February 2013 | Volume 121 | Number 2
On the Cover | Focus
Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are natural viral predators that target bacteria but leave mammalian and plant cells unscathed. Before the widespread use of antibiotics, physicians successfully treated a variety of infections with phages. Today, faced with the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, researchers are reinvestigating phages as a potential solution for a variety of medical, agricultural, and environmental problems.
Spheres of Influence
Leaded aviation gasoline (avgas) is one of the few fuels in the United States to still contain lead, and it’s the single largest source of lead emissions in the country. An appropriate replacement fuel has remained surprisingly elusive, but the search for a replacement got a boost in 2012, when a committee of the Federal Aviation Administration issued recommendations and criteria for identifying and approving an unleaded avgas.