Drug-resistant superbugs are "a ticking time-bomb not only for the UK but also for the world," England's top medical official warns in her first annual report, released today. Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies writes that increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics could turn routine operations into life-threatening procedures if infections become difficult to treat, and in the absence of tougher restrictions on the use of antibiotics—not just in prescriptions for humans but in the agriculture and meat industries—and concerted efforts to discover new drugs—there have been no new antibiotic classes since 1987—we could be heading toward "a health system not dissimilar from the early 19th century." Of particular concern are so-called "Gram-negative" bacteria like E Coli, which are now being seen in the UK more often than previously-hyped drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA, and are more common in the old, young, and immune-compromised. "This is your own gut bugs turning on you," Professor Mike Sharland tells The Guardian. "Between 10% and 20% are resistant to drugs." Davies suggests that the UK divert more resources toward developing antibiotics, and sound a global alarm on the issue: "This threat is arguably as important as climate change," she writes. Meanwhile, in the U.S., pet frogs are giving kids salmonella. [Guardian | Independent | Reuters | GIF via]
Unlike a chocolate chip cookie, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus does not taste better in milk. But a new strain of that superbug, aka MRSA, is exactly what British scientists have discovered in milk samples. This news comes on the same day that a "mutant" strain of E. coli was fingered as the source of a severe food poisoning epidemic currently gripping Europe.
Jerry Ford,* the (dapper!) fellow pictured here, is dead at 83.** Ford founded Ford Models, one of the leading agencies in the seventies and eighties that legitimized the industry and gained renown for discovering Lauren Hutton, Christie Brinkley, Rachel Hunter, Vendela and sundry other blonde ubermodeltypes and OMG I totally forgot about Xuxa. Ford is slightly less famed for its canny picking of future Mouseketeer Gone Wild types: the agency represented Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton, Ashley Tisdale, Courteney Cox, Ali Larter and ha ha ha we will forgive him for this but Paris Hilton. Because Jerry Ford was the first genuinely decent boss in a business characterized by predatory "robber barons." A lot has changed since Ford's heyday, and not for the better!The robber barons, for one thing, are back. As our anonymous industry friend and Jezebel contributor Tatiana tells us, most modeling agencies these days are glorified human traffickers that occupy a place on the "usury" spectrum somewhere between Payday Loan shops and actual armed robbers. Agencies stick them in overcrowded model apartments and gouge them on rent. When they are not in "demand," they're forced to work for either clothes or nothing at all; when they are in demand, they're forced to walk 28 shows in a week and that sort of nonsense. Ford was different. He instituted a five-day workweek, paid models every Friday even when clients didn't pay up, and ran a practically Victorian institution wherein models weren't allowed to host gentleman callers. I don't even think he knew how to get coke! Obviously all that shit is gone today. In any case, Ford sold out to a private equity firm in December and his son who is still involved in the company is apparently (duh) a modelizer. We welcome any and all old Ford Model cards, hot Courteney Cox pix, links to that cute Lindsay Lohan-Mischa Barton catalog picture that surfaced sometime last year and/or clips of that retarded Xuxa show. Jerry Ford, Man Behind The Models