Yeast Superbug, Dino Dinner, Toxic Algae. July 20, 2018, Part 1 from Science Friday

From Science Friday - If you hear the word "superbug," you're likely to think about drug-resistant bacteria or even viruses. But in a case that's been unfolding since 2009, a drug-resistant yeast is increasingly worrying epidemiologists. The yeast, Candida auris, has popped up in 27 countries so far, with 340 cases in the United States. It has a mortality rate of 60 percent. Unlike other kinds of fungal infection, C. auris seems able to hop from person to person and persists on sterile surfaces. Inconveniently, the yeast's spores are unusually resilient against standard hospital cleaning solutions. On top of that, it's already resistant to most of the anti-fungal drugs in existence—there weren't many of those to being with. Science writer Maryn McKenna and CDC Chief of Mycotic Diseases Tom Chiller joins Ira to discuss the underestimated risks of fungi and how health systems can combat them. One-hundred fifty million years ago, long-necked sauropods roamed the planet munching on plants and trees. Some of the largest herbivorous dinosaurs could grow up to 115 feet and weigh 80 tons. A team of scientists wanted to see how much nutrition this vegetarian diet provided for the dinosaurs. The group grew horsetails, ginkgos, and other plants similar to Mesozoic vegetation under high levels of carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the era. Paleontologist Fiona Gill, who is an author on that study, talks about what we know about dinosaur digestion and how this could be used to model other ancient ecosystems. Mary Radabaugh peers over her mask at the toxic algae spread across Haney Creek off of the St. Lucie River in Florida. "You can see the flies that are on the top of it. They're eating the rot so that's like the sewage that is out there. You can see the big brown spots that look like sewage." Here boats bob sadly in the blue-green algae that if ingested can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting and even can affect the liver and nervous system. But for Radabaugh that hardly is the worst of it, which is why she wears the paper mask over her mouth and nose. "The smell is comparable to a Port-O-Let that's been sitting in the hot sun for about three months. It's really probably the worst smell you've ever smelled."  The toxic algae bloom is the worst in modern history here where the Indian River Lagoon, St. Lucie River and Atlantic Ocean converge. Some 160 billion gallons of polluted water have been flushed from a rain-swollen Lake Okeechobee to the area since January, triggering the widespread bloom that has prompted emergency declarations in three counties.
Yeast Superbug, Dino Dinner, Toxic Algae. July 20, 2018, Part 1
2018-07-20 14:28:27
If you hear the word "superbug," you're likely to think about drug-resistant bacteria or even viruses. But in a case that's been unfolding since 2009, a drug-resistant yeast is increasingly worrying epidemiologists. The yeast, Candida auris, has popped up in 27 countries so far, with 340 cases in the United States. It has a mortality rate of 60 percent. Unlike other kinds of fungal infection, C. auris seems able to hop from person to person and persists on sterile surfaces. Inconveniently, the yeast's spores are unusually resilient against standard hospital cleaning solutions. On top of that, it's already resistant to most of the anti-fungal drugs in existence—there weren't many of those to being with. Science writer Maryn McKenna and CDC Chief of Mycotic Diseases Tom Chiller joins Ira to discuss the underestimated risks of fungi and how health systems can combat them. One-hundred fifty million years ago, long-necked sauropods roamed the planet munching on plants and trees. Some of the largest herbivorous dinosaurs could grow up to 115 feet and weigh 80 tons. A team of scientists wanted to see how much nutrition this vegetarian diet provided for the dinosaurs. The group grew horsetails, ginkgos, and other plants similar to Mesozoic vegetation under high levels of carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the era. Paleontologist Fiona Gill, who is an author on that study, talks about what we know about dinosaur digestion and how this could be used to model other ancient ecosystems. Mary Radabaugh peers over her mask at the toxic algae spread across Haney Creek off of the St. Lucie River in Florida. "You can see the flies that are on the top of it. They're eating the rot so that's like the sewage that is out there. You can see the big brown spots that look like sewage." Here boats bob sadly in the blue-green algae that if ingested can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting and even can affect the liver and nervous system. But for Radabaugh that hardly is the worst of it, which is why she wears the paper mask over her mouth and nose. "The smell is comparable to a Port-O-Let that's been sitting in the hot sun for about three months. It's really probably the worst smell you've ever smelled."  The toxic algae bloom is the worst in modern history here where the Indian River Lagoon, St. Lucie River and Atlantic Ocean converge. Some 160 billion gallons of polluted water have been flushed from a rain-swollen Lake Okeechobee to the area since January, triggering the widespread bloom that has prompted emergency declarations in three counties.

46 minutes, 57 seconds

More Episodes from Science Friday

Covering everything about science and technology -- from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies -- Science Friday is your source for entertaining and educational stories and activities. Each week, host Ira Flatow interviews scientists and inventors like Sylvia Earle, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.

Tech Unions, Color Perception, Fish Vs Birds. Feb 19, 2021, Part 2
Reprogramming Labor In Tech More than 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama are midway through voting on whether they should unionize. If the 'yes' votes win, it would be unprecedented for the company: The last time a unionization vote was held by Amazon's United States employees, back in...

Fauci On Vaccines and Variants, Mummy Mystery, Texas Power Grid Failure. Feb 19, 2021, Part 1
Fauci Says Majority Of U.S. Adults Likely To Be Vaccinated By Late Summer We're about a month shy of a big anniversary: one year since the World Health Organization officially labeled COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, a lot has changed–and a lot has not. We have more information than ever about...

Fish Eye Secrets, Human Genome Project, Science Diction 'Mesmerize.' Feb 12, 2021, Part 2
Seeing The World Through Salmon Eyes The saying goes, "The eyes are the window to the soul." But for fish, the eyes are the window to the stomach.  As one California biologist recently learned, the eyes of Chinook salmon are like a tiny diet journal of everything it ate. But to read that journal,...

The Effectiveness Of Double-Masking, Mars Landing Preview. Feb 12, 2021, Part 1
Two Masks Are Better Than One Masks have been a big issue throughout the pandemic, from supply shortages to debates about when they should be required to be used. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out research and guidance on the effectiveness of double masking–wearing...

Four Lost Cities, Sourdough Microbiome, Queen Bees, Bison. Feb 5, 2021, Part 2
National Bison Range Returns To Indigenous Management Hundreds of years ago, tens of millions of bison roamed North America. They were an essential resource and cultural foundation for many Native American tribes. And by 1890, European colonists had hunted them nearly to extinction.  When President...

COVID Variants And Vaccines, U.S. Energy Justice. Feb 5, 2021, Part 1
Will Vaccines Work Against New Variants Of The Coronavirus? The rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programs around the world has been anything but smooth. Complicating the effort is the virus itself. The original coronavirus genome that the current vaccines were based on has mutated. Now, there are...

Medieval Bones, Vaccine Rollout, Florida Panthers. Jan 29, 2021, Part 2
A Skeletal Record Of Medieval England Society If you've ever fractured a bone, that skeletal trauma stays with you forever, even after it heals. So researchers across the pond are using bones from medieval times to put together a picture of what life was like. The bones in the study came from...

Your Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines Answered, Placenta Science. Jan 29, 2021, Part 1
Everything You Want To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines The U.S. has been vaccinating people against COVID-19 for a little over a month. While there have been plenty of hiccups, over 20 million people in the country have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna shots. For...

Orange Bat, Greenland Bacteria, COVID Anniversary, Alien Argument. Jan 22, 2021, Part 2
Orange Is The New Black–For Bats For a newly-described bat from West Africa, dubbed Myotis nimbaensis (mouse-eared bat from the Nimba Mountains), scientists are reaching for a different part of the color wheel. While Myotis does have some black on its body, the overwhelming majority of the...

Finding Lead Pipes Through Algorithm, How Soil Could Save The Planet. Jan 22, 2021, Part 1
After Flint's Crisis, An Algorithm Helps Citizens Find Lead Pipes It's been nearly seven years since the beginning of Flint, Michigan's water crisis, when high levels of lead from corroded lead pipes led to water shortages and health issues for city residents. Since then, many other cities around...

Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.