Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants

Soulskill posted 1 year,4 days | from the giving-them-a-sporting-chance dept.

China 111

MTorrice writes "In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment. Environmental and public health experts worry that this discharge could promote the spread of resistance."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

some/could/etc. (-1, Troll)

turkeydance (1266624) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722181)

yeah, maybe.

Re:some/could/etc. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722291)

I'd say it is a pretty good chance, actually.

Your basic argument is that because it is a "possible" outcome, and not "divine omniprescient 100% certainty that it will in fact happen", that it can be safely ignored.

Let's examine how that is utterly retarded as a proposition, shall we?

I can strike a match inside a room filled with natural gas. It may or may not explode, depending on how much oxygen is also present. Since it isn't "100% straight up always going to happen", does that mean it is a good idea to strike matches around natural gas?

What's that?
--I didn't think so.

The same is true with microbes and horizontal gene transfer. The germs are the room filled with natural gas, the genes being dumped are the match, and china is the idiot trying to strike it.

If they keep at it, it's gonna blow up. That's how the numbers stack up in such things. We have microbial colonies forming these resistant genomes in such tiny envirnments as hospitals, ad whole new species of extremophiles evolving from conditions imposed in places like the JPL laboratories. Here we have industrial scale contamination, over wide areas of planet, with literally uncountable species of potentially harmful microbes being given opportunities to obtain those genes from horizontal transfer.

Seriously. Pull the blindfold off.

Re:some/could/etc. (0)

epyT-R (613989) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722313)

oh well..
so we all die horrible deaths..

Re:some/could/etc. (0)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723171)

same as before.

Re:some/could/etc. (1)

dwater (72834) | 1 year,3 days | (#45723943)

I actually thought the same thing - quantify it in real, solid terms, or don't bother mentioning it. Using 'fluffy' English isn't much use to anyone, imo. I haven't bothered to read if they actually do quantify things, but there you go.

Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (4, Insightful)

retroworks (652802) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722217)

Antibacterial soaps are a frankenstein. Invented as something to cure a sppoky "risk" (like "bacteria") and sold, sold, sold. Multivitamins, ADHD drugs, billions of dollars of bullshit are being sold to consumers, harnessing innate risk aversion and evolved nurture to sell snake oil. India has already used so many antibacterial products that its hospitals are a paradise for resistant staph bacteria. Go upstream from the Chinese water treatment plants, and you'll find consumers who think they are doing the right thing and protecting their families.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

HellCatF6 (1824178) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722243)

The article doesn't say anything about soaps or other drugs, only that the resistant genes exist.

This is a general observation of how our greater biome is adapting to our generally anti-bacterial ways - including hospital grade antibiotics.

And judging from the research done, it looks like it's already in the environment. I'm guessing that we're looking at a dip in life expectancy. Oh well.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723073)

It doesn't have to.

The best medical practices promote a healthy body which can heal itself. This means not doing anything which will compromise or weaken the immune system. And if you're a person who believes vaccines are important, then you MUST agree that prophylactic use of antibiotics and the frequent use of antibacterials weaken the immune system by reducing attackers which keep the immune system active. Why must you agree? I'm not sure I need to explain this to anyone, but just in case, I'll remind anyone that vaccines are methods by which we seek to trick the body into forming an immunity response to a particular [inert] bug inserted into a body. If your immune system is weak or compromised, the efficacy of vaccines are naturally and likewise inhibited.

Ever wonder why so many people complain about getting the flu right after getting a flu shot? GUESS WHAT?!

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724167)

No. You're being true to your nic.

Antibacterials don't 'weaken' the immune response. Your body will make whatever antibodies it can to the bacteria irregardless of whether you use antibiotics or not. The antibiotic, if used correctly, will stop / slow down the growth of the bacteria and allow the immune system to help clear the infection. The problem with too frequent or inappropriate use of an antibiotic is that is gives the bugs more chances to develop resistance to the drug.

Antibiotics are not so powerful that the body doesn't see the bacteria. It's not magic juju juice. The immune system is way more complex than you think.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724741)

Antibacterials DO weaken the immune response because when the body encounters fewer reasons to produce immune agents, it produces fewer agents. And when that happens, getting a disease is a great deal easier.

And no. Antibiotics and antibodies do not work in tandem like that. Not at all.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724611)

Actually, the people you mention don't get the flu. They just get a common cold, whose symptoms are quite similar to the flu, albeit not as strong. And people who never had antibodies against the special tribe of flu they got the shot against sometimes develop unspecified symptoms like faintness or joint pains which get associated with the flu, but have nothing to do with it. Some of the symptoms of the flu are caused by the body busily creating antibodies against the infection. If you get a shot that causes the body to create antibodies, then you will have similar symptoms.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,3 days | (#45725197)

Ever wonder why so many people complain about getting the flu right after getting a flu shot? GUESS WHAT?!

Thank you Jenny McCarthy for continuing to spread FUD.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,3 days | (#45725221)

Answer then, how do vaccines work when your immune system is weakened?

I am not saying don't get vaccinated. I am saying make sure your vaccines have a chance to work by having the immune response needed. Once again, Vaccines don't do anything but pretend to be an active disease for your body to respond to.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45725775)

Actually, my boss stopped getting the flu shot because when he gets it, he's out for a week with a fever and generally sick. It's the only vaccine he has issues with. Anecdotes at their best!

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,3 days | (#45728029)

No, they're not spreading FUD. What causes it is that disease symptoms are often the result of the immune system fighting the disease. Fever kills viruses, so you get a fever with the flu. Coughing and your nose running are your body trying to wash the nasties out of your body. When you get that flu shot, it won't work if the immune system doesn't see it as a threat, and when it sees a threat, you get the disease symptoms.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722493)

A substantial percentage of antibacterial soaps available at the moment (YMMV) use some form of alcohol to destroy bacteria and do not use any form of antibiotic (in the Alexander Fleming sense) and are, therefore, unlikely to promote resistance to antibiotics. That said, they may promote resistance to alcohol although this is unlikely. (In respect of alcohol resistance, see, for example, http://www.ijmm.org/article.asp?issn=0255-0857;year=2010;volume=28;issue=2;spage=100;epage=106;aulast=Mathai#ref3 at paragraph 3 under the heading 'Products for Hand Hygiene').

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

AaronW (33736) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722625)

You're confusing antibacterial soaps with hand sanitizers. The articles I have read say the hand sanitizers do what they say because they are alcohol based. The soaps are not and typically cause more harm than good, especially since the chemicals tend to end up in the general environment.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

Firethorn (177587) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722751)

The soaps are not and typically cause more harm than good

Actually they do tend to do what they say they do, but it's despite the antibiotic, not because of it. It's still soap, a very good sanitizer on it's own.

I just remember looking for hand soap without it and not being able to find any. It was sad.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723059)

Antibacterial soaps are a frankenstein. Invented as something to cure a sppoky "risk" (like "bacteria") and sold, sold, sold.

Good news: The FDA is planning to restrict antibacterial additives [nytimes.com] .

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724607)

Why the hell is this modded off-topic?

It is related to the topic in regards to abuse of other areas that is leading to massive drug-resistance: antibiotics abuse.

Use of antibiotics is seriously lazy. Oh no, don't waste energy and time actually washing those plates, spray some of this green shit in and let it foam, NOW WITH ANTIBACTERIAL ACTION ACTION ACTION!
Oh, wait, sorry about that, you now have autoimmune, enjoy your awful existence.

All these things have done is create weaker people and STRONGER INFECTIONS.
This is exactly the thing these products were NOT supposed to do, they were supposed to be used sparingly for cases where people became infected with something there bodies couldn't defeat, such as old people, young people, or the very chronically ill or weak.
Now we are creating ever-more sterile environments outside of these conditions.
Now we have them in our god damn soaps and washing up liquids!
NO, stop it, stop being stupid! Pressure and some scrubbing can clean a damn plate just as easy as leaving a plate to sit in some washing up liquid.
Better yet, get a damn dishwasher, they aren't that expensive and will save you a stupid amount of money in general, as well as your health.

Also get pets. Lots of pets. The dirtier the better. [slashdot.org]

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | 1 year,3 days | (#45726061)

At the gym early this morning, two Fox News blondes on the bigscreen were discussing that multivitamin report. Blonde A tells about the finding that vitamins don't work, and Blonde B responds haughtily, "...But I don't use chemical vitamins. I buy the natural ones at Whole Foods!"

Yessiree, folks. Gotta get me some of those non-chemical vitamins for my non-chemical body. I hate to think what the other party propaganda network's take on the report might be. THIS is why the Chinese are winning.

Re:Antibacterial soap Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726625)

Multivitamins like Centrum? I find it funny that a company like pfizer is putting down multivitamins while making its own with a very questionable formulation. Anyone need tin or boric acid in their diet. How about some non bioavailable minerals for your diet.

who are the barbarians now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722225)

damn Gweilo, who do they think they are, the moderators between earth and heaven?

Re:who are the barbarians now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726181)

-1 complaining about moderation

nigger addicts are the real cause of it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722241)

they take their pills for two days and then go back to sucking cocks for crack but it's more politically correct to blame the evil chinese than the poor ol' american nignog.

antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (5, Insightful)

ruir (2709173) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722265)

So, I have seen my gf, parents and even myself being given by doctors high spectrum antibiotics for trivial sickness; then the disgrace of the cattle and farming industry using preemptively antibiotics just in case, for being able to maintain animals in unthinkable environments and for fattening animal and not stopping at anything, even when it is already widespread knowledge antibiotics will stop working in less than ten years time. And know it is Chinas fault???? Talking about the elephant in the room...

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722399)

In all 3 circumstances, the same root cause is responsible: Big Industry.

1) the medical profession has thousands of careers and work opportunities on the line, influenced by the mere appearance of being negligent. As a consequence, doctors routinely perscribe preventative antibiotics, as insurance not against disease, but against accusations of being negligent at healthcare providers.

2) the meat and dairy industry is suffering from the unsavory effects that big name oligopolies introduce when they battle it out for low low prices. It costs considerably less per unit of product produced to shove 500 cattle into a pen barely big enough for 100, by essetially crating them in tiny stalls where they stand knee deep in their own shit 24/7, in front of a trough filled with corn, than it does to raise them on an open pasture. As such, marica's loe of eating beef every day of every week makes NOT using antibiotics an insensible proposition; instead of drug resistant bacteria, there would be high meat prices and meat shortages as demand far outstripped supplies. There's a LOT of cashflow at stake there.

3) china is trying to enter into a market space where it has to compete with the shit caused by the big names in western marets, and as such, has to be competative against even the sickening shit going on listed above: the only way to do that? Do it themseves, more radically, with no oversights or controls, and offer the products even cheaper.

The root problem in all cases?

Money, and the inherent failing in EVERY economic model ever tendered by greedy idiots: the belief that "externalities" don't matter, and that purpetual growth in production is always possible no matter what, and that no matter how fucked up the consequences make things, "science" and "technology" will "always make it OK."

Chew on that for awhile.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722433)

I'm a vegetarian, thank you.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

flaming error (1041742) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722441)

That's wonderful. But doesn't change a thing.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722511)

The only way it will be resolved is for humanity to accept metastability with the environment it lives in, and humanity has spent many hundreds of thousands of years evolving in a way that depends on doing the exact opposite of that.

Even with the handwriting burned into the goddamn wall, we as a species will still rush facefirst into the pits of that hell, and complain and lament about how good things used to be, all while murdering each other over what's left.

It's what we always do as a species. Not once, ever, in human hystory has humanity ever averted the resource depletion disaster through self regulation.


Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2)

blue trane (110704) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722559)

When the white man got to North America, they found the environment as full of resources as the Indians had found it when they got there over 10,000 years before.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722593)

Native americans DID NOT live in metastability. Their civilizations rose and fell so quickly they barely left the stone age.

Check out what happened to the ancient puebloans for instance.

They abandoned their mighty cities, because they overextended their use of ground water.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

blue trane (110704) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722675)

I think your model has led you to unwarranted assumptions. From wikipedia: "The archaeological record indicates that it was not unusual for ancient Pueblo peoples to adapt to climatic change by changing residences and locations."

The hills were full of gold when the white man got to California, despite the Miwok living there for millennia. And Powell encountered indians living in the Grand Canyon...

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722747)

And yet your argument, that the white colonists encountered an environment just as rich as when the native americans arrived at the end of the preceeding iceage thousands of years before, is patently false.

At last 3 species of megafauna have been recorded going extinct "rapidly" after this initial human expansion.

That alone invalidates your argument.

Then of course, you have the historicaly recorded incdeces in south america involving the incla, maya, toltec, and olmec peoples. You know, where they caused agricultural collapse through unsustainable agricultural practices, and even with rampant warfare cutting their populations to ribbons, they still didn't really escape the resource depletion crisis.

Sure, there are remnants of those cultures, but they are barely just that, with almost nothing in common with the civilizations they came from. The genelines might have survived, but the civilizations did not.

The native american civilizations were not magical hippies.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2)

flaming error (1041742) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722913)

I think the word "civilization" implies a dense population; sparse populations don't require complex societies.. Would you agree with that?

Any time an area is densely populated, the population will consume local resources faster than nature can replenish them, and they will rely on trade and transportation systems to sustain the population, and complex laws to maintain order.

Even outside of densely populated areas, humans like any other species will reproduce until the point their population can not be sustained by their habitat, and individuals will die as equilibrium is restored.

But none of those facts disprove the notion that some aboriginal cultures evolved philosophies, morals and superstitions that encouraged them to live as a part of their environment rather than attempting to place themselves beyond the reach of nature.

Whether because nature imposed it or because cultures accepted it, the aboriginal population numbers were relatively stable over millenia, and their activity over time had little environmental impact compared to the european immigrants'.

Native cultures were far more sustainable than ours. GP's points are valid.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723113)

That I am willing to accept; the fallacy that "native americans" (generic category) had that property is what I dispute. I can point out examples of clearly destructive and non-sustainable behaviors from native american cultures all day long. The difference between the native americans and the europeans was a technological gap more than anything. The europeans had better tools to exploit the environment, and naturally exploited it harder and faster.

Humanity's evolutionary path has been a long littany of advances in how to modify the environment to better suit themselves. Tools, agriculture, medicine, culture-- they all converge on the unified objective.

As far as I am aware, at no point has humanity realized that this is unsustainable, and chosen to adapt themselves to suit the environmet, instead of the inverse. Some shamanistic tribes might possibly have done this to a limited extent; but it still isn't a knowing, willful choice to abstain; it is a superstitious practice, reinforced by natural forces that are outside the groups control.

It is this latter that is what is important here.

When presented with the knowledge, opportunity, and power to affect such change to avert the disaster, no no major civilization has been able or willing to make that choice.

Even the example given by the GP about the puebloans moving to avoid local scarcity illustrates this point. They constructed reservoirs to collect rainwater, and other such projects, yes-- but that just shows that they understood that water was a finite resource, and that demand for it cannot be continually extended; instead of altering their culture to limit their growth, they continued to grow, until even with migrational patterns, their civilization could no longer be sustained.

Our own culture is on the fast track to the same kind of sudden drop at the bottom. The signs of the underlying reality are all around us, but as a collective whole, we willfully choose to believe fictions and actively lie to ourselves that we are more clever than the laws of physics, rather than see those realities, say "Oh my fucking god!", and actively choose to diminish our activities until they are metastable with the environment, and stay there.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

DarkOx (621550) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724271)

You also need to consider the question of scale. If you tried to have our current population live as the native Americans did we would have considerable environmental problems. Pollution from human waste, deforestation, constant high levels of fine particulate from open fires used for heat and cooking, we'd be hunting many species to extinction etc. What is Eco-friendly for a few hundred thousand and what works for a few million is quite different.

Iook and places like India and Hati if you don't think so. On the subject of China and also the modernizing parts of India it's also a question of scale. There may be a technical and moral equivelance and usually even a deficit compared to our consumption but there are so so many more people there that there isn't a practical equivalence.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722477)


Do you have any idea what the externalities on your lifestyle actually are?

Here's a hint: research what monoculturing crops does to biodiversity, and the longterm impact that has on an ecosystem.
You might just find that your "enlightened" lifestyle choice isn't so enlightened afterall.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722997)

Monoculture feeding people directly still has less negative environmental and health impacts than monoculture feeding livestock for meat production to feed people.

Not to mention that people who chose vegetarian or (better still) vegan lifestyles are making a conscious decision to be aware of their impact on the world around them and are therefore probably considering more than just what they put into their bodies.

It's a matter of asking and answering questions for yourself, making informed choices and putting your money where your values are.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723299)

That assertion makes a number of unsupported assumptions, most important of which is that the meat will be lot raised, fed on corn.

Only then does that line of reasoning add up, since that would require monocultured corn to sustain the monocultured cattle, making the cattle "monoculture squared!".

The reality is that not all beef is lot raised, nor is all beef corn fed. I know. My aunt raises cattle. She does neither. I buy my beef from her. It costs me about 300$ a year up front for half a cow. Grassfed only cattle have denser muscle tissue, making it tougher than most consumers want. It does however also reduce the fat content, making the steaks less "marbled", reducing the "fatty flavor" most beef consumers are looking for. However, if you are looking for a high protien foodsource that is healthier than the mainstream market alternatives, (for both of the above reasons) and with a considerably smaller externality footprint, buying grassfed only has a number of real advantages. Raising the cattle at a proper density on the pasture actually sustains the grassland ecosystem. See below.

A typical hay pasture in an area that before human activity happened to be an open grassland, sustains a fabulously wider range of biodiversity than that pasture land would sustaining a monoculture of soybeans. (In my aunt's cattle pasture, I have personally observed spittle bugs, prairie dogs, aphids, grasshoppers, cattle egrets, a wide variety of small rodents, hundreds of species of terrestrial plant, includng various dicot species in addition to the peferred monocot grasses, many species of wild fowl and songbirds, etc. In the typical soybean field, I observe only soybeans.) The cattle replace the natural large herbivores that had adapted to that environment, namely the plains bison. They keep the grass healthy by providing mechanical stimulation of plant growth, facilitate the hunting behavior of the plains cattle egret, break the sod layer so that prairie dogs and small field mice and voles can establish tunnels, and spread plant seeds with their feces. Keeping their numbers sustainable through selective harvesting and husbandry provides not only food for humans, but sustains a very valuable habitat for a radical diversity of species.

The ethical and enlightened choice, then, is not "vegan" or "vegetarian", but based on the whole food production chain involved in your particular region. I would accept a subculture that espouses "permaculture only" diets (whichwould espouse maximum sustainability and diversity in the growing environment), but not one that bases itself on faulted preconditions, like the one you just made, or on faulted ethical concerns such as "eating animals is mean".

I eat beef, and have no issues doing so, as I know full well where the actual cow I eat came from, and what conditions it was raised under. I know it was terminated under humane circumstances, and was raised in a healthy natural environment. To me, eating the beef is more ethical than eating soy only.

Re: antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724753)

That's all well and good for your specific scenario. Surely you can acknowledge that your situation does not represent the norm?

The statement "Monoculture feeding people directly still has less negative environmental and health impacts than monoculture feeding livestock for meat production to feed people." makes no assumptions and is in fact representative of feeding standards in intensive livestock and large scale cattle operations, which do represent the norm. Since you admit that "only then" does this line of reasoning add up, we don't seem to be in disagreement.

I encourage you to read the following wikipedia articles to broaden your awareness beyond your Aunty's cattle farm:
    Cattle feeding
    Intensive animal farming
    Ethics of eating meat (there's more to it "eating animals is mean")

I commend your awareness of where the beef you consume comes from. I do wonder how much beef/lamb/pork/poultry you consume outside of this source that perhaps you don't consciously account for.

From my experience, most people don't give much serious thought to where the produce and goods they consume come from and they the are ones promoting unsustainable and unethical practices through their ignorance - it's not people with your mindset that I take issue with.

Although I personally follow a vegan diet grown in part in my backyard (suburban block) and otherwise mostly from local farmer's markets, I always maintain ignorance is the problem and not something as narrow as simply the consumption of animal products. There are many problems in the world and this probably doesn't even rank.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45728147)

A typical hay pasture in an area that before human activity happened to be an open grassland

Wrong. Most pasture used today in the world was not pasture. It was forests. The relatively small amount of pasture in US midwest was used by buffalo (and plenty of other critters, like wolves), which was exterminated to near extinction. I guess extermination is called "biodiversity" in your language.

Most of Europe was forests. Most of Americas were forests. Most of China and India were forests. Those "pastures" you speak of only existed in areas too dry for forests, where people don't live anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_in_Brazil#Causes [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_by_region [wikipedia.org]

n 2005, an estimated 56,000 hectares were deforested in Canada. Deforestation affected less than 0.02% of Canadaâ(TM)s forests in 2005. The agricultural sector accounted for just over half of the deforestation in 2005, the result of forests having been cleared for pasture or crops.

As another example to massive deforestation for pastures in Amazon area.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45727925)

Vegetarians tend to be more about organic foods and local food and they are more likely to grow a garden.

You might just find that your "enlightened" lifestyle choice isn't so enlightened afterall.

You may find that 80+% of all crops are for animal feed, not people. Then you may realize that just by that fact, being a vegetarian is good for the ecosystem, biodiversity, etc.. That's ignoring the stuff I've already mentioned.

So before calling someone a moron, try covering your ass first. The labels tend to stick to people throwing them around.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

ruir (2709173) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722793)

It is true all is done in name of profits however the cost of beef is low because of subsidies; if it werent for them, beef would be at 50 euros/kg, and a food of the rich, as it was in a not so distant past.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723117)

50 euros/kg is not a bad thing in my opinion. That would at least drive a reduction in demand more moderate consumption, which is all good.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726713)

As my grandparents were dairy farmers, I call bullshit on the above comment. Beef might be a little more expensive, but there's no way it would be 50 euro/kg.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723055)

"We" have been. The problem is that no one has come up with a way of accomplishing the shift to a new economic paradigm without killing most of us.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724553)

Because there isn't a means of reducing footprint, without reducing footprint.

That means somebody has to either a) DIE, or b) Stop reproducing, or c) Reduce resource consumption and accept a lower standard of living that is sustainable.

Humans find ALL OF THOSE CHOICES undesirable.

In the case of a), "Who decides who lives and dies!? I WANT TO LIVE! FUCK YOU ALL!" is the usual answer. that's why it leads to wars. Has happened uncountable numbers of times. Until humans finally wise up, it will always happen too.

In the case of b), you have religious ideologies that practically turn themselves wrongside out to condemn the very idea, and-- coupled with the self-serving nature presented by a), you have issues like China, where attempts to force a reduction in population growth backfire spectacularly when the tragedy of the commons happens, because NOBODY wants to lose ground. (In the case of china, it's "I cant have *MY* family name be the one to get lost! If my wife pops out a girl, i'm killing it, and will continue to do so until I have a son goddamit!"-- there are other manifestations of this as well-- "Those black people shit out babies like fucking guppies!", or "The Muslims are outbreeding Christians 10 to 1!" Doesn't matter. The innate program is "Me, and mine first, the OTHERS can diminish!" Such is the source of the problem, and is conserved over all those examples. The problem is that everyone is a member of a "Me and mine!" group, and so-- NOBODY accepts diminishing, leading to the destruction of the entire civilization.)

In the case of c) you have issues like what the US has right now, with many groups advocating exactly that-- while many others condemn the idea outright since it means they would have to take a hit on their pride and standards of living. In line with the sociopathy seen in a) and b), Everyone wants EVERYONE ELSE to reduce, while they themselves refuse to do so. The result: Nobody actually reduces their footprint.

Humans see the problem-- They are UNABLE or UNWILLING to act on it responsibly, and so, ALWAYS fail to avert the disaster.

they instead cling to the irrational belief that science is magical and can violate the laws of physics such that they can be saved and not have to change, or that the skyfairy will miraculously save them from themselves and allow them to continue without change, or some other absurdity-- because that's easier for them to do than accept the actual reality of the situation they are creating and perpetuating.

That reality:



Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (1)

tomhath (637240) | 1 year,3 days | (#45725131)

In all 3 circumstances, the same root cause is responsible: Big Industry.

1) the medical profession has thousands of careers and work opportunities on the line, influenced by the mere appearance of being negligent.

Not in China.

2) the meat and dairy industry is suffering from the unsavory effects that big name oligopolies introduce when they battle it out for low low prices.

Doesn't really apply here, since the source of the bacteria is poorly managed waste treatment plants.

3) china is trying to enter into a market space where it has to compete with the shit caused by the big names in western marets, and as such, has to be competative against even the sickening shit going on listed above: the only way to do that? Do it themseves, more radically, with no oversights or controls

Closer to the truth. Sewage treatment plants are better than burying it in a shallow hole. But they're still not spending the extra couple of yuan to do it right.

Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723105)

I believe that's the dragon in the room, you insensitive clod!

Johnathan Feruken Conspiracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722273)

To Whom It May Concern (other than myself):

Hi. I have been a huge fan of cereals of all kinds for my whole life. Sometimes I eat it for all three meals of the day, or live on it exclusively for weeks, or put it in my underpants to keep me feeling fresh (and also as an emergency back-up snack). I cereasly love it.

I am especially fond of a lot of your cereals like Boo Berry and Trix and Chex and Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp. My absolute favorite is Fruity Pebbles though, which I believe is a Post cereal. Maybe you guys should make something that tastes like Fruity Pebbles except manages not to have Fred Flintstone's ugly mug all over the box. Yabba Dabba Eww. Anyway, my point is that I like a lot of your cereals and so I am personally concerned with their condition. And, quite frankly, lately I've been a bit worried.

Let's start with my favorite cereal of yours - Boo Berry. I love Boo Berry... at least I think I do... actually, I know it used to be my favorite cereal but I haven't had any in years so I've kind of forgotten what it tastes like - because it's not in any stores! No stores in my area carry it. I checked on your website and apparently you still make it; you even offer it for sale. Unfortunately I can't justify buying it for the $6.74 for a twelve ounce box price. You do offer buying it in a case instead of a four pack, which would drop the price to $4.71 a box, but that is still unreasonable and would also require me to spend an entire week's pay on a large shipment of haunted cereal. My girlfriend would kill me (if I didn't overdose on blue food coloring first).

I think I have a solution to this dilemma. I know you can't force any businesses to carry your cereals and I know that you can't afford to sell them direct for less than $4.71 and still have money left over to pay for upkeep on Count Chocula's castle, hiring someone to build 400 mind-numbing advertisements disguised as crappy kids games for youruleschool.com, and keep your CEOs rolling in golden Kix. So here's what you should do - open up your own stores all across the country. You've already got one in Mall-of-America, now put one in every mall in America. Even if you don't sell much cereal (and you'd sell a lot, trust me) it would be great advertising. You can sell t-shirts with nifty slogans like "Frosted Wheaties: When You're Too Damn Lazy To Put Sugar On Your Own Wheaties!" or "Honey Nut Chex: It Rhymes With 'Funny Butt Sex' For A Reason!" and other stuff which is even more great advertising plus it makes money up front. I can see it now, picture a young child in the mall with its mother...

YOUNG CHILD: Mommy! Mommy! Look at all the pretty colored cereal!

MOTHER: Oh Honey, you know cereals like that are just a result of the global dentist/cereal/porn conspiracy, we've been through this a million times...


MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT comes out of the store.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT: You know Ms. Averagemother, all of our cereals are fortified with titanium plating and deflector shi... er, essential vitamins and minerals; and they are a part of this complete breakfast.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT whips out a complete breakfast on a tray.

MOTHER: Well... I guess a few minutes couldn't hurt...

YOUNG CHILD: Gee, thanks mom!

YOUNG CHILD runs in followed slowly by MOTHER. Group of scantily clad dentists appears and drags MOTHER into back room. YOUNG CHILD transforms into a cartoon and spends eternity trying to steal Lucky's Charms and torturing the Trix Rabbit by hogging the cereal.

Now, on to my next suggestion. You need to do something about Cheerios. Really, they're awful. Yes they are good for my heart, but this is overshadowed by the fact that they taste like my butt.

On the other hand, a cereal that already tastes great is Lucky Charms. I would like you to address some concerns I have about the marshmallows, though. I remember that when I was a lad, there were only five different marshmallows in Lucky Charms: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, and blue diamonds. I could find at least a tenuous reason for all those symbols to be 'lucky charms' other than the pink hearts. What is so lucky about a pink heart? And by messing with the marshmallows you've only made the cereal even more unlucky overall. Purple horseshoes were a really great addition, good color choice and they are lucky, but red balloons? Anyway, rather than discuss each marshmallow change in the cereal's history individually, let's look at the marshmallow situation currently:

1. Shooting star. You've modified the orange stars and changed them into shooting stars. I can get into this. Shooting stars are way lucky. Good move.

2 and 3. Pot o' gold and rainbow. It seems redundant to me to have a raindow and the pot o' gold which one finds at the end of it. One of these should be dismissed with prejudice.

4. Red balloon. Ugh. Sad movie, sadder marshmallow. Please explain to me why a red balloon is lucky. You can't - because they aren't. Remove this shit from my cereal and fire the jackass who thought it was a good idea.

5. Lucky's hat. You changed the four-leaf clover into some midget's out of fashion hat. I realize how cool it is that you guys have the technology now to make two-tone marshmallows, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. Change this back to the clover.

6. Pink heart. This one is hard to call. I guess it should stay given that it's the only one of the original four marshmallows left, and I guess it's lucky to have a heart because otherwise you'd need to pump your blood manually which would be awfully dull and very time consuming.

7. Purple horseshoe. The best one in the box.

8. Blue moon. Not bad in and of itself, but there was no need to combine the blue diamond and yellow moon into this single marshmallow. Why did you bother? To make room in the marshmallow factory for the 'red balloon' machine? Come on.

So, for maximum luckiness, this is how Lucky Charms should be. Shooting stars, rainbows (or pots o' gold, but I like rainbows better because they remind me of homos), green clovers, pink hearts, purple horseshoes, yellow moons, and blue diamonds. This would also reduce the total number of different marshmallow types from eight to seven - which is a far luckier number.

Hey, Trix is too sweet and pointy now. I remember it being tasty and pleasantly round at one point. Fix my Trix you dix.

And lastly, I feel I have to bring up a subject that may be hard for you to discuss. We need to talk about what happened to some of your spokespeople.

For instance, the current spokesman for Cinnamon Toast Crunch is Wendell the baker (why making cinnamon toast requires a baker is a question I won't even bring up right now). I clearly remember two other bakers, Bob and a chap with the unfortunate name of Quello, helping Wendell out (why making cinnamon toast required three bakers is another question I won't even bring up right now). Now they are gone. What happened to them? My theory is that Wendell collaborated with someone in your company to have them rubbed out so he could get a large raise and be given the chance to market his inferior French Toast Crunch. But maybe it's something more innocent than that, like they were run over by an out of control cookie cop truck, ground up, and made into delicious cinnamon-sugary sprinkles.

Speaking of cookie cop trucks, Cookie Crisp was once sold by a crafty crook, his canine companion, and a cookie cop who never failed to capture the chocolate chip crazed criminals. Now only Chip the cookie dog remains, and he has apparently given up his life of crime and become a big silly wussbag. I am disturbed by the lack of information about what happened to the other two. Was the crook arrested? If so, why is the dog still free? If he was let off on the basis of being a dog, why did the cop throw him in jail with his master in the commercials? What happened to the cop? Is he still on the force? Why isn't he after snickerdoodle thieves or something?

Those are the ones I've personally noticed go missing, but I've talked to some people inside your organization and they had disturbing news. A lot of names were mentioned: Cheeri O'Leary, Ice Cream Jones, Mr. Wonderfull, Waldo the wizard, Major Jet... the list goes on and on.

Please explain these disappearances or I may be forced to contact the authorities.

Your biggest fan,

Johnathan Feruken

P.S. Hey, whatthefuck is up with Kaboom, anyway? That's some scary crap!

Re:Johnathan Feruken Conspiracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722325)

is this viral marketing for cereal or some shit? shit, some boo berry crisp or whatever sounds tasty as fuck but since milk gives me hella farts i can't eat that cornucopia of food coloring and corn syrup....tell the dudes in the cereal-industrial complex to develop non-fart milk and i'll be a consumer again, shit sell it as some national security shit like make up some link between al-qaeda and the dairy cartels, maybe you can get DARPA to fund the bitch, get some of that sweet sweet corporate welfare...fuck yeah!

Re:Johnathan Feruken Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726867)

Not me.

If they ever come up with non-fart milk, I'm boycotting.

I've FIGURED OUT HOW TO STOP MRSA!! (4, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722359)

New Law Needed!!

If the Doctor doesn't wash his hands every time he visits you for treatment, then the Doctor must complete the treatment and cannot charge you for it.

This would cure MRSA REALLY quick!!


tjb6 (3421769) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722497)

No it wouldn't. Patient to patient transfer via a 3rd party (doctor/nurse/visitor/whatever) is part of the problem, but there are plenty of people arriving at hospital with these things in progress already.

Correct use of antibiotics, and banning misuse of antibiotics (eg, as an animal feed supplement) would attack the root of the problem.

Regular low-dose antibiotics for livestock causes the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the gut. Since bacteria have the unfortunate talent of being able to pass on some of their genetic material to their neighbours, the resistance is then passed on to their less pleasant neighbours, who are happy to take the party to us in a big way.

Blaming the doctors for all of this is like blaming your doctor for obesity - they could have done something better, but bad things had to be happening already.


sjames (1099) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722665)

Actually there are genetically distinct resistant bacteria that thrive primarily in the hospital environment.

When hospitals are socking patients with ruinous bills, is it so much to ask that they wash their hands? Do they need to hire preschool teachers to remind them to wash their hands? Perhaps they should go stand in the corner.

There are other issues to be addressed as well, but what should be the easiest of them is proving to be a real problem.


mysidia (191772) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722833)

Regular low-dose antibiotics for livestock causes the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the gut.

This is problematic. If the antibiotic is prescription for humans, then access should not be allowed to use it for non-medical non-veterinary purposes.

If there are life/limb-threatening diseases that the antibiotic is on a short list of treatments for; it should be prescription only.


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722921)

That would get in the way of big agribiz.

You know, the usual petards about free markets being self-regulating, and all that shit.
The economists have a word for situations and phenomena like these ones. "Externalities". [wikipedia.org]

For the most part, economists say "hey, the compounding effects of multiple externalites are like, really hard to model m'kay? We're just gonna pretend they don't exist. That's much easier."

The result is situations like this one.


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724503)

The Doctor doesn't need to wash his hands, he disinfects them with his sonic screwdriver.


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724661)

Have you tried washing your hands every 15 minutes for 8 hours for days, or even months? I'm not trolling, I'm very serious, have you tried it? Do you know what happens when that protective layer of oil on the surface of the skin keeps getting removed over and over? Dry skin? No ... it's much worse than that.


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45727193)

Yes I do know, I've been living without that protective layer for 34years now. Does it suck? Abso-fucking-lutely My hands stay cracked, bleeding, and dry (if I'm lucky, that's it) no matter how much lotion I use or how the whether is outside. Would I rather a doctor, who CHOSE to go into that line of work, deal with it than me deal with some untreatable illness because "washing hands every 15 minutes hurts my poor protective oils" ? Get off your fucking high horse and accept that ALL lines of work have some level of risk involved and accept that deciding to be a doctor means you may not have perfect skin.

Bacteria share genes (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722489)

Not good! So basically, gene NDM-1 jumps from bacteria carrying the gene to living bacteria that doesn't. I don't know exactly how this happens, but apparently this is a natural form of gene therapy. I suspect this finding in the Chinese waste water plant is the tip of the iceberg. They seem to be treating waste at the most basic level by using lots of chlorine prior to discharging the treated waste. Nothing abnormal about that. I'm willing to bet that waste water treatment plants in every nation have this exact same issue! Hardy little buggers.

Re:Bacteria share genes (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722697)

"I'm willing to bet that waste water treatment plants in every nation have this exact same issue!"
yeh....the problem with this article is it points the finger at China specififcally 'cause they're are our favourite "other" to blame for pollution......waste treatment plants the world over are the kinds of things you don't want to look too closely at.......scary in a variety of ways

Re:Bacteria share genes (1)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722869)

They seem to be treating waste at the most basic level by using lots of chlorine prior to discharging the treated waste.

There are plenty of nasties that will survive chlorine treatment; namely Cryptosporidium, so even that is inadequate --- they should be adding UV and other treatments that truly sterilize and destroy dangerous genetic material

The same applies equally to waste water treatment in other countries.

Chlorination & beta-lactam resistance (1)

Valdrax (32670) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723511)

Not good! So basically, gene NDM-1 jumps from bacteria carrying the gene to living bacteria that doesn't. I don't know exactly how this happens, but apparently this is a natural form of gene therapy.

Plasmid transfer. [wikipedia.org]

I suspect this finding in the Chinese waste water plant is the tip of the iceberg. They seem to be treating waste at the most basic level by using lots of chlorine prior to discharging the treated waste. Nothing abnormal about that. I'm willing to bet that waste water treatment plants in every nation have this exact same issue! Hardy little buggers.

It may be worse than that. I found this last night while doing some reading related to the triclosan article but hesitated to bring it up, but it seems that chlorination itself may provide selection pressure that favors bacteria resistant to certain beta-lactam antibiotics.. [nih.gov]

We don't actually know the exact mechanism by which chlorine kills or damages bacteria, but we do know that increased permeability of the cell membrane enhances its lethality [nih.gov] (but is not mechanism of lethality in and of itself). Beta-lactam drugs work by monkeywrenching the process of building the peptidoglycan layer of bacterial cell walls, so it may be that some forms of resistance to cell wall wrecking drugs also help resist chlorination, which would make chlorination in turn select for that trait.

At this point, I'm in pure speculation territory, though. I am not a molecular biologist.

Gene discharged?? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722587)

Maybe my knowledge of biology is a bit lacking, but doesn't a gene need an organism? It sounds like they are talking about drug resistant bacteria, which have a traits of their DNA.

It's just as annoy as cop shows where look for DNA samples. You're not sampling the DNA with your cotton swab, you're attempting to capture cells, from which you can extract the DNA.

Then again, we're talking about two of the same groups (news media and fictional cop shows) where they'd both easily say "hack the mainframe". Ahh, the mainframe [youtube.com] . The mysterious device I can access from a Nintendo Gameboy in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, using more more than my good looks, the Gameboy, a clothes pin, and some chewing gum.

Ya, tell me about those evil genes floating around by themselves, in their attempt to take over the world.

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722621)

Bacteria swap genes out in the open. Also known as 'lateral gene transfer'.

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722811)

That still requires the bacteria, not free roaming genes floating around in the water.

Re:Gene discharged?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722843)

"In one of the treatment plants, the total number of NDM-1 genes leaving the plant was greater than that coming in." FYI, wastewater treatment plants are breeding grounds for bacteria. It's the bacteria here that's presumed to be shedding the genes.

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724227)

Nope. Plasmid transmission can occur with naked DNA. Bacterial cells will preferentially try to suck in DNA and RNA. While it does so mostly to get the building blocks to make new DNA and tries to degrade the nucleic acids into little tasty bits, sometimes whole plasmids (think tiny chromosomes) survive and multiply. Some bacteria preferentially try to ingest plasmid DNA, perhaps as a mechanism for increased gene variability. It's a nice trick. Instead of trying to hack out a point mutation that gives you resistance to a single antibiotic, you can pick up a 'cassette' of several fully functioning antibiotic resistance genes all at once.

Pint sized progress!

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724771)

So, you're saying this is where the zombie apocalypse is starting, eh?

[puts on his biohazard suit, and grabs a crowbar]

Ok, I'm ready.

Re:Gene discharged?? (4, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722763)

Basically what the AC said. Bacteria don't have sexes, but they still swap genes via various ways, and are actually able to incorporate genes found in the environment. Lateral gene transfer is one of those 'oh wow' things when you get into what was at least in my time, college level biology.

Ever play bioshock and remember how you'd get powers via drinking or shooting yourself up with something? That's sort of what bacteria do in real life. The bacteria 'consumes' the genetic material and incorporates it in with it's own.

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | 1 year,3 days | (#45723643)

Ah. I'm short any college biololgy books here, and college was a long time ago. I remember .. umm .. drinking.. and that one girl.. ahhh...

I understand what you're saying though. I still don't like the phrasing, but I see how it is accurate. :)

Re:Gene discharged?? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,3 days | (#45723947)

I suspect that they are talking about 'genes being released' because they are using some sort of "metagenomic [wikipedia.org] " technique.

Traditionally, if you wanted to study bacteria, you'd take samples, haul them back to the lab, plate them out, try to grow them in culture, then do your tests. Trouble is, not all organisms grow under those conditions. With gene sequencing now cheap and fast, you can go the alternate route of just grabbing a sample, grinding it up, and sequencing everything. You lose the ability to trivially correlate a given gene with a given organism (unless you have prior knowledge that allows you to make an inference); but you get a very powerful 'snapshot' of what genes are present, and in what proportions, in the sample without the need to know how to separate and cultivate them.

It's an extremely powerful approach for hunting novel species, since basically anything with DNA will show up regardless of whether you know anything about its care and feeding or not, and you can then identify novel DNA sequences and start looking for their hosts. It's also suitable in this case, because they aren't really interested in the bacteria (it isn't news that drinking sewage is a bad plan); but in shifts in the gene distribution of the entire population, which is exactly what grinding it up and sequencing it will get you a look at.

Population control? (1)

Nov8tr (2007392) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722631)

No I am not joking. Given China's history are abusing and murdering it's own citizens, this is a likely suspect. If this is true, it is not only insane. it should be criminal. I may be wrong, if so, someone tell me why they would release this in a nations water supply for any other reason. It is sad we say we live in a age of military/social insanity where atrocities are committed against people in the name of whatever is convenient at the time to blame. It is a shame such a small group of people are so capable of harming so many people. But group mentality has always been that way. A few people can terrorize a large crowd. sigh...........

Re:Population control? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722801)

No I am not joking. Given China's history are abusing and murdering it's own citizens, this is a likely suspect.

You're neglecting KISS, Occam's Razor, not attributing malice to something that can be explained by general incompetence, etc...

Basically I see Chinese officials/operators discharging raw sewage simply because it's easier/cheaper as a far more believable explanation than trying to spread disease as a form of population control. Why?
1. There are cheaper ways
2. This wouldn't be discriminatory enough. Remember that the powerful rich people can get sick as well, and spreading resistance to the 'best', most expensive medicine isn't in their interests because they want to live long lives as well. They can't count on not being infected because servents and such.

Basically, I see this as easily explainable via incompetence, no malice required.

Re:Population control? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723283)

If I know china (and I do since I lived there for a decade), the sewage is most likely sold under the table for a penny and processed into baby milk ingredients.

At inspections they will of course dump their precious sewage into the environment.

Anti-Chinese Propaganda? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722687)

Yes please, I'll take a large helping.

Re:Anti-Chinese Propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722979)

They deserve a LOT more than they are getting. That's the real crime here.

Re:Anti-Chinese Propaganda? (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724871)

What's actually going on here is that Chinese researchers have carried out this research using the most easily available data they have - Chinese data. There's no reason to believe that US wastewater treatment plants don't also release this material, because AFAIK, no one has checked.

Present state (1)

sriduttvnayak (1412885) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722705)

I have cold n cough... So do 5 of my friends.. Whom should I blame?

Re:Present state (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722805)

Blame is irrational.

Disease is a natural phenomenon. It's like asking whom to blame because its cold outside today.

Disease exists, because your body represents a tremendous energy resource that other lifeforms are evolving to exploit, either competitively, in the case of pathological organisms, or beneficially, in the case of symbiotic ones.

In short, disease exists because you exist, and because you consume nutritional resources that other lifeforms could also exploit.
When humans try to inhibit this competition for resources through artificial means, they only increase the pressure on those other competative organisms to become even more competative.

It really is just that simple. If you want to ask who is responsible for MRSA and other super diseases that are nearly impossible to treat, you can thank idiots who think it is perfectly OK to demand the equivalent of purpetual sunshine and perfectly clement weather every day. (For the most part, that is basically everyone. Enjoy.)

Re:Present state (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,3 days | (#45723959)

Blame is irrational. Identifying patient zero can be very useful indeed. That doesn't give the process a moral dimension; but the mechanics are pretty similar.

Summary is garbage (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722765)

Beta lactam resistance is common. That's the class of antibiotics which includes penicillin; not an antibiotic of last resort by any means. (Resistance is so common that if you're prescribed a beta lactam antibiotic nowadays, it'll probably be compounded with a beta lactamase inhibitor) Since beta lactam resistance is so common, the gene will no doubt be common in the waste stream, not just in China but everywhere.

Carbapenems *are* last resort drugs. (4, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723413)

Beta lactam resistance is common. That's the class of antibiotics which includes penicillin; not an antibiotic of last resort by any means.

It's also the category which includes carbapenems like Imipenem and Meropenem which are last resort drugs. In particular, the production of metallo-beta-lactamases like NDM-1 is a key adaptation to resist them, and the article highlights the risk specifically to neutralizing carbapenems as the main cause of concern.

nuke china (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45722797)

like how a white man would say.

Profit! (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | 1 year,4 days | (#45722977)

Now there is money to be made in multi-drug resistant jeans!

So, resistance is (0)

glenebob (414078) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723071)

not futile?

Re:So, resistance is (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,3 days | (#45723989)

When there are ~4-6x10^30 [pnas.org] of you, you reproduce unbelievably quickly, and know neither fear nor pain, very few things are futile...

Re:So, resistance is (1)

zlives (2009072) | 1 year,3 days | (#45728289)

damn, beat me to it :)

wtf! (0)

MrKaos (858439) | 1 year,4 days | (#45723081)

What could possibly go wrong!

Sure, blame the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#45723177)

Or gay people or Mexicans or atheists...

As long as you don't finger the actual cause: agricultural antibiotics abuse.

Technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45723847)

The only way to fight evolution is to stay one step ahead, it's only natural for resistance to happen. There will always be the next bad thing, but with good ol fashioned human ingenuity we can fight.

Well we could also regress and start doing it like we did in the dark ages with the catch 22 drowning test.

This is unpossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724069)

says the Monsanto PR rep.

Progress (2)

gaiageek (1070870) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724481)

It's nice to see that China is finally releasing dissidents.

Probably happens everywhere (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | 1 year,3 days | (#45724545)

Just because they found it 1 place that they looked, doesn't mean its not NOT in other places too.

Uneducated consumers + modern denial of causality + business interests = fail. You have ignorant parents who buy antibacterial everything because its "for the children" and because after all, they need to protect theirs, and it probably wont turn into MRSA _for them_, so shouldn't they do everything they can,etc. etc. Ditto with food - people buying shit at Walmart because they need to save money, meanwhile their neighbors lose their jobs and their kids end up playing with cadmium laced toys, but hey, they need to save 3 dollars on that gizmo.... Add the business interests capitalizing on this ignorance and philosophical gap (A !is !A) and you end up with the shitstorm we're in.

Moral: know what you're buying, know why you're buying it.

THIS is not as bad as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45724831)

the rampant misuse of antibiotics in the USA is far worse. Just ask any hospital's chief pathologist. They will most likely (every micro lab I have worked in did it) tracked the increase in resistance found naturally thanks to us giving everyone with a snotty nose antibiotics.

"Could promote" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726287)

Seriously? That's like saying we've made HIV able to transmit to anything and survive via water and there's a TEENY TEENY chance it will infect the world's population of wildlife in less than a week.

Phage research (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#45726519)

Someone should be isolating bacteriaphages from this source and testing them on MRSA and similar resistant bacteria.

More info

Resistance is inevitable? (1)

Rixel (131146) | 1 year,3 days | (#45728267)

Definitely a Borg joke in there somewhere.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?