No Word Communication

No Word Communication

Using ecology to quantify the spread of antibiotic resistance among bacterial reservoirs

This is Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing bacteria. KPC. KPC causes pneumonia and is one of the most dangerous superbugs; it is resistant to virtually all known antibiotics. It first appeared in the US in the early 2000’s, around NYC. And in June 2011, a 43-year old woman with a rare lung disease, who was known to be colonized with KPC, was transferred to one of the most advanced medical facilities in the United States. She was treated, monitored for KPC, and released a month later. Three weeks after her release, KPC was detected in the lungs of another patient at the hospital. Over the following 6 months, 16 more patients tested positive for KPC. All these infections were essentially untreatable; they did not respond to any combination of antibiotics. By the time the outbreak subsided in 2012, 19 patients had been colonized with KPC. 12 of them died. (by Ben Koch)

Quantitative stable isotope probing: what is it, how does it work, and why is it important for fresh

Recap: Organisms are the engines of ecosystems. Their biomass stores and transforms chemical compounds. Their population dynamics drive carbon and nutrient cycles through the biosphere. And their interspecific interactions fuel the fluxes of matter and energy throughout food webs. By studying the activities of individual species, ecologists have gained great insight to understanding how ecosystems work. However, determining the activity of micro-organisms in their natural environments is extremely challenging because they are hard to see and identify. (by Ben Koch)

This painting works as a, perhaps blasphemous, metaphor for the broader topic of how scientists apply global-scale processes to increase our predictive and explanative power. How can global-scale data “breathe life” into our understanding of local scale processes? (by AJ Garnello)