I don't disagree with the general premise that reducing antibiotic use in livestock would be helpful in reducing the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria. I have to take issue, though, with the assertion that even eliminating entirely their use in the food industry would provide any sort of enduring solution. It would not.
The dirty little secret about antibiotic resistance that no one wants to talk about is this: resistance emerges from repeated use of different antibiotics in the same human, many of whom are not supposed to (according to nature) survive anyway. This group includes critically ill or injured people, cancer patients, patients with chronic organ failure, and most importantly old people. All of these groups have the common characteristic of impairment of immune function.
Antibiotics don't really "cure" infection. They kill enough of the circulating organisms so that the host immune system can take care of the rest. Some very good antibiotics don't kill any bacteria, they just stop replication. So if you actually wanted to create a petri dish for resistant organisms, you would take a host with poor immune system function, infect it, and give antibiotics that kill most of the bacteria and let the rest play on.
In this regard, the best possible "petri dish" is the transplant recipient. In something of a bittersweet triumph for modern medicine, the exact mechanism by which VRSA (vancomycin-resistant Staph aureus) would later emerge was predicted, carried out in the lab in an elegant esperiment which demonstrated the mechanism (plasmid exchange of the VanA resistance gene from VRE into Staph), and later confirmed when the first case emerged, in the Transplant ICU of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (ironically where transplants were originally perfected).
Biological systems have tons of complexity so there will be new drug targets in the future, but the obvious ones have been hit by now, so new drugs will be more expensive. The balanced approach would be to reduce antibiotic use on the human end, which inevitably brings up discussion of limits of care and "death panels." It is no accident that these pathogens tend to emerge in the U.S., where such discussion is difficult with our demographics, and where the entire population (doctors included) holds an almost mythical belief in the power of antibiotics. All they do (seriously) is rearrange the population of bacteria that inhabit your body. Sometimes that helps, a lot. We need to be honest about when those times really occur.
tl;dr Stop all the use of these drugs in livestock and you will only change the rate of emergence of resistance, not the fact. This problem is not going to go away.
I envy you for that, and agree with you that power around here should be considered unreliable (else I wouldn't have a whole-house generator!). For this service I pay 14.3 cents/kwh. If I lived 50 miles further inland I could have buried power lines too, but the job is here by the coast. At least I don't really have to worry about tornadoes.
I suspect your experience has less to do with "proper power supply," whatever that means, and more to do with peculiarities of the coastal geography where you live. Around here we have this thing called storm surge. Because the continental shelf is very broad and very shallow, at Cat 5 will pile up 30-40 feet of water that will absolutely inundate all underground infrastructure (imagine a tsunami that lasts twelve hours) . We do put stuff underground, but not anything important.
The upper back and neck are a different story. Pain in these muscle groups is related to bad arm mechanics and is only partially related to your chair selection. You also need to change the height of your keyboard and mouse relative to your shoulders, so that at least some of the time your elbows are not hanging below your wrists.
This is especially important if you use your mouse a lot. Many people, over time, start to relax their shoulder muscles such that your wrist, sitting on your desk, becomes a primary support for the weight of your arm while only the hand moves freely. The elbow and arm then pull down on the shoulder joint, stretching the shoulder ligaments and eventually stretching the 11th cranial nerve. You feel this as the awful aching pain at the junction of the shoulder and neck, as well as between the shoulder blade and spine (the trapezius muscle is the downstream target of this nerve). I have heard this called "mouse shoulder."
To combat this you should try to have your elbow and wrist supported at the same height, like on a side table. Varying your chair height then varies your arm mechanics quite a bit.
Recall that the brain may divided into the cerebrum, or "monkey brain," where all of the higher functions that make us human live; and the medulla, or "lizard brain," where all of the lower functions that keep us alive live. By the time we're talking about brain death determination, the monkey brain is gone. This is an unresponsive patient, off all sedating meds for several days, whose EEG shows at best sporadic activity (EEG will only truly flatline once the heart stops providing blood flow). You should have had an EEG before you ever get to this point.
The "wet willy" test is meant to excite the oculogyric reflex, where cold water gets the fluid in your semicircular canals convecting just a bit. The reflex makes your eyes move as part of the (lizard-brain mediated) attempt to remain standing in what is perceived as a loss of balance. The "shut off your air" part is to see if you retain the deepest held mammalian reflex, the drive to breathe, which is biochemically mediated by retained carbon dioxide.. Neither of these has anything to do with the cerebrum. If you can't do these things, you really are dead.
The fact that someone somewhere fucked up and nearly killed someone isn't really news. Nor does it really bear on the subject of whether or not "brain dead is really dead." The alternative is to waste away, unresponsive, on a ventilator, until you die of overwhelming infection. You have to set the standard somewhere.
But for some reason all the noise is made about embryonic research. I really do not understand why
I'll take a shot at this.
The existing treatments utilizing adult stem cells are all for treatment of blood borne cancers (ie, leukemia). The treatment consists of harvesting (patient or someone else's) bone marrow, processing it in some way, and freezing it for later infusion. You then give the patient a most excellent collection of poisons which destroy the existing bone marrow. You then reinfuse the frozen bone marrow (stem) cells to (hopefully) repopulate the patient's bone marrow. The difference between "bone marrow transplant" and "stem cell transplant" lies only in the processing. When this works it is resurrection. When it doesn't it is a fate worse than death.
The promise of NEW stem cell therapy is that you could harvest that same bone marrow (or fat cell, or whatever), process it, and use it to treat some completely unrelated-to-blood disease (like heart disease or spinal cord injury). This idea is that because embryonic stem cells are earlier in the stem cell lineage, they can differentiate into more cell types and are hence in come way "better". Multiple reports have shown (and been reported here) that you can take most any stem cell and turn it into any other cell type, so there is no real benefit to using stem cells of embryonic lineage.