The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls antibiotic resistance one of its top concerns—i.e., bacteria that used to be treatable with antibiotics no longer are. Much of this problem stems from improper or unnecessary antibiotic use by humans—say, to treat colds and flu. But many experts are convinced that a big part of the problem comes from the use of antibiotics with farm animals, and studies are starting to back them up.

The obesity epidemic is always in the news these days, and moderation is often recommended as a key to successful dieting. But for some people, at least, it’s easier, say, to cut out all desserts than to just cut down on them. I’ve never seen an article that discusses how to achieve the moderation so many articles urge. And that’s just one of the psychological issues involved in dieting that are often overlooked, I think.

With the WHO declaring a pandemic [last Thursday], the issue of animal-to-human disease transmission is bigger than ever. This has not gone unreported, of course. But I haven’t seen a thorough discussion of how inter-species transmission occurs—including why it usually doesn’t but sometimes does—and how it can be combated (without, perhaps, the killing of vast numbers of animals that seems to be standard practice now).

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Sanhita Reddy is a former Observatory intern currently living in Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship, studying the media sources people use to find health information.