New forms of Antibiotics needed (quickly)

Reply Fri 27 May, 2016 08:15 pm
Bacteria have been here since the beginning, nipping at the heels of multicellular life and consuming it when it got the chance. Then, for a brief moment in history, humanity gained the upper hand. Fleming gave us Penicillin and within a couple of decades we developed antibiotics and exploited the bacteria's weakness and enjoyed near complete dominance over the ancient enemy. But the war was never won. The bacteria have fecundity on their side, and tiny little fleeting lifespans in which to produce many many generations and to leverage the inexorable force of evolution. And so we find ourselves near the end of our dominance, at least with antibiotics as we currently know them.

I wish the world was full of people who understood science and biology better and could see this threat looming, but I think most don't see it coming. I think most people are lost in the media blizzard of pseudo-science and bungled reporting to the point where they are unable to recognize the true threats from the candy news.

I was born in the 60's, so I don't remember a world without antibiotics. But I've heard the stories, and read the history, and it sounds pretty bad.

We've still got some time before this enemy rises again in its full rampaging splendor, but it's not a lot of time. Fleming gave us Penicillin in 1928 and we may not even make it a century before again watching helplessly as people die from infections and knowing that even the smallest of surgical procedures (wisdom tooth extraction for example) might have a 50% chance of being fatal.

I'm hopeful that humanity can get ahead of this. The place to start is for people to become aware, and to start talking about it, and to start asking politicians about it.


Reply Fri 27 May, 2016 08:23 pm
I'm wondering if the new and improved bacteria are still controlled by the immune system. Strangely, I've never heard an opinion on that.
Reply Fri 27 May, 2016 08:35 pm
roger wrote:
I'm wondering if the new and improved bacteria are still controlled by the immune system. Strangely, I've never heard an opinion on that.

The natural immune system is still effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria because it works by a different mechanism. But the immune system has never been completely effective against bacteria or we would never have needed antibiotics.

Standard medical practice is usually to give antibiotics to assist the immune system with almost any infection. Sinus infections for example may well heal themselves given enough time, but the duration and discomfort can be substantially reduced with the addition of antibiotic. Antibiotics are also given prophylactically during medical procedures. And then of course, they are used when an infection is raging out of control (which means that the normal immune system is losing the battle already).
0 Replies
Reply Fri 27 May, 2016 08:39 pm
One line of research which seems promising: http://theconversation.com/antimicrobial-crispr-cas-systems-may-be-better-weapons-against-bacteria-than-antibiotics-38488

This obviously ties into my other thread on CRISPR.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 27 May, 2016 09:53 pm
I just heard about the woman immune to our most powerful antibiotic that we save for the most extreme cases in the US. But whats more disturbing, on a much more scarier level is China has been using this same vaccine on their livestock! Are you kidding me!
0 Replies
Reply Sat 28 May, 2016 05:07 am
There was a government report on this just a couple of weeks back. There's two things that need to change, first the culture of prescribing them unnecessarily, and giving them to livestock. The second is a need to disconnect research from profit.

If a company develops a new cancer drug they can expect a high volume of sales. Not so with antibiotics, any new antibiotic needs to be kept in reserve and used sparingly if at all, so the profit incentive just isn't there.
0 Replies

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
  1. Forums
  2. » New forms of Antibiotics needed (quickly)
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 04/23/2024 at 10:43:05