The Health News United Kingdom July 28 2017

Overview

  • The prospect of chlorine-washed chicken flooding into the UK as the price of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US has garnered a great deal of attention in recent days. Chlorine-washed chickens are symbolic of much wider concerns around animal welfare and environmental standards that could become a crucial negotiating point in any post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK.
  • Scientists have developed an experimental surgical glue inspired by the mucus secreted by slugs that could offer an alternative to sutures and staples for closing wounds. While some medical glues already exist, they often adhere weakly, are not particularly flexible and frequently cannot be used in very wet conditions.
  • Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat. It can build up after bacteria have become repeatedly exposed to antibiotics. The bacteria change or adapt so they are no longer affected by the antibiotic. This renders antibiotics ineffective against infections they were previously able to treat.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 28th of July 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health New

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/is-chlorinated-chicken-bad-for-our-health-and-the-environment-a7860866.html

The prospect of chlorine-washed chicken flooding into the UK as the price of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US has garnered a great deal of attention in recent days. The Government appears split on the issue after International Trade Secretary Liam Fox suggested it was merely a “detail” to be agreed at the end of complex negotiations. Just a day later, Environment Secretary Michael Gove insisted that chlorine-washed chicken imports would not be allowed and that the issue was in fact a “red line” in talks with Washington.

What is chlorine-washed chicken? US farms are allowed to dip or wash chicken carcasses in water containing chlorine dioxide in order to kill potentially harmful organisms such as E coli, campylobacter and Salmonella on the surface of the meat. This happens after animals have been slaughtered and before the meat is packaged.

The EU does not allow producers to wash meat with any substance other than water unless the substance is explicitly approved by the European Commision. Advocates of this approach say that it leads to higher standards of hygiene and animal welfare because farmers must take care at each stage of the process rather than relying on a chemical bath to kill any harmful pathogens after animals are slaughtered.

Chlorine-washed chickens are symbolic of much wider concerns around animal welfare and environmental standards that could become a crucial negotiating point in any post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK. That trade deal itself is seen as of vital importance to the UK’s future outside the EU.

If the EU, with its five hundred ten million consumers, was unable to persuade giant US agriculture firms to accept higher environmental standards, the UK, with sixty five million, will likely find it difficult to do so, whether Michael Gove sees it as a “red line” or not. If the UK were to allow treating meat as the price of a free trade deal with the US it would also make it difficult to sell British meat into the EU.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-slugs-glue-idUKKBN1AC2VX

Scientists have developed an experimental surgical glue inspired by the mucus secreted by slugs that could offer an alternative to sutures and staples for closing wounds. While some medical glues already exist, they often adhere weakly, are not particularly flexible and frequently cannot be used in very wet conditions. To get around those problems, a group of scientists from Harvard and other research centers decided to learn from slugs, which – as well as making slime to glide on – can produce extremely adhesive mucus as a defense mechanism.

The slugs’ trick is to generate a substance that not only forms strong bonds on wet surfaces that makes it highly flexible. The experiments were reported in the journal Science on Thursday it was shown to adhere strongly to pig skin, cartilage, tissue and organs. It also proved non-toxic to human cells.

In one test the new glue was used to close a wound in a blood-covered pig’s heart and successfully maintained a leak-free seal after the heart was inflated and deflated tens of thousands. David Mooney, professor bioengineering at Harvard along with his colleagues envisage the new adhesive will be made in sheets and cut to size, although they have also developed an injected version for closing deep wounds. The injection would be hardened using ultraviolet light, like dental fillings.

Four years ago, another research group developed a glue inspired by the underwater sticking properties of mussels, but Mooney thinks slugs win hands-down in terms of stickiness and flexibility.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2017/07July/Pages/Advice-that-a-course-of-antibiotics-should-be-finished-questioned.aspx

Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat. “Should you finish a course of antibiotics?” asks BBC Online. The question is prompted by a new review suggesting concerns around antibiotic treatment are driven by fears of under-treatment, when we should instead be concerned about overuse.Patients have always been advised to finish their course of antibiotics even if they’re feeling better.

The reasons given are that this will stop the infection from returning, as well as reduce the risk of the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotics. The researchers behind this review challenge these established ideas by suggesting that shortening the course of antibiotic treatment could be just as effective and that “finishing the course” could actually be making the problem of antibiotic resistance worse.

Antibiotic resistance can build up after bacteria have become repeatedly exposed to antibiotics. The bacteria change or adapt so they are no longer affected by the antibiotic. This renders antibiotics ineffective against infections they were previously able to treat.

It has been widely accepted that stopping antibiotic treatment early encourages bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. As a result, current medical advice is to finish taking a prescribed course of antibiotics as recommended by a healthcare professional, even if you start to feel better.

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