#TOTW (from 17-08-14): ‘Extreme medicine: The search for new antibiotics’

This week I return to the topic of antibiotics, and as such my #TOTW is:

Extreme medicine: The search for new antibiotics

Barely a week goes by without a story that talks about the issues relating to the ever-increasing problems that result from antimicrobial resistance. I happened across this article, and thought it quite interesting. Scientists from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich are focussing their research on nature in the hope of making discoveries that may lead to the creation of “superbug-killing drugs.”

“Natural products fell out of favor in the pharmaceutical sphere, but now is the time to look again,” says Mervyn Bibb, a professor of molecular microbiology at JIC who collaborates with many other geneticists and chemists. “We need to think ecologically, which traditionally people haven’t been doing.”

The importance of this search is highlighted by another of my tweets this week:

Article about and the increasing problems of

Here the President of the Intensive Care Society, Professor Mark Bellamy, was talking about the problems of not having enough effective antibiotics and the increasing numbers of patients dying from sepsis as a result. He is based at the Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, and said: “For the first time this year I have had a couple patients for whom we had no effective antibiotic treatment, it’s rare – but two years ago it would still have been regarded as a theoretical problem.”

I think that the general public for the most part don’t really know about the problem of antimicrobial resistance, but feel that in the coming decades, unless the search for new drugs continues – and is successful – then modern medicine will not have all the answers that we have come to expect from it, and who knows what the consequences of that will be.

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