Today, science adds silver to antibiotics, finds out why naked mole rats don’t get cancer, lowers radiation exposure in CT scans, and zooms in on Mars—way in.
Silver makes antibiotics more effective
Researchers found that adding small amounts of silver to antibiotics greatly enhances their ability to fight off infections, and can make drug-resistant bacteria vulnerable again. Silver’s long been known to have antibacterial properties, and adding it to existing antibiotics could help fight the growing problem superbugs and hospital-acquired infections.
Silver compounds aid antibiotics by making the cell membranes of gram-negative bacteria more permeable. They also increase the bacteria’s production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules, which damage the bacterial cell’s DNA and enzymes. By adding the weapon of silver to a battle against E. coli, the enemy became 10 to 1,000 times more sensitive to commonly-used drugs like penicillin.
CT scanners at a Cincinnati Children’s hospital reduce radiation exposure by 37 percent
On the heels of a study that revealed childhood CT scans can slightly increase cancer risk, doctors at one hospital have developed a new imaging software that reduces overall radiation exposure. Using the patient’s weight and size, this software calculates the minimal amount of radiation needed to produce a usable image.
Naked mole rats live long and don’t get cancer
I can’t think of many things more disgusting than “naked mole rat goo.” But this week, it’s as good as gold: researchers investigating the cancer resistance of these, well, rather phallic buck-toothed lovelies found that a gooey substance in their cells that prevents tumor cells from replicating. Scientists found that removal of this substance allowed tumors to grow—but there may be other elements involved in the rodent’s immunity.
NASA releases a billion-pixel interactive panorama from its Curiosity Mars rover
Take your own personal mini-tour of the Martian landscape with 1.3 billion pixels of the red planet. The panorama is a combination of almost 900 images from three of Curiosity’s 17 total cameras: