Kids & Sticky-finger Superbugs on Farms

A study about superbugs on industrial hog farms using antibiotics claims children of workers were more than twice as likely to have their noses stuffed with drug-resistant germs than other kids. That the sticky fingers of booger-mining kids could be important spreaders of drug-resistant germs, something to be aware of. You can read about it on ars: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04/farm-raised-superbugs-find-their-way-into-kids-noses-somehow/

The importance of beneficial plant partners

When a plant is introduced (accidentally or intentionally, but usually by humans) into a new region, many factors can influence the ability for that species to become established. One major factor at play is the different set of species it will interact with in this new environment—will they work with it or against it? We naturally tend to focus on the negatives; like whether there are enemies like pathogens, predators or other competitors that will control it.

What has received less attention is how positive interactions are affecting the spread of non-native species. For example, we know that the availability of pollinators is important for many plant species. So when a species moves, it doesn’t just leave its enemies behind, it also leaves its friends, its beneficial partnerships.

And it appears that for symbiotic legumes, these beneficial partners matter a lot. Their associated rhizobia matter so much that we can see their impacts on legume species spread at a global scale, across multiple continents and islands.

Read more: Legumes’ microbe relationships hold them back from travelling the globe – ECOS

Careful where you barefoot.

Elephantiasis podoconiosis is caused by repeatedly walking barefoot in volcanic soils, which contain tiny, sharp mineral crystals that can penetrate the soles of the feet. Once these crystals are under the skin, they provoke repeated cycles of inflammation. Over time, the inflammation produces a build-up of scar tissue that blocks lymphatic vessels and produces dramatic and disabling swelling and open sores in the lower legs.

Mysterious outbreak of disfiguring tropical disease in western Uganda linked to decades of walking barefoot in volcanic soils | EurekAlert! Science News