More Bad News

Grind for February 11th, 2019
FIRST SIP:
“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”

– William Shakespeare



Not So Fast

The Headline

New Mexico Governor orders National Guard troops to leave

The Grind

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is ordering most of the National Guard troops stationed at her state’s southern border to withdraw.

“I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border,” she said Tuesday, referring to President Trump’s rhetoric as a “charade of border fear-mongering.”

Despite the ongoing drama at New Mexico’s southern border (including the death of two migrant children), Grisham claims the region is home to “some of the safest communities in the country.”

The Details

Earlier this week, the Pentagon dispatched 3,750 troops to the US/Mexico border to fortify existing barricades ahead of the arrival of a caravan of migrants expected to number over 2,400.

There are now roughly 6,000 troops stationed at the southern border.

The National Guard troops stationed in New Mexico were sent there last April on orders from then-Governor Susana Martinez (R) following a request from the White House.

A few months later, President Trump began sending Marines and other active-duty personnel to help Customs and Border Protection agents.

Following Grisham’s order, New Mexico’s National Guard is considering sending troops to Hidalgo County – which has asked for help dealing with the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers. The state has already decided to send six additional police officers to Hidalgo County.



Bad News

The Headline

Superbugs discovered in remote arctic region (and why that’s a big deal)

The Grind

Scientists are increasingly worried about the prevalence of bacteria that do not respond to antibiotics.

Nicknamed “superbugs,” these bacteria exist due to a combination of evolution and the overuse/misuse of antibiotics.

Superbugs are responsible for thousands of deaths each year, and have been reported to cause as much damage in Europe as HIV, TB, and the flu combined.

The Details

A team of researchers led by University of Kansas Professor Jennifer Roberts recently discovered a host of superbugs living somewhere unexpected: in the High Arctic of Norway.

The team was in Svalbard collecting soil samples when they discovered the bugs.

“We found quite a few, including…the New Delhi gene, which first emerged in India not very long ago,” explains Roberts. “This was a surprise – the genes we found clearly had a short transfer time between being discovered in India and our group detecting them in the Arctic only a few years later.”

In total, the team found evidence of 131 antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Possible explanations for the presence of the bugs in Svalbard include:

— Human waste

— Bird guano

— Movement of small animals

Next, the team compared the genes with the nutritional content in the soil to determine which bugs were native and which were carried to the region from other locations.

“We found both native and evolved antibiotic-resistant genes in the Arctic,” says Roberts. “The concern is that with resistance spreading on this scale, we may be approaching a post-antibiotic era where none of our antibiotics work because the pathogens we’re trying to fight have picked up resistant genes via evolution or lateral transfer.”

The term “lateral transfer” refers to the process by which harmful bacteria end up in the water (via animal feces) and then release material into the environment. That material is then absorbed by local bacteria, which makes them stronger.




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