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September 27, 2010 | By Amber Dance, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Doctors and infectious bacteria are locked in an arms race. In this ever-escalating battle, the bacteria evolve ways to avoid every drug humans throw at them. The conflict has intensified lately as more and more bacteria — particularly those lurking in hospitals — become able to resist nearly every antibiotic in our arsenal. "We throw thousands and thousands of antibiotics on bacteria," says Marcin Filutowicz, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
November 1, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Inflammatory bowel disease -- a range of conditions including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- afflicts an estimated 1.4 million Americans.  Now some scientists in France have come up with a  novel potential therapy: an enzyme that calms down the gut delivered via a genetically engineered bacterium. The approach -- tested so far only on mice and pieces of inflamed human gut tissue in the lab -- was reported in a paper in this week's Science Translational Medicine . Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, which range in severity and can be chronic or recurring, develop when parts of the body's immune system turn traitor  and -- for poorly understood reasons -- start attacking the gut.  Symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, weight loss, ulcers and intestinal scarring.
August 31, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Think your doctor's white coat is as clean as a whistle? It might not be. A study finds that dangerous germs could be lurking on nurses' and doctors' uniforms. Researchers from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem cultured three spots on the uniforms of 75 nurses and 60 physicians working in a 550-bed hospital. Potential pathogens (also known as infectious agents, or germs) were found on 63% of the uniforms, and antibiotic resistant bacteria were found on samples from 14% of nurses' uniforms and 6% of doctor's uniforms.
July 16, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
A new study from Penn State University published in the Journal of Food Science reaffirms the necessity to be extremely careful when handling and cooking chicken, even -- and maybe especially -- if it comes from the farmers market. The study , which was limited in size, found that 90% of the 100 chickens purchased at local farmers markets tested positive for campylobacter , a bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning. That compared with only 20% of grocery story chickens carrying the bacteria.
March 12, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
What happens in a day at the roller derby?  For one thing, scientists have discovered and reported Tuesday in the journal PeerJ , a lot of bacteria get swapped around. Researchers at the University of Oregon's Biology and Built Environment Center , a collaboration of architects and biologists who study how design affects the kinds of microbes that live among us, and how it influences our health, recently examined the microbiomes -- the ecosystems of thousands of microorganisms -- on the skin of three roller derby teams before and after a competition.
May 6, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Forget boiling, or antiseptic wipes: The best way to clean a Binky may be putting it in your own mouth. A parent who sucks on a baby's pacifier to clean it is loading it up with hundreds of good types of bacteria that live in the adult mouth. That bacteria is transferred via the pacifier to the infant's mouth. It may sound gross, but evidence suggests that those bacteria may help reduce instances of allergy development in babies. In a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers followed 184 infants recruited from a Swedish hospital from birth until most of them were 3 years old. The researchers were specifically looking for allergy-prone babies, and 80% of the sample group had at least one parent with allergies.
June 25, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
Concern about a newborn's bacterial flora is not a topic you're likely to hear discussed in the waiting room of the maternity ward — but that may change. A new study has found that the way in which babies are delivered exposes them to specific bacteria that could play a role in their future health. The study, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that babies delivered vaginally had microbes on their bodies that resembled their mother's vaginal bacteria, and babies delivered via caesarean section had bacterial communities like those commonly present on adult skin.
August 22, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
September 30, 1986 | Associated Press
Legionnaires' disease bacteria has been found in waters near the Mt. St. Helens volcano, according to a state study made public Monday, and officials recommended keeping the public out of the area devastated by the volcano's 1980 eruption pending further investigation. The bacteria were found in the waters of Spirit Lake, the upper Toutle River and Coldwater Creek.
July 26, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
The psychedelic image above is a super-close-up view of the skin -- and the brightly colored blobs are immune cells. What's it about? Read on. Evidence is mounting that the bacteria that live on our bodies affect our health, for good or ill. It's a hot area of research , much of it centered on the gut -- and no wonder, for this is the spot where the richest bacterial communities are found. The bugs that dwell there seem to help our immune systems develop along the right lines, among other things.
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