessible--happens to operate.
This is the first time MRSA of livestock origin has been found in British pig meat. The findings add to the growing evidence that overuse of antibiotics in farming is contributing to resistance in life-threatening infections in humans, and supports the call for urgent action to address inappropriate use in farming.
"Prevent people from being infected. Preserve the antibiotics we have; and promote the development of new antibiotics and better diagnostics." This is what Professor John Watson, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer stated that we need to do at a seminar, held last week at the Royal Society of Medicine, (RSM).
Global warming isn't the fictional bogey man many once thought it to be and its effects go way beyond marooning polar bears on melting icebergs. The methane (noisily) produced by livestock is 20 times more deleterious as a greenhouse gas than C02, which makes meat production the second most damaging source of greenhouse gases in the world.