What is happening to our antibiotics?


Welp, I am defiantly jumping right into this with my first (real) post by trying to tackle this issue, but it is a very important topic.

Antibiotics will not work unless you have a bacterial infection.  This means that for the flu, common cold, or stomach bug, an antibiotic will not heal you or make you feel better. 

Now why is this?  It has to do with the way the drug acts; antibiotics are designed to muck up the workings of the bacterial cell such that the bacteria cannot reproduce properly or  is forced to lyse itself.  Being that viruses have different internal mechanisms, antibiotics are useless against them.

This is an important topic because the world is beginning to run out of antibiotics; when the drugs are used improperly (meaning given for the wrong reason or not taken through their full course), the bacteria gain resistance.  Any bug not…

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Reimagining Our Infrastructure

Building Bridges

by Jeff Piestrak

Building Bridges is founded on a vision where our social, economic and political structures exhibit and support equality and fairness, where control, opportunities and benefits are shared with everyone, and our decisions respect the earth and our local and regional ecosystems. In this post, part of an ongoing conversation already underway in our community and beyond, I’d like to begin exploring how we might go about Reimagining Our Infrastructure, and what is holding us back.

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Resignation of President of India

competition Master

Article 56 of the Indian Constitution makes it clear that the term of the President is five years from the date on which he enters the office.

His term may terminate earlier

(i) by resignation addressed to the Vice-President,

or (ii) by removal by impeachment for violation of the

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Acid Rain : Causes, Effects and Solutions

Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

What is Acid Rain and What Causes It?

“Acid rain” is a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere. A more precise term is acid deposition, which has two parts: wet and dry.

Wet deposition refers to acidic rain, fog, and snow. As this acidic water flows over and through the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. The strength of the effects depend on many factors, including how acidic the water is, the chemistry and buffering capacity of the soils involved, and the types of fish, trees, and other living things that rely on the water. Dry deposition refers to acidic gases and particles. About half of the acidity in the atmosphere falls back to earth through dry deposition. The wind blows these acidic particles and gases onto buildings, cars, homes, and trees. Dry deposited gases and particles can also…

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Saving the world’s genetic wealth: Scientists in Kenya propose plans for first livestock genebank

ILRI Clippings

The worm-resistant red Maasai sheep of East Africa

The indigenous, worm-resistant (and non-wool-producing) red Maasai sheep of East Africa (photo credit: ILRI).

SciDevNet reports on a ‘livestock genebank’ that’s needed to help conserve breeds and populations of farm animals, especially the wealth of diversity remaining in Africa and other developing regions, that are fast being eroded through cross-breeding and importations of exotic stock.

‘Speed read

  • The genetic diversity of livestock is decreasing but there are no genebanks for it
  • Hurdles to setting up a genebank to preserve the diversity include legislation and infrastructure
  • The preliminary project needs more funding, but has the expertise

‘Researchers in Kenya are working towards setting up the world’s first genebank for livestock.

‘The genebank could help protect the biodiversity of threatened breeds and be a useful research tool, says the team, based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya.

‘Collecting genetic samples of species into genebanks is not new―it has…

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Mother Nature’s Lego Collection: Unfinished illustration of cellulose degrading polycellulosomes

Just Science

It is amazing, to me anyways, how much we borrow from Mother Nature. Legos are no different. These small pieces of plastic that can be connected with infinite possibilities have stirred the imagination of children and adults alike.

There is a perfect example of Nature’s Lego set within the genomes of microorganisms that degrade plant matter using large protein complexes called cellulosomes (see this post). Clostridium thermocellum is a model organism for this.

Thanks to its ability to interchange components, both the enzymes to degrade cellulose and the protein scaffold to attach these enzymes, C. thermocellum can optimize degradation any different sources of plant material. Shown in the my illustration above is only one assembly. The cellulosomes illustrated are of the actual protein structures (or models if no structure known) of the components. Essentially, there is one scaffold protein, OlpB, which can have up to 7 other scaffold proteins…

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With ‘Warm Storm’ at Its Heart and Heatwaves Rushing in From The Sides, Arctic Sea Braces for Major Blow


Over the past month, warmth and energy have been building in the Arctic. All around, from Siberia to Scandinavia to Alaska, heatwaves have flared beneath anomalous long-wave patterns in the Jet Stream. Patterns, that in many cases have persisted for months. The Alaskan heat dome sent temperatures there to 98 degrees (Fahrenheit). Temperatures in Siberia flared to the low 90s. And heat built and flared again in Scandinavia and Northeastern Europe, sending Arctic temperatures first into the 80s and then to 92.

This building and highly anomalous heat was coupled by another unusual event — a long duration series of Arctic storms that have thinned and weakened large sections of sea ice near the North Pole. This Persistent Arctic Cyclone has flared and faded, remaining in the Arctic since late May.

Now, with central sea ice weakened and with heat circling in from all around, the Arctic appears to…

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