Is The Future Of Antibiotics At The Bottom Of The Ocean?

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[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Off the
coast of California, scientists from
UC Santa Cruz are scouring the ocean
for what they hope is the key to
fighting a new breed of drug-resistant superbugs. BRYSON VOIRIN: So we’re
out here in Monterey Bay looking for the next potential
medical breakthrough. But how are we going to do that? ROGER LININGTON: So the
first thing we need to do is make our scuba diver
collect the samples. And so we’re going to
take this ring down there. And we’re going to make
pairs of duplicate samples during the dive in as
many discrete locations as we can, and then
take these samples back to the lab for workup. BRIAN VOIRIN: And how
cold is the water? ROGER LININGTON: Oh. The water’s 55. BRIAN VOIRIN: You’ve
got a dry suit. ROGER LININGTON:
I’ve got my dry suit. You’re wearing a wet suit. We’ll see how we fair. So there hasn’t been
a new antibiotic developed in about 20 years. And the rate of resistance
to existing antibiotics in hospitals can run
upwards of 40% to 60%. Given that it takes
about 15 years to bring a drug to market,
there was a real pressing crisis in the antibiotic
discovery arena. NARRATOR: According to the CDC,
at least two million people in the US become infected
with drug-resistant bacteria. And at least 23,000
die each year as a result of these infections. BRYSON VOIRIN: I mean,
you say it’s a crisis. I mean, if you had to rate
it on a scale of 1 to 10, where are we at on
the antibiotic crisis. ROGER LININGTON: 11. It’s very serious. We are about to return to
a pre-antibiotic era, where even basic surgeries and
other medical procedures can lead to death by septicemia
and other untreatable bacterial pathogens. NARRATOR: The history
of antibiotics is relatively short. In 1928, Scottish
scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin
capable of killing bacteria. Scientists Howard
Florey and Ernst Chain then mass-produced it in
time for use on Allied forces during World War II,
the first example in which more soldiers died
in battle than from infection. It drastically changed the
world of modern medicine and extended the average
human lifespan significantly. Not many more antibiotics have
been developed since then. BRYSON VOIRIN: Now, why has the
discovery of new antibiotics kind of fallen by the wayside
in the past 30 or 40 years? ROGER LININGTON:
Developing new antibiotics is not the most effective
way to make a steady profit. If you make a new drug
for asthma or diabetes, that’s a drug which patients
will take likely every day for the rest of their lives. So from an economic
perspective, drug companies don’t have much incentive to
develop new antibiotic drugs. NARRATOR: As Fleming accepted
his Nobel Prize in 1945, he warned that the misuse
and overuse of antibiotics could result in
drug-resistant bacteria. And he was right. ROGER LININGTON: If you put
antibiotics into heavy use, then eventually
bacteria will find a way to become resistant
to those drugs. If it hasn’t been helped by
the poor use of antibiotics for people with
flu-like symptoms, if you have a viral infection,
antibiotics don’t help. And the more you
take antibiotics, the more you are
helping to sort of build that pool of resistant strains. BRYSON VOIRIN: It’s kind of
like the boy who cried wolf. Like, if you cry
wolf all the time and then we actually have a
wolf, then it doesn’t work. ROGER LININGTON: Right. Exactly. It’s a combination of factors
that have led to this. NARRATOR: Roger’s team of divers
collect sand from the seafloor, a relatively
understudy environment for medical research,
but one that is rich with unknown chemistry. These scientists hope that
the microbes within the sand will lead to new and powerful
drugs to fight bacteria. However, the search
area is very large. And it may take
years to determine if these samples hold a cure. BRYSON VOIRIN: So
let’s see the samples. ROGER LININGTON: OK. So here we are. So this is what we managed
to get on this dive. Although they may look pretty
similar to the naked eye, at the microbial level,
every one of these is a completely
different population. BRYSON VOIRIN: And it’s
literally just sand. ROGER LININGTON: It’s just sand. So this is very low impact
science on the environment, but the potential
applications are huge. So what happens next
is we’ll take the sand, put it on Petri
dishes, and allow those microorganisms to grow. And then, a microbiologist
will look at those and select specific species
for study for their chemistry. BRYSON VOIRIN: So this
could come from this. ROGER LININGTON: Absolutely. It’s possible that the
microorganisms in this sample, may one day make compounds which
we can add to tablets like this to treat diseases. BRYSON VOIRIN: The
cure to what we’re looking for could be anywhere,
in the ocean, in the mountains, in the sky. ROGER LININGTON: Right. And if you tried to
do that discovery in a random way, where you
went into the environment and picked microorganisms
at random, you would fail. There are many millions of
sequences that we have not yet investigated. Deciding how to do
that in an ordered way is the challenge for the next
generation of natural product scientists. SPEAKER 1: This episode is
a part of Seeker Stories. We’re trying to bring you cool
stories from around the world. But in order to do that,
you need to subscribe. So please click on that button. And thanks for watching. NARRATOR: On another
episode of Seeker Stories. SPEAKER 2: So this
woman is allowing us to take pictures of the bears. Here they are in their cages. Hi. So pretty. So there is one, two, three,
four, five, right there.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Bacteriophage therapy might be an alternative solution to our antibiitic crisis as we can always bioengineer new viral strains

  2. It's really disgusting that new antibiotics aren't being made because they're not profitable enough for pharmaceutical companies.

  3. There has been a new antibiotic discovered that can be used against G- called "Teixobactin." Eventually, bacteria will become resistant to it as well, but it will save lives in the near future.

  4. Damn this is bad. So you could simply die from a small cut if an antibiotic-resistent bacteria would get in the wound?

  5. Wow, now I get it why FDA approves overuse of anti-biotics in food, especially milk.

    (once people get resistant on all known anti-biotics, they will start dying from simple infections and population control takes place. they will have this new anti-biotic to save NWO supporter slaves and others can only get shot by police, in almost completely build up, police state. and guess what, I am not even from American continent) 😀

  6. The University of Hawaii is also looking for new antibiotics to develop from sealife. John A. Burns School of Medicine has many researchers in this investigation. You could collaborate with those researchers and their database which could produce results.

  7. Thank you for the knowledge! This channel need more views! =D Spread the story of Seeker stories 😛 Love this channel keep making episodes ^^

  8. Scientists are systematically searching the sea floor for natural compounds that may help in the fight against antibiotic resistant superbugs.

  9. you guys are forgetting one place to look for antibiotics

    Islands untouched by human contact
    and the Mountain air (Clouds in high altitudes)
    Natural  Springs and Water sources

  10. Omics International is going to host a conference on Antibiotics from September 14-16, 2015 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    you will meet Food Safety Experts, Alliances of antibiotics, Public Health Preparedness Sectors,Commercialization, Strategic Drug Development
    Scientific Business Communications, Medical Affairs and Networking people
    for enroll your name follow this URL, Click on YES
    https://plus.google.com/events/coa64ngik2b9hcmvrb5roertlio
     https://www.facebook.com/events/1615991808622230/
    For more details :http://antibiotics.omicsgroup.com/

  11. And then some ignorant bastard with strep throat uses it for two days and stops, and more bugs resistant to the new stuff appear . Ingenious

  12. In the US  the meat and dairy industry uses about 80% of the antibiotics sold each year, and  this has been going up. Animals are kept in small spaces and feed that is meant to make them grow fast, not feed that makes them thrive. Animals are sick and antibiotics help keep them alive until slaughter. You are what you eat, the human body is designed for a plant based diet, aside from other ailments such as cancer and diabetes you are also at risk for exposure to superbugs. An est 23.000 Americans die each year due to these superbugs and this number is rising. Another nations ban the use of human antibiotics on their animals. There is so much money in the meat and dairy industry working hand in hand with the medical industry that this practice keeps on going. Meat nor dairy are good for your heath, switch to a plant based (raw) diet.

  13. Antibiotics kill good as well as bad bacterial. If, as a last resort, you end up taking antibiotics, be sure to repopulate the good bacteria back into your gut (from all the bacteria you decimated). If you take antibiotics without rebuilding healthy gut bacteria, you are conditioning your body to get sick again … and again. Any doctor that prescribes antibiotics without facilitating probiotics should lose their medical license on the first offense and be held personally liable for potential civil lawsuits IMO. A good probiotic to start with is homemade organic sauerkraut. It should be a staple in every home; easy to make also. There are natural antibiotics also; look it up. Eat for nutritional value and states of health and food will be your medicine; as it should be.

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