Pandora Report 5.3.15

Over the past two weeks I’ve learned an important lesson which I would like to share with you: moving the same week you leave a job which is the week before the semester ends and you start a new job is too many things at the same time! Please excuse the lack of a weekly wrap-up last weekend—I was moving an apartment full of boxes which I am currently surrounded by. This weekend we look at antibiotic resistance in isolated societies and the eradication of rubella in the Americas plus other stories you may have missed.

Have a great week!

Tribe Isolated from Modern Societies for 11,000 Years Carries Antibiotic Resistant Genes

Findings published in the Science Advances journal describe the Yanomami Amerindians, who live in a remote, mountainous area of southern Venezuela and have been isolated from other societies for more than 11,000 years and yet still carry antibiotic resistant genes. This finding suggests that the human body may have carried the ability to resist antibiotics long before they became the overprescribed medicine they are today.

Design & Trend—“Thousands of years prior to the use of antibiotics to fight infection, soil bacteria began to produce natural antibiotics to kill competitors. The microbes evolved similar defenses to protect themselves from the soil bacteria. Researchers believe this was likely done by acquiring resistance genes from the producers themselves through a process known as horizontal gene transfer.”

Rubella Has Been Eliminated from the Americas

Joining the ranks of polio and smallpox, the Pan American Health Organization, the CDC, Unicef, and the United Nations Foundation announced this week that Rubella (also known as German Measles) has been eradicated in the Americas. The last case was confirmed in Argentina in 2009.Each year, approximately 120,000 children worldwide are born with severe birth defects that can be attributed to the disease.

The Science Times—“The Americas region is the first region to eliminate rubella.  The European region, which includes Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, hopes to be next, according to the World Health Organization.

Some regions are still not close enough to set firm target dates, so there is no chance that the disease will be eliminated worldwide before 2020, said Dr. Susan E. Reef, team lead for rubella at the CDC’s global immunization division, who joined in the announcement.

Stories You May Have Missed


Image Credit: Juan Tello

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