Antibiotics Unearthed

Antibiotics Unearthed


Antibiotics Unearthed is
a project that we’re running with the Microbiology Society. It’s a citizen science project
where we’re getting members of the public to go out and gather soil,
and we’re looking at that soil to see if there are bacteria in it
that might be producing new antibiotics. We need to look for new antibiotics
because the ones we have today are almost running out. We still have these antibiotics,
but they’re not so useful any more. Bacteria that cause you or me disease
no longer respond to antibiotics, they’ve become what we call
antibiotic resistant. And because of that,
we’re needing new antibiotics to replace the ones we have already. Visitors here will take a soil sample,
we will help them dilute it and plate it out on petri dishes, so we can grow those micro-organisms
in the laboratory. We’re going to take them back across the country
to the University of East Anglia where we’re going to grow the plates up
and see what bacteria we have, and hopefully we’ll find one
that is producing a new antibiotic. We’ll be posting that onto our website,
where people can see if their plate that they’ve got from their soil sample
is one that contains a new antibiotic. We’re trying to do two things here. One, it would be really exciting
if we did find a new antibiotic. But just as importantly,
and maybe more importantly, is raising public awareness
and getting public engagement in what is a very serious problem
of the 21st century People coming to the stand have been
really interesting the subject they’ve been really interested
in the topic of antimicrobial resistance and how we look for new drugs, and interested in the research
that we’re doing to try and combat the issue
of antimicrobial resistance

One Reply to “Antibiotics Unearthed”

  1. Don't forget to find bacteriophages (bacteria killing viruses) as well. This is a good iniative indeed.

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