Brush up your science

First published: 07th March 2009

In the first paragraph of the article "Tainted pills linked to killer infection", Amy Nip, Fox Hu and Peter So report about a "rare fungal infection", but in the second paragraph, the infection changes to "the bacteria mucormycosis". Later in the article, it changes between bacteria and fungus, until it becomes a "fungal bacteria".

Even an O-level biology student should know that bacteria and fungi are different kingdoms. A more advanced student would know that fungi, like humans, are eukaryotes, and bacteria are prokaryotes - their cells do not have nuclei. The difference is important in medicine: an antibiotic effective against bacteria would have no effect on fungi.

Please can you ensure your reporters have a basic knowledge of the subject they are reporting on.

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