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Science

HOW SCIENTISTS ARE PREPARING FOR A WORLD WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS

The drugs that have protected us from virulent bacteria for more than seventy years are slowly losing their edge, and we need new weapons. Disease-causing bacteria are becoming impervious to antibiotics that once wiped them out, including some drugs once considered last-resort.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million people every year in the United States, killing 23,000. Some researchers estimate that if left unchecked, superbugs will kill 10 million people every year and cost the global economy $100 trillion by the year 2050.

“A lot of things that we take for granted right now, like say a C-section or a hip replacement or organ transplant…without having the antibiotics, these kinds of things will become really difficult,” says François Franceschi, a program officer for therapeutic development in the Bacteriology and Mycology Branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. – READ MORE