The US is officially at war with drug-resistant microbes

If you read this blog, you probably know a thing or two or more about antibiotic resistance. Especially in terms of how humans have aided in furthering it. This LA Times article reports that in mid-September, President Obama signed an executive order aiming to combat drug-resistant microbes. A 20 million dollar prize will be given through NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to create a useful and rapid diagnostic test. The article also talks our antibiotic overuse in terms of livestock. Most people don’t think of this as a problem, but most of our antibiotics go to livestock, regardless of the health of the animals. It’s used, much like in human medicine, as a preventative rather than a treatment. Everywhere in  our lives, we overuse antibiotics and further give resistant strains a leg up in this eternal biological arms race. The article expressed some voices of doubt that this executive order will do much, but I think it’s great that the government is taking initiative at all. There always needs to be a first step towards solving any problem, even if we wish that step were bigger.

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Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev is a recent UC Davis graduate with a BS in microbiology working in Jonathan Eisen’s lab on aquariums as part of the microbiology of the built environment.