As a science enthusiast I’m constantly looking for articles and blog posts that reaffirm my love for science. Here are just a few of my favourites for this week:
Killer antibiotic now 25,000× more potent—and resistant to drug resistance.
After numerous doom and gloom posts about the problem of antibiotic resistance, (The Antibiotic Apocalypse & Antibiotic Resistance: A Communication Error) you’ll know that antibiotic resistance is an issue that concerns me to say the least. It’s not however all bad news. This post by Beth Mole describes how an old antibiotic, vancomycin, has been given a chemical makeover to make it more potent against gram positive bacteria. This new triple threat approach also makes it harder for bacteria to develop resistance to it. This post is well worth a read.
Prostate cancer treatment ‘could help more patients’.
A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows promising results in the use of a currently registered drug to treat more patients with prostate cancer. The drug is currently given to certain patients who’s cancer has started to spread however the results of this large scale, phase three, clinical trial suggest that the drug could also be effective at improving patient survival when given at an earlier stage in combination with other hormone therapies.
Scientists are accidentally helping poachers drive rare species to extinction.
Perhaps open access isn’t always the best approach. This great post by Ben and David explain how animal traffickers are using the data published in open access databases to find information on the location and habits of new, rare animal species. This worrying article may mean we have to rethink what data we publish and how it’s protected.
The True Test of Science is How it Faces the Unknown.
Here is a very interesting and thought provoking blog post on one of the problems of the scientific approach. Even as an advocate of scientific thinking, I can’t deny that in the past science has often scoffed at that which it didn’t understand. Just as Ignaz Semmelweis was laughed at for suggesting that hand washing in hospitals reduced the death rate, scientists have often demonstrated a surprisingly closed mind when presented with things that seemingly contradict what is ‘known’. Although scepticism and critical thinking are important facets of science, so too is an open mind and the ability objectively analyse new theories and ideas. Give this a read and let me know what you think!
As always, let me know what you thought about my top picks in the comments or on Twitter and please feel free to send me any articles that piqued your interest this week!
For more inspiration, why not check out my previous ‘Top Picks’!