What's the Buzz

What's the Buzz

Friendly nose bacteria could wipe off MRSA

Harmless bacteria from people’s noses could destroy MRSA, and could thus be transformed into nasal spray to mimic the immunity, which allows most of us who aren’t sick to fight off the superbug.

Takayuki Iwase, Jikei University, Tokyo, said Staphylococcus epidermidis can wipe out colonies of methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) in the lab. Crucially, for the spray plan, S epidermidis also cleared ordinary S aureus in a bacterial ‘turf war’ in the nose. The friendly bugs oust their rivals with the help of an enzyme called Esp.

It’s possible either the enzyme, or live S epidermis, could be used in hospitals.
Mark Enright of Biocontrol Ltd, a firm in Bedfordshire, UK, that is developing ways to pit harmless microbes against infectious ones, prefers using the live bacteria to the enzyme.
This is because the bacteria would continue growing in the nose and oust S aureus permanently, whereas Esp alone would rapidly lose its activity.He said if a spray for MRSA can be developed the priority would be to treat the noses of all hospital staff since they can harbour and spread MRSA.

Bandages shed new light on King Tut’s mummification
Tutankhamun’s leftover bandages are shedding new light on the boy king’s mummification. An exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art shows, Tutankhamun’s mummy was bound in custom-made bandages similar to today’s first aid gauzes. About 4.70 meters to 39 cm in length, these narrow bandages consist of 50 linen pieces especially woven for Tutankhamun.

“The linens on the actual mummy were so much decayed by excessive use of resins that the bandages on display at the museum are actually the best-preserved lot of Tutankhamun wrappings,” said Dorothea Arnold, curator of Egyptian art at the museum.
Herbert E Winlock (1884-1950), the Metropolitan’s curator, wrote in a 1941 account of the embalming material: “When the floor was swept after wrapping the body of a king, naturally, there were quantities of pieces of linen, some of them bandages and some wider bits, gathered up”.|

The sheets also bore inscriptions with dates on which the linen was woven.
One linen featured an inscription with “Year 8 of the Lord of Two Lands, Nebkheperure (Tutankhamun’s throne name)”.Indeed, ‘Year 8’ was the final year of Tutankhamun’s life (1341 BC-1323 BC).

Group weight-loss programme for diabetes
A new study has claimed that attending periodical sessions of weight loss programmes in groups can benefit overweight or obese people and reduce risk of diabetes.
Researchers found that after a 6-month Weight Watchers group programme, overweight or obese adults who attended at least 66 per cent of the weekly sessions, not only lost weight, but also significantly reduced glucose and insulin levels — important indicators of diabetes risk.The programme included education on a low calorie diet, exercise and weekly group support sessions.