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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

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.