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Are Microbes Winning the Antibiotic Arms Race?

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Eighty-six years after the discovery of penicillin, docs are running out of antibiotics to treat serious infections like Clostridium difficile and gonorrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, the discovery of new "wonder drugs" has slowed, and microbiologists say drug companies have little incentive to develop new ones. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, and Martin Blaser, author of Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, discuss the rise of drug resistance and how it affects our health and, possibly, our survival. And Bob Hancock, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, discusses a way to disrupt bacterial biofilms, a technique he says could revitalize our antibiotic arsenal.

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