Resistant microbes threaten global catastrophe

 In this handout photo provided by the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases an EHEC bacteria is visible. Credit: Getty Images
In this handout photo provided by the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases an EHEC bacteria is visible.
Credit: Getty Images

Mutant, drug-resistant bacteria could trigger a global health catastrophe that makes diseases untreatable within 20 years, the British Chief Medical Officer (CMO) said Monday.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time-bomb for the world,” CMO Dame Sally Davies said in her annual report. “We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance does not become a reality.”

The report warns that bacteria will soon develop beyond antibiotic treatments, at which point any operation would become life-threatening as infection could not be controlled. Davies recommends that resistant bacteria be added to the National Risk Register along with threats such as terrorism, and claims it is “as important as climate change for the world”.

In Europe, over 25,000 people die each year resulting from resistant bacteria. That figure looks set to rise with powerful new strains of Tuberculosis and gut bacteria such as E Coli emerging.

In 2012, the World Health Organization described resistant bacteria as a “global public health emergency affecting all countries”, and experts agree that crisis is looming.

“Gut organisms could become so resistant that cancer treatment becomes impossible within a decade,” Dr Matthew Dryden, microbiologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, told Metro. “Antibiotics have been overused for 70 years and there are no more coming.”

The last class of antibiotics was produced in the 1980s, but research slowed as drug companies could make little profit on products with a short lifespan. “We need serious investment and a global response – we’re in an arms race with the bacteria,” said Society for General Microbiology President Nigel Brown.

The UK government will respond with a five-year plan which will address conservation of antibiotics and a global strategy within a month.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.