After millions of years of gloriously successful life on Earth, a dangerous new organism arose and spread rapidly across the planet. With unprecedented efficiency, this revolutionary life form pumped noxious fumes into the air, destroyed ecosystems, and exterminated a substantial fraction of its fellow species. And the gasses it added to the atmosphere drastically altered global temperatures so that, between habitat destruction and climate change, the world was changed forever.
Now that Ebola is here, it has captured the attention it arguably deserved from us long ago. The latest news is that the patient first diagnosed in the U.S. is in critical condition, and receiving experimental therapy. Lapses in our public health system have been acknowledged, and a scramble to contain the damage, and prevent spread, are playing out as we look on, and worry.
On June 25, 2014, the following scientific study made the cover of the prestigious journal Nature: "Aspergillomarasmine A overcomes metallo-β-lactamase antibiotic resistance." Doesn't exactly sound earth-shattering, does it? But the discovery of a fungal compound that restores the efficacy of one of our antibiotics of last resort is, in fact, huge news.
As a registered dietitian who helps teach people to keep their bodies healthy, I couldn't help but see a striking resemblance between the delicate dance of human health and that of a river. It is a perspective that I think may help others be more mindful of how we treat our bodies, as well as our precious rivers.