Russian researcher Alexander Sulakvelidze came to the U.S. after Communism ended because “There was nothing left to do. Good scientists would come to work and spend all day playing cards and chess.” When he arrived at the University of Maryland Medical Center, he discovered the hospital was in the midst of a crisis that Soviet scientists had already solved.
Richard Martin writes in Wired that the Enterococcus bacteria was showing signs of resistance to vancomycin, the antibiotic of last resort. Between 1992 and 1994, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infected 75 patients, killing 6 of them. 20% of the patients had VRE in their bloodstreams. The cause of the epidemic was an overuse of antibiotics.