Showing posts from February, 2017

Podcast: Contacting Congress, 21st Century Cures, & Antibiotics

By: Ian McLaughlin & Liana Vaccari

Antibiotic resistance, policy and prevention By: Liana Vaccari

What are antibiotics? Antibiotics, which might also be called antimicrobial or antibacterial agents, are chemicals that can disrupt the life-cycle of bacteria in a few different ways; some actively kill the cells, others prevent them from reproducing, and others inhibit their ability to metabolize energy sources.  Over the years, they’ve been used for everything from strep throat to pneumonia1, but use has recently been dialed back because bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics that currently exist. One reason this has become an issue is that discoveries of new antibiotics can’t keep pace with the ability of the bacteria to resist old ones because developing new drugs is a long and expensive process.2,3 Early this year, a woman died of an infection caused by a strain of bacteria that none of the 26 antibiotics available in America could clear.4 This is pretty unusual and alarming …