Poll reveals risky use of antibiotics by some older adults, and opportunities for providers to improve

Half of older Americans got help from the infection-fighting power of antibiotics in the past two years, a new poll finds, but a sizable minority didn’t follow the instructions on their pill bottle. And one in five say that in the past, they’ve engaged in a risky practice: taking leftover antibiotics without checking with a medical professional.

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Scientists Discover New Antibiotic in Tropical Forest

Scientists from Rutgers University and around the world have discovered an antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium from a Mexican tropical forest that may help lead to a “plant probiotic,” more robust plants and other antibiotics. Probiotics, which provide friendlier bacteria and health benefits for humans, can also be beneficial to plants, keeping them healthy and more robust. The new antibiotic, known as phazolicin, prevents harmful bacteria from getting into the root systems of bean plants, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Nature Communications.

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AI System Accurately Detects Key Findings in Chest X-Rays of Pneumonia Patients Within 10 Seconds: Study Finds Promise of Faster Treatment

From 20 minutes or more to 10 seconds. Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare and Stanford University say 10 seconds is about how quickly a new system they studied that utilizes artificial intelligence took to accurately identify key findings in chest X-rays of patients in the emergency department suspected of having pneumonia.

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Antibiotics exposure linked to increased colon cancer risk

In an extensive “data mining” analysis of British medical records, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center conclude that taking even a single course of antibiotics might boost—albeit slightly—the risk of developing colon cancer—but not rectal cancer—a decade later. The findings, reported in the August 20 issue of the journal Gut , highlight the need for judicious use of this broad category of drugs, which are frequently improperly or overprescribed, the report authors say.

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