Методические указания к практическим занятиям по дисциплине «Английский язык»


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^ Вопросы к практическому занятию

1. Что такое аннотация?

2. Каково целевое назначение аннотации?

3. Каковы основные способы достижения лаконичности при составлении реферата?

4. Можно ли давать субъективную оценку содержанию первичного текста при составлении реферата?

Литература: [1, 6].
Практическое занятие 5

^ ПРАВИЛА СОСТАВЛЕНИЯ АННОТАЦИИ

Теоретическая часть

При составлении указываются лишь существенные признаки содержания документа, то есть те, которые позволяют выявить его научное и практическое значение и новизну, отличить его от других близких к нему по тематике и целевому назначению.

В аннотации не следует пересказывать содержание документов (выводы, рекомендации, фактический материал). Следует свести к минимуму использование сложных оборотов, употребление личных и указательных местоимений.

Объем аннотации не должен превышать 600 печатных знаков.

Состав аннотации:

1) библиографическое описание;

2) данные об авторе (ученая степень, звание и др.). Подробные данные об авторе не являются обязательным элементом аннотации;

3) конкретная форма аннотируемого документа (если она не указана в библиографическом описании): монография, учебник, учебное пособие и т. д.;

4) предмет изложения и его основные характеристики: тема, основные понятия и т. д.;

5) отличительные черты документа по сравнению с родственными по тематике и целевому назначению: то новое в содержании, что несет в себе документ, а также особенности подачи материала (например, система изложения вопроса, постановка проблемы, новая концепция или гипотеза и др.);

6) конкретный читательский адрес: кому адресуется статья (книга), дополнительный круг читателей, кроме основного.

Информация о содержании и характере документа является задачей не только аннотации, но и реферата. Требования к составлению аннотации и реферата связаны с различным назначением этих документов. Аннотация служит только для осведомления о существовании документа определенного содержания и характера, в реферате же излагается содержание документа с характеристикой методов исследования, с фактическими данными и итогами работы. В аннотировании основное заключается в умении лаконично обобщить содержания документа, реферирование предполагает владение мастерством сокращения текста первичного документа.

Задания

Задание 1. Прочитайте и переведите текст.

^ HOW TO PRESERVE THE BREADTH OF LIFE ON THE PLANET

By David Biello

A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. Now a coalition of biologists is calling for a similar scientific tool to measure extinction pressure on Earth's biodiversity – a so-called “barometer of life”.

After all, scientists have conclusively identified only a fraction of the species that exist on Earth; the roughly 1.9 million species catalogued to date may represent only 20 percent of the total biodiversity on the planet. “Species disappear before we know they existed,” wrote biologists Simon Stuart, chair of the Species Survival Commission at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University, and others in the April 9 issue of Science, calling for an international effort to fund the creation of such a bio-barometer. Adds Stuart: “The point of conservation is to turn that negative trend into a positive trend”.

The biologists propose to do that by spending $60 million to pull together all the known information to assess roughly 160,000 individual species from four groups: chordates (mammals and other vertebrates); invertebrates (insects and worms); plants; and fungi. The species would be assessed to identify which are suffering as a result of various extinction pressures: agricultural expansion and / or intensification; habitat changes; and climate change, among others. Such an assessment would give a better picture of the overall threat to biodiversity than do current efforts, according to the biologists. “There’s an awful lot of information out there that we’re not using because it’s sitting in obscure places like museum jars,” Stuart says.

Of course, 160,000 is only roughly 8 percent of known species – and the survey will not attempt to expand the rolls of living things, like the Encyclopedia of Life (an effort to catalogue all the species on the planet). “We’re not going to be able to monitor the conservation status of nematodes anytime soon,” Stuart admits. But “if the barometer shows a very major decline – as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species suggests already – in mammals due to overhunting in Asia then that informs us what needs to be done”.

As the aforementioned Encyclopedia and Red List suggest, the barometer would be only one of many such efforts, particularly given that this is the International Year of Biodiversity, according to the United Nations. But many of those efforts, including the IUCN’s, cover even fewer species and betray a distinct bias toward charismatic megafauna like polar bears or bald eagles.

Other conservation groups take a different approach: The Nature Conservancy will release its Atlas of Global Conservation on April 22, which attempts to capture in maps the pressures faced by global habitats as well as the relative density of various species, such as amphibians. “By taking a habitat view, you’re able to encompass all those species,” says Conservancy senior scientist Jennifer Molnar. “It’s a new view of the planet”.

The new maps, which rely on collating everything from satellite data to field expeditions to fish species counts in specific locales, reveal that most areas of the world have already warmed as a result of climate change; almost all coastal ecosystems are now impacted by excess flows of nitrogen and other fertilizers, along with a decrease in sediment; and many regions of the world (if not all, because the rest lack sufficient data) now enjoy at least five invasive mammal species and three invading freshwater plants or animal species. “It’s the first time to see how bad the problems are at a global scale,” Molnar says. “We’re not just damaging the environment, we’re hurting ourselves…. The maps show that these resources are threatened beyond what we may realize”.

The maps might show that current conservation efforts have failed, given that global species-saving efforts have grown as have the extent of protected habitats, although IUCN’s Stuart rejects that claim. “Things would be going very much worse were it not for conservation measures,” he says. “What we don’t know at this stage is how much conservation has achieved.” Given that Earth may be losing as many as 140,000 species a year – most of those nematodes and other uncharismatic microfauna – the question of how well conservation has worked to preserve biodiversity may soon be moot.

(From: “Scientific American”, April, 2010)
Задание 2. Определите характер статьи (научный, методический, исторический).

Задание 3. Определите, кому адресована данная статья.

Задание 4. Прочитайте текст еще раз и отметьте предложения, которые могут быть опущены без ущерба для содержания текста.

Задание 5. Составьте план статьи в виде вопросов.

Задание 6. Максимально сократите текст и подготовьте сообщение о его содержании.

Задание 7. Составьте реферат статьи на русском языке.

Задание 8. Напишите реферат статьи на английском языке.

Задание 9. Определите, где могут быть использованы следующие речевые модели:

1. The subject of the text is…

2. The purpose of the article is…

3. At the beginning the author touches upon…

4. Then the author goes on to say that…

5. The article ends with…

Вопросы к практическому занятию

  1. Можно ли пересказывать содержание документа (выводы, рекомендации, фактический материал) при составлении аннотации?

  2. Какие аспекты содержания исходного документа вы включили в реферат?

  3. Какие аспекты содержания включаются в аннотацию?

  4. Чем отличается аннотация от реферата?

Литература:[1, 6].
Практическое занятие 6

^ АННОТИРОВАННАЯ БИБЛИОГРАФИЯ НА ИНОСТРАННОМ

ЯЗЫКЕ

Теоретическая часть

Аннотация и реферат и относятся к типам библиографического описания.

Библиографическое описание – совокупность сведений о произведении печати, дающих возможность получить представление о его содержании, читательском назначении, объеме, справочном аппарате и т. д. Основные элементы библиографического описания: заглавие, сведения об авторстве, выходные данные (место издания, наименование издательства), год издания. Другие элементы (факультативные): количество страниц, наличие иллюстраций и некоторые другие данные.

Библиографическое описание статей на иностранном языке состоит из: заглавия на русском языке; фамилии и инициалов автора; заглавия и сведений о журнале или книге на языке первичного документа; в скобках на русском языке указывается язык, на котором опубликован документ. Аннотированная библиография помогает читателям ориентироваться в имеющейся литературе и оказывает существенную помощь в ее выборе.

Задания

Задание 1. Прочитайте и переведите текст.

^ COMBATING AGAINST OIL POLLUTION

By Kseniya Sokolova

Russian scientists have developed a method of combating oil pollution, which involves sprinkling a powder composed of a specially selected bacterial preparation and a set of mineral salts. This removes oil slicks on water and returns fertility to oil-polluted soils. It takes 1.5 to 2 grammes per 1,000 square meters of surface. It can be sprayed by land transport and aircraft.

The bacterial strain in the preparation is a strong oxidant which turns irreversibly hydrocarbons, no matter what their chemical structure might be like, into ecologically neutral substances.

The new preparation has a number of advantages over the existing biological methods of combating oil pollution. The strain used in it has not been produced by genetic engineering, but is from nature. It is amazingly omnivorous and transforms over 20 components of oil, including asphalt resin substances. The content of cancerogenic substances is reduced by ten times in the decay residue of oil.

The new preparation can work practically in any weather because its activity doesn't change in a temperature range of from 50°C below zero to +70°C. And it can be used both in fresh and sea water.

How effective is the preparation?

The tests showed the following: 12.5 kg of oil were spilled per square meter of an experimental plot of land. After that the powder was sprinkled on it only once. Two months later green grass was growing on the plot.

On water, the time it takes to return to normal depends on the thickness of the oil slick. If it is up to 2 mm thick then the last traces of oil disappear on the sixth day after the slick was sprinkled once with powder.

Several modifications of the preparation have been developed. Some of them are most effective against crude oil, others against diesel fuel, lubricants, etc.

(From: “RUSSIA”, February, 2005)
Задание 2. Выпишите выходные данные статьи.

Задание 3. Прочитайте текст и укажите, какие предложения можно опустить без ущерба для содержания.

Задание 4. Выделите ключевые положения статьи.

Задание 5. Максимально сократите текст.

Задание 6. Составьте аннотацию статьи на английском языке, используя следующие речевые модели:

1. This article is concerned with…

2. It is shown that…

3. It should be noted that…

4. The importance of… is stressed.

5. There is no doubt that…

Задание 7. Переведите на русский язык название статьи и ее выходные данные.

Задание 8. Подготовьте перевод статьи в 5 – 7 предложениях.

Задание 9. Составьте аннотацию на русском языке.

Вопросы к практическому занятию

1. Каков примерный объем аннотации по отношению к первичному тексту?

2. Какими приемами вы пользовались при компрессии текста в задании 5?

3. Какой у вас получилась аннотация по содержанию и целевому назначению (общая или специализированная, справочная или рекомендательная)?

4. Для чего составляется аннотированная библиография на иностранном языке?

Литература: [1, 6].
Список рекомендуемой литературы

Основная литература:

1. Английский язык для инженеров / Т. Ю. Полякова, Е. В. Синявская, О. И. Тынкова, Э. С. Улановская. – М. : Высшая школа, 2006.

Дополнительная литература:

2. Англо-русский политехнический словарь / cост. Ю. Синдеев. В 2 тт. Ростов н / Д : Феникс, 2002.

3. Новый англо-русский словарь / под ред. В. К. Мюллера. – М. : Русский язык, 2000.

4. Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations / Editors: John Daintith, Valerie Illingworth, Elizabeth Martin, Anne Stibbs, Judy Pearsall, Sara Tulloch. – Oxford University Press, 1996.

5. Wheeler, M. The Oxford Russian Dictionary / M. Wheeler, B. Unbegaun, P. Falla. – Oxford University Press, 1997.

6. ГОСТ 7.9-95. Реферат и аннотация. Общие требования. – М. : Юрист, 1998.

Приложение

Тексты для аннотирования и реферирования

Текст 1. Squeezing More Oil Out of the Ground

By Leonardo Maugeri

On 20 dry, flat square miles of California’s Central Valley, more than 8,000 horseheads – as old-fashioned oilmen call them – slowly rise and fall as they suck oil from underground. Glittering pipelines crossing the whole area reveal that the place is not merely a relic of the past. But even to an expert’s eyes, Kern River Oil Field betrays no hint of the miracle that has enabled it to survive decades of dire predictions.

Kern River Oil Field was discovered in 1899, and initially it was thought that only 10 percent of its heavy, viscous crude could be recovered. In 1942, after more than four decades of modest production, the field was estimated to still hold 54 million barrels of recoverable oil. As pointed out in 1995 by Morris Adelman, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the few remaining energy gurus, “in the next forty-four years, it produced not 54 million barrels but 736 million barrels, and it had another 970 million barrels remaining.” But even this estimate was wrong. In November 2007 U.S. oil giant Chevron announced that cumulative production had reached two billion barrels. Today, Kern River still puts out more than 80,000 barrels per day, and Chevron reckons that the remaining reserves are about 480 million barrels.

Chevron began to achieve its miracle in the 1960s by injecting steam into the ground, a novel technology at the time. Later, a new breed of exploration and drilling tools – along with steady steam injection – turned the field into a sort of oil cornucopia. Yet, Kern River is not an isolated case. Most of the world’s oilfields have revived over time. New exploration methods have revealed more of the Earth’s secrets. And leaps in extraction technology have led to tapping oil in once-inaccessible areas and in places where drilling was once uneconomic. In a way, technology is the real cornucopia.

(From: “Scientific American”, April, 2009)

^ Текст 2. Planets May Affect the Chemistry of Their Stars

By John Matson

Planets are, by and large, at the mercy of their stars. Not only do stars provide a ready energy source of radiated light and heat, but the mass and gravitational pull of stars flat-out dwarfs the summed masses and pulls of any orbiting companions. In our solar system, which has more planets – regardless of where one stands on the Pluto debate – than any other planetary system we know of so far, the sun still makes up more than 99.8 percent of its system’s mass.

But a new survey of stellar chemistry in solar-type stars reveals at least one way that pip-squeak planets can strike back, affecting the evolution of their parent stars. A paper in the November 12 issue of Nature shows that lithium is greatly depleted in stars known to host planetary systems compared with otherwise similar stars that appear to be barren of planets.

A correlation between stellar lithium abundances and the presence of planetary systems had been suspected for years – our lithium-weak sun, for one, certainly fits the bill. But the catalogue of stars with such extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, was too small to evaluate the relationship with statistical confidence. In the past dozen years, however, numerous exoplanetary discoveries have been announced, including a suite of 30 new planets unveiled in October by the European Southern Observatory’s HARPS planet-finding collaboration that boosted the full set of known exoplanets to more than 400.

Study co-author Nuno Santos, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics at the University of Porto in Portugal, and his colleagues took chemical-abundance data, derived from precision light spectra, on 133 stars of roughly sunlike temperature from the HARPS survey, 30 of which are known to harbor planets. (They also added more than two dozen other stars to the population to boost the sample size.) The vast majority of stars with planets were excessively depleted in lithium, whereas most “single” stars were only partly depleted. And in a subset of the 84 stars closest to the sun's temperature, the correlation was even stronger.

The researchers suspect that the presence of orbiting planets may increase convective mixing in the host star, plunging the lithium into its hotter regions where nuclear reactions consume the light element as fuel. “We know that lithium depletion in a star is dependent on the history of the star, how it rotates through its history,” Santos says. “The presence or formation of planets could change this rotational history of the star.”

But might lithium-depleted stars simply be more amenable to planet formation? Not likely, Santos says. “I don’t think that’s the reason, because actually lithium is not supposed to play any role in planet formation,” he says. “There are only very small quantities of lithium, so it’s not acceptable that lithium is, by itself, influencing planet formation. The idea is that things come the other way around. By some process, the planet-formation process is influencing the depletion of lithium in the atmosphere of the stars.” Whatever the reason, a simple lithium measurement – in concert with characteristics such as stellar mass and other chemical abundances – might aid future exoplanet hunters in pegging the stars that are most likely to bear planetary fruit.

(From: “Scientific American”, November, 2009)

^ Текст 3. Boundaries for a Healthy Planet

By Jonathan Foley

Although climate change gets ample attention, species loss and nitrogen pollution exceed safe limits by greater degrees. Other environmental processes are also headed toward dangerous levels.

Promptly switching to low-carbon energy sources, curtailing land clearing and revolutionizing agricultural practices are crucial to making human life on Earth more sustainable.

For nearly 10,000 years – since the dawn of civilization and the Holocene era – our world seemed unimaginably large. Vast frontiers of land and ocean offered infinite resources. Humans could pollute freely, and they could avoid any local repercussions simply by moving elsewhere. People built entire empires and economic systems on their ability to exploit what seemed to be inexhaustible riches, never realizing that the privilege would come to an end.

But thanks to advances in public health, the industrial revolution and later the green revolution, population has surged from about one billion in 1800 to nearly seven billion today. In the past 50 years alone, our numbers have more than doubled. Fueled by affluence, our use of resources has also reached staggering levels; in 50 years the global consumption of food and freshwater has more than tripled, and fossil-fuel use has risen fourfold. We now co-opt between one third and one half of all the photosynthesis on the planet.

(From: “Scientific American”, March, 2010)
^ Текст 4. Cat Lap: Engineers Unravel the Mystery of How Felines Drink

By John Matson

One morning a few years back Roman Stocker was watching his cat, Cutta Cutta, drink, and began to wonder about the mechanism by which cats lap fluid into their mouths.

For Stocker, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the thought was not an idle one. After investigating the mechanism via high-speed videography, experimental simulation and research on other feline species with visits to zoos and YouTube, Stocker and his colleagues have now produced a scientific description of cats' lapping mechanism.

“There is an increase in interest in taking inspiration from nature to look for solutions to physical problems,” Stocker says. Watching Cutta Cutta lap, he says, made him realize “there was probably an interesting biomechanical problem there.” A cat’s curious method of lapping, which involves bending the tip of its tongue downward toward its chin to pull liquid into its mouth, had been explained in general terms but had not, apparently, been investigated in scientific detail.

“It was certainly surprising” that the mechanism had not been more fully explored, says M.I.T. engineer and study co-author Pedro Reis. The new work builds on that of another M.I.T. engineer, Harold Edgerton, who pioneered stroboscopic (strobe light) photography in the 1930s. In a short film about Edgerton’s work, Quicker ‘N a Wink, which won the Academy Award for best one-reel short of 1940, high-speed videography shows a cat bending its tongue downward and pulling liquid up and into its mouth. Edgerton “saw something interesting about cats’ lapping, but no one did any work since him,” Reis says.

Having provided the inspiration, Cutta Cutta made a logical subject for detailed observation. “The first thing we did was take high-speed movies of my own cat,” Stocker says. Movies of Cutta Cutta and other house cats at an animal shelter showed that cats do not dip their tongue into the liquid to scoop up water, as dogs do in lapping. Rather, a cat touches its tongue, with tip bent downward, against the surface of the liquid before drawing its tongue rapidly back into its mouth. Liquid at the surface rises with the retreating tongue, which pulls it up into a column of fluid. The cat then traps that liquid in its mouth, swallowing only after several laps have accumulated a significant volume of fluid in its mouth.

To uncover the physical principles at work, the researchers used a robotic system with a round glass disk, mimicking the tip of the feline tongue, that could be placed on a liquid surface and rapidly pulled upward. “You can’t tell a cat, “Please lap at a different frequency,” Reis says. “So we developed a mechanical, robotic version of the cat’s tongue.” He notes that it was a challenge just to mimic the tongue’s quickness, which can rise at speeds nearing one meter per second. “To do that experimentally is not so easy,” Reis says.

The feline films and the simulation revealed that fluid inertia is the prime mover in forming the column of liquid that rises with the tongue into the mouth. When the tongue leaves the liquid, adhesion pulls fluid with it from the surface, and inertia causes more liquid to follow. Gravity acts against the upward motion of the column, eventually pinching it off at a certain height. To trap the most liquid in its mouth, the researchers found, a cat should close its mouth around the column just before gravity pinches it off – a strategy that house cats, at least, seem to have internalized.

Numerically, each cat has an optimal drinking frequency – say, four laps per second – and the researchers' analysis showed that larger feline species, which tend to have larger tongues and drink from greater heights above the surface of the liquid, should lap more slowly to maximize their intake. Specifically, the group predicted that the lapping frequency should scale with the cat's mass raised to the power of –1/6.

To check that theory, the group filmed a lion, a tiger, a jaguar and an ocelot at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., and the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Then they hit YouTube, where countless individuals have filmed bobcats drinking in backyards or larger cats glimpsed on safari slaking their thirst. “We realized that was a source of information that we could use in a very simple way,” Stocker says. With six additional data points gleaned from those videos, the actual lapping of various felines agreed well with the predicted scaling.

Turning to YouTube for data, although not exactly common for major-journal studies, was a natural leap for the researchers to make. “You pose a question, and you have to answer it,” Reis says. “Whatever tools you can grab to come to an answer, you go for it.”

Pure curiosity, such as that inspired in Stocker by watching his cat lap, can drive some very fundamental research, Reis adds. “Now we’re worrying about black holes and particle colliders and nanotechnology, but there is a lot of science all around,” he says. “When you stop for a second, you realize you don’t understand everything around you.” And in this case, Reis is careful to point out, curiosity did not kill the cat – no animals were harmed in the making of this study.

(From: “Scientific American”, November, 2010)

^ Текст 5. Jump-Starting the Orbital Economy

By David H. Freedman

The shuttle is out. When NASA retires the space shuttle in the middle of next year, the U.S. will no longer be able to launch astronauts or supplies to the International Space Station.

Private companies are in. The Obama administration has canceled Constellation, the planned successor to the shuttle, and instead plans to rely on private companies to ferry astronauts.

Hopes are high. In theory, early government support of daring entrepreneurs could jump-start a vibrant economy centered on space travel, with competition pushing prices ever lower.

Risks are, too. Yet no one knows if start-up companies will be able to deliver safe, affordable, reliable spacecraft. If they fail, human exploration of space could be set back by decades.

Two years ago deceased Star Trek actor James “Scotty” Doohan was granted one last adventure, courtesy of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. SpaceX, a privately funded company based in Hawthorne, Calif., had been formed in 2002 with the mission of going where no start-up had gone before: Earth orbit. In August 2008 SpaceX loaded Doohan’s cremated remains onto the third test flight of its Falcon 1, a liquid oxygen- and kerosene-fueled rocket bound for orbit. Yet about two minutes into the flight Doohan’s final voyage ended prematurely when the rocket’s first stage crashed into the second stage during separation. It was SpaceX’s third failure in three attempts.

Well, what did you expect? Sneered old NASA hands, aerospace executives and the many others who hew to the conventional wisdom that safely ushering payloads and especially people hundreds of kilometers above Earth is a job for no less than armies of engineers, technicians and managers backed by billions in funding and decades-long development cycles. Space, after all, is hard. A small, private operation might be able to send a little stunt ship wobbling up tens of kilometers, as entrepreneur-engineer Burt Rutan did in 2004 to win the X-Prize. But that was a parlor trick compared with the kinds of operations NASA has been running over the years with the space shuttle and International Space Station. When you’re going orbital, 100 kilometers is merely the length of the driveway, at the end of which you’d better be accelerating hard toward the seven kilometers a second needed to keep a payload falling around Earth 300 kilometers up.

(From: “Scientific American”, December, 2010)

^ Текст 6. Drug-Resistant Genes Spread among Bacteria

By Katherine Harmon

In the fight to stay alive, many bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. But other bacteria are using a more insidious type of resistance: that imbued by transferable genes, which can spread among commonly circulating strains.

One of these genetic elements, NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1), is an enzyme-based defense that renders a bacterium immune to beta-lactam-based antibiotics, which include penicillin, as well as carbapenems (often used as a last resort antibiotic against Escherichia coli infections), cephems (such as cephalosporins and cephamycins) and monobactams, making treatment extremely difficult. The trait was first identified in 2008, and instances of NDM-1–positive infections are now not uncommon in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Cases also have been documented in Brazil, Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

A new essay published in the December 16 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine revisits the issue, highlighting the potential that NDM-1 and other antibiotic-busting genes have to disable much of our current pharmaceutical arsenal.

“The spread of these organisms has prompted widespread concern because some of them are resistant to all antimicrobial agents except the polymyzins,” Robert Moellering, of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, wrote in the perspective piece.

Initial cases of NDM-1 seemed to be only found among patients who had received medical care in India, where antibiotic use is less regulated. But more recent findings have suggested some NDM-1–positive patients in the U.K. might have picked up a resistant strain without traveling abroad.

These genes do not need an exotic infection to wreak havoc in a patient. They can be picked up by “all sorts of bugs we’re all walking around with in our guts,” says Brandi Limbago, of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But once the resistant genetic material enters the bacterium, “it produces an enzyme that attacks the antibiotic and makes it nonfunctional – they basically chew it up,” she explains. These infections are not always deadly, but “in the right host,” such as one with a weakened immune system or inserted medical equipment (including catheters), “those patients become infected with these organisms,” Limbago says. “And if you don’t have the right tools to treat them, that’s when you run into trouble.”

Newer antibiotics, such as cephalosporins and carbapenems as well as beta-lactamase inhibitors, seemed like an effective strategy against these bacterial tactics. But these have “simply been met with the evolution of new beta-lactamases, often through mutations, that inactivate these antibiotics,” Moellering wrote. Currently, there are some 890 such known enzymes, “far more than the antibiotics developed to combat them.”

Indeed, Limbago warns, “all carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are bad – it’s not just NDM-1 that should have us worried.” And although NDM-1 might be grabbing more headlines globally, Limbago explains that here in the U.S., another enzyme, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, has been a much bigger concern. And, as Moellering noted in his essay, another class, known as CTX beta-lactamases, “at the very least will compromise our ability to use beta-lactam antibiotics to treat community-acquired urinary tract infections.”

(From: “Scientific American”, December, 2010)
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