Good Germs Bad Germs

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Good Germs Bad Germs
Author: Jessica Snyder Sachs
January 21, 2013

We live in a world full of bacteria, in fact, bacteria is all around us. They are tiny, one celled creatures that get nutrients from their environments in order to live. In some cases that environment is a human body. But not all bacteria are bad. Some bacteria are good for our bodies; they help keep belongings in balance. Good bacteria live in our intestines and help us use the nutrients in the food we eat and make waste from what is left over. We could not make the most of a healthy meal without these important helpful germs! Scientists in labs produce medicines and vaccines, which also use some bacteria. The novel Good Germs Bad Germs, by Jessica Snyder Sachs, gives an insight look into a future in which antibiotics will be designed and used more wisely, and beyond that, to a day when we may replace antibacterial drugs and cleansers with bacterial ones (each custom-designed for maximum health benefits). The novel starts off with an example of the cost of our war with microbes, a college football player, Ricky Lanetti whose death was caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA). MRSA is a bug that could shrug off not only the methicillin family of antibiotics, but also a half dozen others. Worse, this particular stain of MRSA-now known to specialist as USA300- also carried genes for an array of toxins, some of which triggered the deadly internal storms known as septic shock, with its signature symptoms of dropping blood pressure, massive blood clotting, and organ failure. Like Rickey’s killer, the USA300 staph strain is now circulation throughout North America; some of these supergerms combine multidrug resistance with extreme virulence. The novel progresses to Rohan Kremer Guha’s story. A New Jersey boy with a shy smile and soft black hair who knows not to touch the crumbs and dribbles those other kids leave behind at parties. Rohan knows of plenty of other kids with...
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