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Bacteria to the Future

12 Feb 2018, 14:47 UTC
Bacteria to the Future
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Why did the chicken take antibiotics?  To fatten it up and prevent bacterial infection. As a result, industrial farms have become superbug factories, threatening our life-saving antibiotics. Find out how our wonder drugs became bird feed, and how antibiotic resistant bugs bred on the farm end up on your dinner plate.  A journalist tells the story of the 1950s fad of “acronizing” poultry; the act of dipping it in an antibiotic bath so it can sit longer on a refrigerator shelf. Plus, some ways we can avoid a post-antibiotic era. The steps one farm took to make their chickens antibiotic free… and resurrecting an old therapy: enlisting viruses to target and destroy multi-drug resistant bacteria.  Set your “phages” to stun.  Guests: Maryn McKenna - Investigative journalist who specializes in public health and food policy. Author of “Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats.” Ryland Young - Biochemist, head of the Center for Phage Technology at Texas A&M University.

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