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9 eye-opening facts about antibiotic resistance

https://ideas.ted.com/9-fascinating-facts-about-antibiotic-resistance-and-1-hopeful-approach-to-overcoming-it/

ideas.ted.com

9 eye-opening facts about antibiotic resistance
Learn more about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in bacteria and what Jim Collins and his MIT team are doing to identify new drugs.

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics may lose their ability to treat bacterial infections.

Scientists have been warning us about the alarming rise in drug-resistant bacteria, but it can be curbed.

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Penicillin

  • Penicillin was the first widely-used antibiotic. It was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist.
  • He noticed that the staph cells he'd been studying in a petr...

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Existing antibiotics found in the dirt

  • An agriculture student-turned-microbiologist, Selman Waksman, tested 10,000 soil samples over the years.
  • In 1943, he identified streptomycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective...

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Discovery slowed while bacteria are growing resistant

Over the last 40 years, few new antibiotics were discovered. At the same time, bacteria are developing antibiotic resistance, where antibiotics are less able to damage the cells of bacteria.

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Superbugs

Antibiotics work by attacking a bacteria cell. If the bacteria are not killed, the cell will fight for survival. The use of an antibiotic then increases the possibility of ...

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Antibiotics are overprescribed

According to the US Center for Disease Control, 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in the US are unnecessary.

Knowing that bacteria can build resistance, the best solut...

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Antibiotic use in livestock and antibacterial soaps

In the US, 70 percent of all antibiotics sold are used to fight off infections in livestock and increase their growth. Antibiotics are used in the farming of fish, shrimp, and fruits like apples, p...

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Antibiotic-resistant diseases keep rising

A 2019 report from the World Health Organization pointed out that at least 700,000 people are dying of drug-resistant diseases each year.

The number could rise to 10 million annual...

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A promising antibiotic

Artificial intelligence has helped to find the first new broad-spectrum antibiotic, named Halicin.

Halicin kills E.coli, M. tuberculosis, and others, and is effective against the antibi...

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We can each do our part in avoiding antibiotic resistance

Next time you're sick, double-check with your doctor to ensure an antibiotic is necessary. If it is, follow the prescription instructions to kill the bacteria and prevent mutat...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Antivitamins

Antivitamins
  • As we are moving past the antibiotic era due to rapid bacterial resistance, we need a new class of drugs to treat bacterial infections.
  • Antivitamins aren’t as well known as antibiotics, but were identified way back in 1930 by Sir Edward Mellenby, and were called ‘toxamins’.
  • Antivitamins disrupt the vitamins in a cell from functioning.

Bacterial Cell Killers

Antivitamins are produced naturally as a way for a bacterial cell to kill another bacterial cell. The complex and important procedure is done in a seemingly hidden and mysterious way, with just one atom interrupting a complex chain of protons.

New research indicates that there is no harm to humans, and antivitamins can be configured to target pathogens without any side effects.

Overuse of antibiotics

Overuse of antibiotics

Our gut ecosystem is becoming infertile for a multitude of reasons. Overuse fattening up farmed animals, C-sections (in which the baby fails to get a wash of microbes), and our own misuse of antibiotics all seem to contribute.

When Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, he also warned about the dangers of microbes growing resistant to antibiotics. Almost three-quarters of the 40 million antibiotic prescriptions written each year in the United States are for conditions that cannot be cured with antibiotics.

Brain Efficiency

Our brain weighs just 2% of our body weight, yet consumes 20% of our energy requirements. Even when not active, it will burn roughly 400 calories every day.

The most efficient brains burn the least calories. Efficient brains can save a task quickly and then go into a kind of standby mode.

Balancing Act

Our vestibular system is responsible for balance. A gel is located inside our ears and tells our brain if we are going right or left.

When we spin in a circle, the gel keeps moving when we stop, resulting in disorientation. When the loss of balance is severe, the brain interprets it as poisoning. That is why the loss of balance can result in nausea.

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Western vs. Mediterranean diet

Western vs. Mediterranean diet

Western diet, typically high in animal fat and protein and low in fibre, increases the risk of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is high in fibre and low in red meat and has been likened with anti-inflammatory effects and an improved immune system.

This leads us to the conclusion that gut health, favoured by fibre, is a reason for longevity of people following the Mediterranean diet.

Probiotics

There has been a lot of hype around the health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in recent years, but while they're increasingly used in treatments including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, several reviews suggest there needs to be further research on which strains and dosages are effective. Recent studies have found some people are even immune to probiotics.

Gut microbiota

Gut microbiota has a major role to play in the health and function of the GI tract, with evidence that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often coincide with altered microbiota. But it also plays a much wider role in our health, and this is largely determined in the first few years of life.