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Science Ticker

White House unveils strategy against antibiotic resistance

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

FRONT LINE  New U.S. policies take aim at microbes that have become resistant to antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, shown here.

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The Obama Administration has launched a long-term plan to curb antibiotic resistance, unveiling incentives and requirements designed to boost surveillance and diagnosis of resistant microbes, speed new drug development and require that hospitals and clinics adopt antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Antimicrobial stewardship is a low-tech approach that can limit inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics through oversight measures and educational programs for staff and patients (SN: 10/4/14, p. 22). 

The White House report, called the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and announced March 27, also takes aim at the use of antibiotics in livestock and farming, calling for further regulation in that sector if measures currently in place don’t decrease antibiotic resistance among livestock.  

Animals,, Conservation

Panda stalking reveals panda hangouts

By Helen Thompson 2:00pm, March 27, 2015
Scientists used GPS trackers to learn about the giant panda lifestyle.
Evolution,, Animals

Bright bird plumage resulted from natural, sexual selection

By Bethany Brookshire 2:00pm, March 27, 2015
Darwin hypothesized that bird color differences resulted from sexual selection. Wallace disagreed. A study shows that both were right after all.

For bats, simple traffic patterns limit collisions

By Kate Baggaley 6:34pm, March 26, 2015

Humans aren’t the only ones who follow traffic rules. Bats do it too, researchers report March 26 in PLOS Computational Biology.

Scientists eavesdropped on echolocating Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii) as the animals cruised for dinner. Once a bat locks on to a peer’s  sonar calls, the bat copies its movements to within a few wingbeats, the researchers found.

Planetary Science,, Astronomy

NASA has a plan for putting rock from asteroid in moon’s orbit

By Christopher Crockett 5:46pm, March 25, 2015
NASA selects concept for its Asteroid Redirect Mission, which will let astronauts train for future missions to Mars.
Science & Society,, Numbers

John Nash, Louis Nirenberg share math’s Abel Prize

By Lila Guterman 4:53pm, March 25, 2015
John Nash and Louis Nirenberg will receive the 2015 ‘Nobel of mathematics’ for their work on partial differential equations.
Quantum Physics

One photon wrangles 3,000 atoms into quantum entanglement

By Andrew Grant 2:00pm, March 25, 2015
A single photon can trigger the creation of quantum entanglement between thousands of atoms.
Microbiology,, Agriculture

A vineyard's soil influences the microbiome of a grapevine

By Helen Thompson 7:00am, March 25, 2015
Vineyard soil microbes end up on grapes, leaves and flowers, study finds.

The brain sees words, even nonsense ones, as pictures

By Ashley Yeager 5:28pm, March 24, 2015
Once we learn a word, our brain sees the string of letters as a picture, even if the word isn't a real one.
Chemistry,, Neuroscience,, Health

Today’s pot is more potent, less therapeutic

By Beth Mole 12:32pm, March 24, 2015
The medicinal qualities of marijuana may be up in smoke thanks to years of cross-breeding plants for a better buzz.
Planetary Science,, Astrobiology

Potentially life-friendly nitrogen compounds found on Mars

By Lila Guterman 3:53pm, March 23, 2015
“Fixed” nitrogen has been found in Mars deposits, raising the possibility that ancient life could have used it to build biomolecules.
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