Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bacterium is a New Strain

By Tan Ee Lyn
HONG KONG | Thu Jun 2, 2011 7:43am EDT
(Reuters) - The E. coli epidemic in Europe is caused by a new, highly infectious and toxic strain of bacteria that carries genes giving it resistance to a few classes of antibiotics, Chinese scientists who analyzed the organism said.

The scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, who are collaborating with Germany's University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, completed sequencing the genome of the bacterium in three days after receiving its DNA samples.

"This E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic," said the scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen city in southern China.

They said in a press release on Thursday the bacterium was closely related to another E. coli strain, called EAEC 55989, which was previously isolated in central Africa and known to cause serious diarrhea.

Authorities are still hunting for the source of the new bacteria, which is believed to have contaminated raw vegetables. The E.coli outbreak has so far killed at least 17 people and made more than 1,500 others ill in eight European countries.

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, one of the largest hospitals in Hamburg, treated many of the infected patients from north Germany and found they did not respond to some of the antibiotics used, the Chinese scientists said.

"The analysis further showed that this deadly bacterium carries several antibiotic resistant genes, including resistance to aminoglycoside, macrolides and Beta-lactam antibiotics: all of which makes antibiotic treatment extremely difficult," the scientists said.

This new strain of also bore the hallmarks of other E. coli strains that are known to cause symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, or hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which affects the kidneys.

E.coli can be passed from person to person but experts say there was no evidence this was happening in any significant numbers in this outbreak.

Health experts are recommending strict hygiene measures such as hand washing and thorough cleaning and cooking of food.

The sequences of this new E. coli strain have been uploaded to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (SRA No: SRA037315.1) and are also available for download at:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Did President Obama Read the Patriot Bill?


Obama Extends P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act with an AutoPen!

Posted by: "xthe17th"   xthe17th

Sat May 28, 2011 6:56 pm (PDT)

Rep. Graves questions Obama's autopen signing of Patriot Act extension
By Daniel Strauss - 05/27/11 11:17 AM ET

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is questioning President Obama's use of an autopen in signing an extension of the Patriot Act.

In a letter Friday, Graves asks Obama to confirm that he saw the law prior to its autopen signing.

"Mr. President, I write to request your confirmation that S. 990, as passed by Congress, was presented to you prior to the autopen signing, as well as a detailed, written explanation of your Constitutional authority to assign a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed into law," Graves wrote.

Obama signed the bill into law late Thursday night. The autopen was used because the president was in France, meeting with G8 leaders, and the bill's provisions expired at midnight.

Graves cited Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution, which says that the president must sign a bill to approve it into law.

"Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it," the article reads.

Read Graves's letter at article source: http://thehill. com/blogs/ blog-briefing- room/news/ 163683-gop- rep-questions- obamas-use- of-autopen- in-signing- patriot-act

Monday, May 30, 2011

We Put this Stuff on Our Cropland Regularly and our DEP Approves it; so what is wrong here!

A deadly form of E. coli bacteria, reportedly linked to Spanish cucumber exports, has killed at least 14 people in Germany and sickened hundreds more in what experts are saying is the one of the biggest outbreaks of the kind worldwide. 

German experts and government officials gathered Monday for a meeting to address the crisis.

Health officials from several European countries including Germany, Austria and Russia pulled Spanish vegetables from sale and blocked additional imports out of concern the outbreak could spread.

Spain lashed out against the ban. Diego Lopez Garrido, Spain's EU representative, said there is no proof that the contamination originated in Spain.

Germany's national disease institute advised people in northern Germany, where most cases have occurred, not to eat raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control is investigating the source and scope of the risk. The Stockholm-based group said infected patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome [HUS], a potentially fatal condition afflicting the kidneys, blood and central nervous system. 

According to the European health officials, the outbreak is one of the largest worldwide, and the biggest ever reported in Germany. Most of the outbreak has been in Hamburg, but cases of HUS also have been reported in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain.

Spanish Environment Minister Rosa Aguilar said last week that it is too early to know where the contamination took place. The European disease center, an EU agency, said authorities in Hamburg found E. coli bacteria last week on two samples of Spanish cucumbers, but it was not clear whether they were contaminated at the source or during delivery.