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The Revenge of the Bacteria

Bacteria want to live, badly enough to evolve past our ability to control them with antibiotics. The Guardian's Sarah Boseley reports on a new paper in the Lancet from researchers at Cardiff University that show that gram negative bacteria — such as the ones that cause pneumonia and urinary tract infections — have evolved a new gene that confers high levels of resistance to almost all antibiotics. The researchers, led by Tim Walsh, say that because of international travel and globalization, the gene — which Walsh named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamas 1 or NDM-1 — has been spread quickly around the world. "In just three years ... it has grown in prevalence from being rarely observed at all to existing in between one percent and three percent in patients with Enterobacteriaceae infections in India," Boseley says. Only two antibiotics currently work against NDM-1 positive bacteria, Boseley adds, but researchers fear even those won't work for long.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.