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A soil sample from a national park in eastern Canada has produced a compound that appears to reverse antibiotic resistance in dangerous bacteria.
Scientists at McMaster University in Ontario discovered that the compound almost instantly turned off a gene in several harmful bacteria that makes them highly resistant to treatment with a class of antibiotics used to fight so-called superbug infections. The compound, called aspergillomarasmine A, or AMA, was extracted from a common fungus found in soil and mold.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing public-health threat. Common germs such as Escherichia coli, or E. coli, are becoming harder to treat because they increasingly don’t respond to antibiotics. Some two million people in the U.S. are infected each year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tag Archives | Canada
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On 26 March 2014, to my disappointment and dismay, I found out that the Government of British Columbia had passed a bill that would drastically alter the management of B.C. parks (2, 3, 4).
Bill 4, the ‘Park Amendment Act’ of 2014 was introduced into the B.C. legislature on February 13 and became law on March 24:
“Bill 4 allows for industry (and others) to carry out ‘research’ in provincial parks related to pipelines, transmission lines, roads and other industrial activities that might require park land. It also reduces legal protection for smaller parks and enables film production in BC parks….
“Bill 4 seems to be premised on the idea park protection unreasonably constrains government and industry. That’s not consistent with the BC government’s claim that parks are a public trust, to be managed for the protection of BC’s natural environment, and the inspiration, use and enjoyment of [the public].
It’s as if they plucked this straight out of people’s fondest dreams and turned it into a reality. From Canada’s CBC News:
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A Vancouver pizzeria is serving up slices with an extra special ingredient — if you’re over 18 and have been prescribed marijuana by a doctor.
Anthony Risling explains that at Mega iLL, on Kingsway at Fraser, you can ask the kitchen to add their special ingredient for an extra $10. “Basically we infuse it through an oil extraction process, where we drizzle the oil onto the pizza and it medicates you when you eat it. It’s a little different effect from smoking it. It takes maybe about a half hour for it to activate.”
One customer at Mega iLL [said] the added oil has “a little bit of a tangy flavour”.
Risling aid the idea came from a trip to Cambodia, where a pizzeria called Happy Pizza used a similar process to add THC to the pies.
Hopefully the answer will be uncovered before residents’ grip on sanity reaches the breaking point. Via CBC News:
A federally funded report on the Windsor Hum has been submitted to both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Natural Resources Canada. For years, residents in west Windsor and neighbouring LaSalle have been complaining of a mysterious rumble or hum.
Both ministries are reviewing the results of the $60,000 report, said the University of Windsor’s Colin Novak, one of the authors of the report. The final review has not yet been conducted.
Officials are trying to arrange a meeting between the ministries and researchers, including Novak and the University of Western Ontario’s Peter Brown.
In 2012, a different federal study suggested the hum may originate from the U.S. side of the Detroit River, in the general area of Zug Island, an area of concentrated steel production and manufacturing.
Well played, Canada. Well played.
Scientists investigated fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish known as Tiktaalik roseae, discovered in 2004 in northern Canada’s Ellesmere Island. Possessing a broad flat head and sharp teeth, Tiktaalik resembled a cross between a fish and a crocodile, growing to a length of 9 feet (2.7 meters) as it hunted for prey in shallow freshwater.
During the Cold War, 1961, there were about 50 UFOs in formation flying south from Russia across Europe. The Supreme Allied Command investigated for 3 years and they decided that, with absolute certainty, four species - at least – had been visiting this planet for thousands of years. How many [extraterrestrial] species are there? I used to think between two and twelve, but the reports that I’ve been getting from sources are that there are about 80 different species…"Tall Whites"…"Short Greys"…and some of them look just like us and you wouldn’t know if you walked past one on the street. They come from various places. Different star systems – the Pleadis, Zeta Reticuli and several others…but in the past few months I have met [those] who made me aware that there are some in our own star system.
BBC News reports that Canadians are more partial to alternative theories of what really happened on 9/11/01 than Americans are:
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An advertising campaign in Canada raises questions about the US government’s official account of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Are Canadians more sympathetic to anti-American conspiracy theories than Americans themselves?
The posters, displayed on buses in Ottawa, show an image of a World Trade Center building collapsing in the inferno of the terrorist attack that morning.
The advertising campaign is supported by a Lafayette, California-based organisation called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
The office tower, 7 World Trade Center, may have been destroyed in a controlled demolition, members of the organisation purport, rather than in a fire.
Frank Greening, a nuclear scientist who lives in Hamilton, Ontario, knows the people behind the organisation – truthers, as they are known – well. He first met them years ago.
Like them, he initially thought there was something more to the story of 9/11 than the US government let on.
Just another instance in which the U.S. police need to a page from Canada’s royal mounties. The BBC reports:
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A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer has been told he can’t smoke marijuana while in uniform. Cpl Ronald Francis, an officer with more than 20 years’ service in the eastern province of New Brunswick, has a medical prescription that allows him to take up to 3g of the drug daily to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
While senior officers have said that his marijuana use is fine under Canadian medical and human rights laws, they have drawn the line over smoking in public while wearing the RCMP’s famous red serge uniform.
Francis has drawn the ire of his superiors by telling CBC in a televised interview: “There’s no policy in the RCMP that prevents me from smoking marijuana… I have the right to smoke it in my red serge.” Officials thought otherwise, with officers arriving at his home last week to seize his uniform.
Simon Winchester shares his humorous story about the time he worked as a mortuary assistant.
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The victim of the first big mistake I ever made was a gentleman to whom I had never been properly introduced (and whose name I still do not know) but who was possessed of three singular qualities: he was alone in a room with me, he was without his trousers, and he was very, very dead.
Some context might be useful. It was the winter of 1962. I was eighteen years old and had taken a year off before going up to Oxford University. I also had a girlfriend far away in Montreal, and in the superheated enthusiasm of my puppy love, I had promised to visit her. The fact that I then lived in London and she three thousand miles away meant that fare money had to be amassed: I had to get a job, and one that paid well enough to allow me to get away to Canada as quickly as possible.