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60+ Shooting in Chicago.

by coldwarrior ( 6 Comments › )
Filed under Crime, Open thread, Uncategorized at May 31st, 2016 - 1:07 pm

This is just absurd.

 

Chicago police beefed up patrols for Memorial Day as more than 60 people were shot during the violent three-day holiday weekend.

By Monday evening, at least 62 people had been shot across the city since Friday afternoon, including six who were killed. This surpasses the number of people shot during last year’s Memorial Day weekend, though Chicago Police News Affairs said murders are down 50 percent compared to last Memorial Day.

Among the youngest shooting victims, a 15-year-old girl was fatally shot while riding in a car with a documented gang member on Lake Shore Drive.

First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante said the department’s plan for Monday was to increase patrols in designated areas, including along Lake Shore Drive.

“As we’ve said before, it’s about 1,500 people that are driving the violence,” Escalente said. “Those are the people we’re trying to concentrate on.”

Chicago has been pulled into headlines nationwide this weekend as police struggle to curtail the city’s growing reputation for violence. Escalante said he is confident the department can get things under control, but others are skeptical.

Memorial Day 2016

by coldwarrior ( 61 Comments › )
Filed under History, Military, Open thread at May 30th, 2016 - 9:18 am

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Soldier, Poet, Surgeon

 

100 years ago today, the Battle of Verdun raged on. The Somme would start the next month, American involvement would come soon. In 1945 The Battle of Okinawa was in full force…I could go on, but you get the point.

Saturday Lecture Series: Arrival of MCR E Coli in the US

by coldwarrior ( 101 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Medicine, Open thread, saturday lecture series at May 28th, 2016 - 1:00 pm

Good morning all and welcome to Grand Rounds here at Blogmocracy General Hospital and Brewery. Today Grand Rounds are brought to us by the Infectious Disease Team. Do review the below two links for background and WASH YOUR HANDS!

 

Previously:

http://www.theblogmocracy.com/2012/01/30/the-rise-of-multi-drug-resistant-bacteria/

http://www.theblogmocracy.com/2012/01/30/the-rise-of-multi-drug-resistant-bacteria/

 

Long-Dreaded Superbug Found in Human and Animal in U.S.

The antibiotic resistance factor MCR, which protects bacteria against the final remaining drugs of last resort, has been found in the United States for the first time—in a person, and separately, in a stored sample taken from a slaughtered pig.

Department of Defense researchers disclosed Thursday in a report placed online by the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that a 49-year-old woman who sought medical care at a military-associated clinic in Pennsylvania last month, with what seemed to be a urinary tract infection, was carrying a strain of E. coli resistant to a wide range of drugs. That turned out to be because the organism carried 15 different genes conferring antibiotic resistance, clustered on two “mobile elements” that can move easily among bacteria. One element included the new, dreaded gene mcr-1.

The discovery “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,” the DOD personnel, Patrick McGann of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Kurt Schaecher of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, along with eight colleagues, write in the journal report.

Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the CDC has begun working with the researchers and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to understand how the woman came to be carrying the highly resistant bacterium. (Later Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf confirmed the case, and the CDC joint investigation, in a statement.)

The DOD researchers who described her case, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, provided no other information on her case, except to say that she had not traveled in the previous five months, suggesting she did not pick up the bacterium outside the U.S.

“It is extremely concerning; this is potentially a sentinel event,” Bell said in a phone interview. “There is a lot that needs to be done in terms of contact tracing and field investigation, to have a sense of who else might have been exposed or might be carrying this resistant bacterium.”

Bell disclosed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will shortly announce the first identification of MCR in the United States in an animal. It was found in a stored sample of pig intestine that was collected as part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, a shared project of the CDC, USDA and Food and Drug Administration that looks for resistant foodborne bacteria in people, animals, and meat.

“We have been intentionally looking for this since MCR was first announced,” she said.

The Department of Health and Human Services subsequently confirmed the pig finding in a blog post Thursday afternoon.

The existence of MCR was reported for the first time just last November, in a report by British and Chinese researchers who said they had found the gene in people, animals, and meat in several areas of China. Subsequently it has been found in people, animals, or meat in at least 20 countries across the world.

MCR is so troubling because it confers protection against colistin, the last remaining antibiotic that works against a broad family of bacteria that have already acquired resistance to all the other antibiotics used against them. Colistin has worked up to this point because it is a toxic drug from the early days of the antibiotic era, seldom prescribed because of its side effects; because it was used so infrequently, bacteria had not adapted to it.

But because it is effective, agriculture adopted it instead, using it widely and legally for prevention of diseases in food animals. By the time the medical community discovered that it needed the drug back, resistance to colistin was already moving from agriculture into the human world.

Colistin is not actually used in animals in the United States, though it has been approved for use by the FDA. That makes the arrival of colistin resistance a mystery that will have to be plumbed through genetic sequencing.

Advocates who track antibiotic resistance, especially in agriculture, reacted to the news of U.S. colistin resistance by emphasizing the gravity this finding deserves.

“This shows that we are right on the verge of getting into the territory of routine bacterial infections being untreatable,” Steven Roach, the food safety program director at the Food Animal Concerns Trust, said by phone. “It underscores the failure of both the federal government and Congress, and the industry, to get a grasp of the problem. We can’t continue to drag our feet on taking needed action.”

The Pennsylvania woman’s diagnosis occurred thanks to a system set up within the DOD after MCR was discovered. Since last fall, any E. coli that was already resistant to a family of drugs known as ESBLs (extended-spectrum beta-lactams), as hers was, has been sent up the chain to Walter Reed, to be scrutinized for colistin resistance. That kind of systematic checking for antibiotic resistance, known as active surveillance, is rare in the United States. Most civilian surveillance systems are patchy; they focus only on foodborne illnesses, or rely on physicians or labs to report diagnoses, or draw from a few state health departments with already well-funded labs.

“This shows how much we need comprehensive surveillance, so that things are not discovered by accident,” Bell said. The CDC recently received additional funding under the Obama Administration’s national strategy for antibiotic resistance that will allow it to begin to set up regional lab networks. “We’ll be able to identify things systematically, identify clusters and begin contact investigations quickly,” she said.

“The first known case of MCR-1 in a U.S. patient underscores the urgent need for better surveillance and stewardship programs to combat antibiotic resistance,” agreed Dr. David Hyun, an infectious-disease specialist who is a senior officer in a long-running antibiotic resistance project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

If there is any good news in the announcements of MCR’s appearance in the United States, it is that it has not, as yet, combined with other resistance genes into a completely untreatable organism. Bacteria acquire resistance genes like gamblers amassing a hand of cards, but the way the “cards” arrive is not step-wise—bad resistance, and then worse resistance, and then the worst—but randomly. What that means, in this case, is that the Pennsylvania E. coli possesses ESBL resistance (bad) and colistin resistance (worst)—but it remains susceptible to other intervening categories of drugs. (The stored pig sample has a yet different resistance pattern, colistin plus what is known as ASSuT, for the drug families represented by ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfas and tetracycline.)

But the random roulette of bacterial genetic recombination makes it more likely that an untreatable combination—of, for instance, colistin resistance plus carbapenem resistance, which the CDC has previously called “nightmare bacteria”—might occur. In fact, it already has occurred in patients in China, where MCR was first identified.

“We’re one step closer to carbapenem-resistant and colistin-resistant E. coli  bumping into each other in someone’s gut,” Lance Price, a molecular biologist and the director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, said by phone. “It doesn’t matter in which direction the transfer takes place—if the carbapenem-resistant strain picks up colistin resistance, or if the colistin-resistant strain picks up carbapenem resistance. It’s double jeopardy.”

Once bacteria begin to collect resistance to multiple families of antibiotics, the speed and direction of their spread becomes hard to predict, because using any of the antibiotics to which they are resistant allows them to increase in number. (Not because the drugs affect the resistant bugs—they don’t—but because they kill susceptible organisms nearby, freeing up additional living space and food.) That makes it crucial to create surveillance systems that can identify them early.

The Department of Defense system that detected the Pennsylvania organism is a model for how surveillance ought to be carried out, Price said: “We need active surveillance for multi-drug resistant or high-priority resistant organisms, in animals and people, throughout the U.S.”

Previous coverage on Phenomena:

#Caturday, May 28, 2016: Simon’s Cat Logic – Why Do Cats Love Boxes?!

by 1389AD ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under Caturday, Open thread at May 28th, 2016 - 12:01 am

On YouTube:

Published on May 19, 2016 by Simon’s Cat
WHY DO CATS LOVE BOXES!?
Simon’s Cat Logic is a fun new series where we speak to a Cat Behaviour Expert at Cats Protection (http://www.cats.org.uk) about why cats do the silly things they do, and how we can help our cats lead happy and healthy lives.

SUBTITLES AVAILABLE IN: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Russian.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ‘OFF TO THE VET’ COLOUR FILM?
‘Off to the Vet’ was completed in 2015. It is currently being submitted to film festivals and only available to our Indiegogo Funders via our Private Production blog. If you are a funder and have not received instructions on how to access the blog, please email us at igg@simonscat.com quoting the email address associated with your Indiegogo contribution. Thank you for your support!

‘SIMON’S CAT LOGIC’ CREDITS:
Directed by: Chris Gavin
Producer: Emma Burch
Cat Expert: Nicky Trevorrow
Animation & Graphics: Simon Tofield
Junior Designer: Liza Nechaeva
Production Manager: Rebecca Warner-Perry
Associate Producer: Edwin Eckford
Music: Russell Pay
Translations: http://www.Tomedes.com

‘THE BOX’ CREDITS
A film by by: Simon Tofield
Sound: Shrooty
Executive Producer: Mike Bell

Have you visited the official Simon’s Cat website?
Official Website: http://www.simonscat.com

Stay connected with Simon’s Cat on your favourite websites:
Facebook: http://facebook.com/simonscat
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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/simonscat

Want to see more of our Black & White films?
Check out our play list here: http://www.goo.gl/FkqgHw

Want to know more about the history of Simon’s Cat?
Watch the Simon’s Cat Story here – http://goo.gl/Vfx2JS

FAQs:

Q. What software do you use?
A. Simon’s Cat is made using Adobe Flash / TV Paint animation software.

Q. Why does it take so long to make each Simon’s Cat film?
A. Even though the films are made on computer software, they are still hand-animated in a traditional manner, frame to frame. It usually takes between 12 and 25 drawings to create 1 second of a Simon’s Cat film.

Q. Do you have an online shop?
A. Yes! You can purchase Simon’s Cat products from the official web shop: http://www.simonscat.com/Shop

Want to get in touch? Email us at – contact@simonscat.com

Simon’s CatSimon’s Cat


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