5. A little something in the air

With flu season in full swing and US wildfires throwing ash and smoke everywhere, you would be forgiven for thinking the air around you has reached capacity for ways to make you sick. You would be wrong, though. Swedish researchers conducted a study on various environments to compare the presence of antibiotic resistant genes in each. They found the most diverse and abundant amounts in environments with industrial antibiotic pollution (no surprise there) as well as in the good old-fashioned type of air pollution present in Beijing. They even found genes in those environments that encode resistance to carbapenems, considered the last line of antibiotic defense. The scientists are planning more research into how transmission works through air pollution, because this stuff is scary.

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