#TOTW (from 17-08-14): ‘Extreme medicine: The search for new antibiotics’

This week I return to the topic of antibiotics, and as such my #TOTW is:

Extreme medicine: The search for new antibiotics

Barely a week goes by without a story that talks about the issues relating to the ever-increasing problems that result from antimicrobial resistance. I happened across this article, and thought it quite interesting. Scientists from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich are focussing their research on nature in the hope of making discoveries that may lead to the creation of “superbug-killing drugs.”

“Natural products fell out of favor in the pharmaceutical sphere, but now is the time to look again,” says Mervyn Bibb, a professor of molecular microbiology at JIC who collaborates with many other geneticists and chemists. “We need to think ecologically, which traditionally people haven’t been doing.”

The importance of this search is highlighted by another of my tweets this week:

Article about and the increasing problems of

Here the President of the Intensive Care Society, Professor Mark Bellamy, was talking about the problems of not having enough effective antibiotics and the increasing numbers of patients dying from sepsis as a result. He is based at the Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, and said: “For the first time this year I have had a couple patients for whom we had no effective antibiotic treatment, it’s rare – but two years ago it would still have been regarded as a theoretical problem.”

I think that the general public for the most part don’t really know about the problem of antimicrobial resistance, but feel that in the coming decades, unless the search for new drugs continues – and is successful – then modern medicine will not have all the answers that we have come to expect from it, and who knows what the consequences of that will be.


#TOTW (from 14-08-14): Tiny pieces of gold ‘boost brain cancer therapy’ in lab

This week I highlighted some interesting research into the use of nanotechnology in the creation of new treatments for cancer, and so this week’s #TOTW is:

‘Tiny pieces of gold ‘boost brain ‘ in lab’

It’s a short article, and all about how scientists have developed very small scale – nanoscale –  spheres, with a core of gold that is coated in chemotherapy drugs. Early research has found this to be an effective way of tackling otherwise difficult to treat cancers.

It’s short. It’s interesting. It’s worth a read!

Comments welcomed!

#TOTW (from 08-08-14): ‘23% of the UK’s “disease burden” but only 6% of total medical research funding.’

According to analysis published in the British Medical Journal, that’s the rather stark fact about mental health funding in the UK.

So, this week’s #TOTW is:

“For far too long mental health has been a bit of a taboo subject…” via

This week, the Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, launched a manifesto promise to set up a mental health research fund, and to add a further £50 millions to the current level of expenditure by the year 2020. I’m not writing this blog from a political standpoint, merely the fact that the guy has stuck his head above the parapet and stated what he would like to see happen i.e. for spending on mental health research in the UK to be increased. He also stated that:

“…we should understand mental health just as well as we understand physical health. I want us to be able to talk about, analyse and treat depression just as we treat diabetes. For far too long mental health has been a bit of a taboo subject – yet it affects one in four people in this country.”

Mark Winstanley, chief executive of the mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness also stated:

“It’s a scandal that our understanding of mental illness and the best treatments, still lags so far behind our understanding of physical illnesses.”

Now you can’t really disagree with that can you?

If so, then please feel free to comment on what *YOU* think.

#TOTW (from 29-07-2014): ‘Want to reduce the risk of disease? Abandon shaking hands, and start bumping fists’

Short n’ sweet this week…as I can’t believe it’s that time of the week again! #TOTW is:

‘Want to reduce the risk of disease? Abandon shaking hands, and start bumping fists’

Another related tweet later in the week:

‘Should we abandon handshakes in favour of fist bumps? No way’ via

Does what it says on the tin. Fist bumps mean less germs are passed on when greeting someone. Whether you think this is a step to far in hand hygiene or not is entirely up to you! I use both handshakes and fist bumps. I just thought this was an interesting piece of research worth sharing!

It doesn’t always have to be serious! :-p