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Deadly, Drug-Resistant, and Domestic

The advent of a deadly, drug-resistant bacteria originating in India — NDM-1 — has had researchers in a frenzy, trying to figure out a way to treat a bug that resists all known antibiotics. So far, three cases of NDM-1 have been identified in the US. But, says the Boston Globe’s Stephen Smith, NDM-1’s genetic cousin, Klebsiella pneumoniae, has been spreading in US hospitals for years, prompting the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to start a survey of the state’s hospitals to “gauge the incidence of the bacteria.” Like NDM-1, Klebsiella pneumoniae can “devour a class of antibiotics that infectious disease specialists keep in reserve for the toughest cases,” Smith says, once again prompting a discussion among health experts about the overuse of antibiotics. When Klebsiella first emerged, fewer than one percent of all infections carried the trait that allowed the bug to evade drugs, Smith says. Today, eight percent of the infections have the trait.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.