Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria now kill more Americans than car accidents. Here's a mind-boggling interview by Charlie Rose of Craig Venter, who wants to design and "print" viruses that kill those bacteria

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are rapidly spinning out of control and are terrorizing hospitals and physicians (who exacerbated the problem by over-prescribing antibiotics.) Tomorrow's installment of FRONTLINE investigates just that issue — the rise of deadly, drug-resistant bacteria that modern antibiotics cannot kill.
     “Twenty-five years ago, there were more than 25 large companies working to discover and develop new antibiotics,” infectious disease doctor Brad Spellberg told FRONTLINE. “Now there’s two, maybe three.”
     Craig Venter wants to build a machine to "print" a digitized genetic blueprint of a bacteriophage (a bacteria-killing virus) to his proposed Digital Biological Converter (DBC.) It will build the phage, and then his team at the Venter Institute will infect a bacteria with it.
     If the bacteria dies, the test worked.
     Once they've gotten this worked out, they'll start constructing a machine that automatically inserts the newly built DNA into a cell that's had its own genetic material removed. The new DNA would program the cell to develop into the "e-mailed" organism.
Below is Charlie Rose's mind-boggling interview with Venter.

1 comment:

  1. Antibiotic resistant bacteria?? Well, the term is enough to scare anybody to death. I hope scientists soon come up with any vaccine for this new threat to Americans.

    Good wishes,
    Arnold Brame