OCT 19, 2016 2:56 PM PDT

Could the Next Antibiotic be Hidden on the Ocean Floor?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

In 1928, Alexander Fleming transformed the world of medicine with the discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin. Scientists soon found ways to mass-produce the antibiotic. And they also extended the list of available antibiotics to other types of bacteria.

However, the Golden Age of antibiotics discovery in the 1950s and 1960s has since come and gone. And today, we've not added a new antibiotic to the list in decades. Such stagnant output would be okay, except that the bacteria are catching up and becoming resistant to the drugs we already have.

Now, pressured by the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, scientists are doubling on the efforts to stop antibiotic resistance while simultaneously working to discover new potent antibiotics. And scientists are scouring in one unconventional location for new drugs: the ocean floor. This resource is teeming with microbes and rich in other biodiversity, making it a promising place to begin the new search.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
SEP 10, 2020
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
There's no doubt that the word "virus" is currently on everyone's mind. However, there's a lot mor ...
SEP 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Could There Be Life on Venus?
SEP 10, 2020
Could There Be Life on Venus?
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, reaching 465 degrees Celcius- a temperature hot enough to melt lead. Wh ...
DEC 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Cosmic Expansion: Universe Stretches, We don't
DEC 11, 2020
Cosmic Expansion: Universe Stretches, We don't
Physicists believe that we exist in an expanding universe. But what does that mean? Do our habitats, bodies, and atoms & ...
DEC 15, 2020
Immunology
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
DEC 15, 2020
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
A recent study published in the eLife journal examined how they can improve older adults' responses to vaccines ...
JAN 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
JAN 08, 2021
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
Comedy-news shows such as those by Trevor Noah, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee on the rise and are especially popular amo ...
APR 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
APR 07, 2021
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
Parasites abound throughout the natural world. While not all of them cause the host's death, this newly discovered p ...
Loading Comments...