The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet (2009)

Although we can't see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life—indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics provides a new way of viewing the microbial world that will not only transform modern microbiology, but also may revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. This audio podcast looks at recommendations from the National Research Council on how to shape this emerging field of study and manage the immense findings that it is sure to provide.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Major pharmaceutical companies have great interest in dedicating resources to the antibiotics market because these short-course drugs are more profitable than drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.

  • Correct!

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.