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Health

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BATTLING BACK  Antibiotics such as penicillin attack a bacterium’s cell wall, bursting it (left, shown next to an intact Staphylococcus aureus cell in false color). Some studies suggest that antibiotics also trigger other kinds of damage that could be harnessed in the battle against antibiotic resistance.

For people with a specific gene variant, eating a lot of processed meat may increase their risk of getting colon cancer.

UNNECESSARY SUFFERING  Despite the availability of a potent vaccine, measles continues to cause outbreaks around the world due to its high transmissibility, spotty vaccine coverage in some poor countries and vaccine avoidance in wealthy ones. The infection has no effective treatment, so researchers are working to develop antivirals.

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