Scientists are saying that the germs in your beard could lead to the creation and testing of novel antibiotics.
The resistance and immunity that bacteria develop against antibiotics is a time bomb just waiting to explode. It spells danger for mankind since diseases will not be easy to eradicate once the hardy bacteria refuse to back down in the face of otherwise powerful antibiotics.
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This is the common result of over-administering antibiotics to patients. Too much of a good thing is obviously bad. Resistant strains or superbugs are the order of the day thanks to this scheme of things.
We as a species have literally painted the global village red with our antibiotic prescriptions. And the bacteria have developed immunity and are thriving.
Now it is a case of a race against time to stop these bacteria from multiplying. A last hope is investigating the contents of beards. There were rumors that human beards contain bits of faeces.
Samples taken on cotton swabs showed at least 100 bacterial growths flourishing beneath those hair on one’s chin. But the hypothesis that faecal matter was to be found in beards was not corroborated.
A range of tests were performed to find the microbial environment of beards. The many bacteria were put in an agar petri dish and placed beneath a grid. The sample had been pre-innoculated with an indicator strain.
The indicator strain grew amidst the sample. These beard isolates were capable of producing antibiotics of their own which killed off the bacteria.
In a hundred beard isolates from 20 beards, over 25% showed antibiotic activity, according to Reuters. The golden period of antibiotics was the 50s and 60s. After that era, science has been left in a lurch regarding new antibiotics.
The resistance in bacteria could cause the death of 10 million people annually. And it could cost the sick and afflicted $100 trillion by the middle of the 21st century.
A group of researchers at UCL are trying their best to come up with a series of new antibiotics which will destroy resistant bacteria. The job will have to be done in the nick of time. And while it may seem a paradox that we are still following a failed model, we simply have no other choice.
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Samples of bacteria are being tested from all over the country in order to develop novel antibiotics that work in today’s environment of hardy bacteria. Their sources range from kid’s trampolines and refrigerators all the way to the fur of cats and dogs.