From the lungs of cows to the lungs of premature babies

The meatpacking industry is famed for using all parts of the animal except the oink or the moo. Even by that standard, a tiny Canadian pharmaceutical company, BLES Biochemicals, does the industry one better, by collecting an off-white foam — a pulmonary surfactant — from the lungs of cattle at a slaughterhouse for eventual use in helping premature babies breathe, reports Stat, the medical news site.

FDA guidance documents lose some of their power of direction

The Justice Department has changed its policy and "will no longer rely on (FDA) guidance documents to establish civil law infractions," says Food Safety News. The change follows a memo last November by Attorney General Jeff Sessions against codes of conduct that are issued by the government but are not the result of the formal rule-making process.

Partnership will fund search for new antibiotics

A public-private partnership known as CARB-X plans to devote more than $350 million over five years "to one of the trickiest aspects of the problem of drug resistance: Encouraging pharmaceutical companies to make new antibiotics," says National Geographic. Antibiotics are expensive to develop but often a low-revenue product, so there is little research at a time bacterial resistance is an increasing threat to medicine.

Study: Oregon oysters laced with pharmaceuticals and heavy metals

Native Olympia oysters in Oregon's Netarts and Coos bays are loaded with pharmaceuticals and chemicals, including pain relievers, antibiotics, mercury and pesticides, says a study by Portland State University researchers, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.