The first death caused by an infection that could not be stopped by antibiotics was reported by the New Zealand Herald. As Wired's Maryn McKenna explains, this tragedy "illustrates that antibiotic resistance can spread anywhere, no matter the defenses we put up and it demonstrates that we are on the verge of entering a new era in history."
If we really lost antibiotics to advancing drug resistance and trust me, were not far off heres what we would lose. Not just the ability to treat infectious disease; thats obvious.
But also: The ability to treat cancer, and to transplant organs, because doing those successfully relies on suppressing the immune system and willingly making ourselves vulnerable to infection. Any treatment that relies on a permanent port into the bloodstream for instance, kidney dialysis. Any major open-cavity surgery, on the heart, the lungs, the abdomen. Any surgery on a part of the body that already harbors a population of bacteria: the guts, the bladder, the genitals. Implantable devices: new hips, new knees, new heart valves. Cosmetic plastic surgery. Liposuction. Tattoos.
Wed lose the ability to treat people after traumatic accidents, as major as crashing your car and as minor as your kid falling out of a tree. Wed lose the safety of modern childbirth: Before the antibiotic era, 5 women died out of every 1,000 who gave birth. One out of every nine skin infections killed. Three out of every 10 people who got pneumonia died from it.
|"It’s time to kill all the mosquitoes. It’s time for mass mosquito-cide."|
|"The first commercial gene therapy to provide an outright cure for a deadly disease."|
|"Unlike other gene-editing methods, it is cheap, quick and easy to use."|
|DNA Has a 521-Year Half-Life|
|Your Beautiful Body is Made Out of Garbage|
|“A company headquartered in Toronto runs a successful affordable mobile phone service in the US.”|
|“Inhibiting this pathway has extended life span in every species studies to date.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Civilisation is a movement, and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbour.”|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|Somebody Needs to Build a New Facebook Stat|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Prof Mallett has wanted to build a time machine for most of his life.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Artificial intelligence can detect your sexuality and politics just by looking at your face.”|
|“Forget everything you were taught about having your phone out at the table — you'll need it to call the robots that serve you.”|