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China Medicine Science

Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-them-a-sporting-chance dept.
MTorrice writes "In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment. Environmental and public health experts worry that this discharge could promote the spread of resistance."
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Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @12:03AM (#45722477)


    Do you have any idea what the externalities on your lifestyle actually are?

    Here's a hint: research what monoculturing crops does to biodiversity, and the longterm impact that has on an ecosystem.
    You might just find that your "enlightened" lifestyle choice isn't so enlightened afterall.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @12:21AM (#45722593)

    Native americans DID NOT live in metastability. Their civilizations rose and fell so quickly they barely left the stone age.

    Check out what happened to the ancient puebloans for instance.

    They abandoned their mighty cities, because they overextended their use of ground water.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @12:54AM (#45722747)

    And yet your argument, that the white colonists encountered an environment just as rich as when the native americans arrived at the end of the preceeding iceage thousands of years before, is patently false.

    At last 3 species of megafauna have been recorded going extinct "rapidly" after this initial human expansion.

    That alone invalidates your argument.

    Then of course, you have the historicaly recorded incdeces in south america involving the incla, maya, toltec, and olmec peoples. You know, where they caused agricultural collapse through unsustainable agricultural practices, and even with rampant warfare cutting their populations to ribbons, they still didn't really escape the resource depletion crisis.

    Sure, there are remnants of those cultures, but they are barely just that, with almost nothing in common with the civilizations they came from. The genelines might have survived, but the civilizations did not.

    The native american civilizations were not magical hippies.

  • Re:Gene discharged?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @12:59AM (#45722763) Homepage Journal

    Basically what the AC said. Bacteria don't have sexes, but they still swap genes via various ways, and are actually able to incorporate genes found in the environment. Lateral gene transfer is one of those 'oh wow' things when you get into what was at least in my time, college level biology.

    Ever play bioshock and remember how you'd get powers via drinking or shooting yourself up with something? That's sort of what bacteria do in real life. The bacteria 'consumes' the genetic material and incorporates it in with it's own.

  • Summary is garbage (Score:5, Informative)

    by russotto (537200) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @12:59AM (#45722765) Journal

    Beta lactam resistance is common. That's the class of antibiotics which includes penicillin; not an antibiotic of last resort by any means. (Resistance is so common that if you're prescribed a beta lactam antibiotic nowadays, it'll probably be compounded with a beta lactamase inhibitor) Since beta lactam resistance is so common, the gene will no doubt be common in the waste stream, not just in China but everywhere.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @01:48AM (#45723059)

    Antibacterial soaps are a frankenstein. Invented as something to cure a sppoky "risk" (like "bacteria") and sold, sold, sold.

    Good news: The FDA is planning to restrict antibacterial additives [].

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun