UKRI Superheroes vs Superbugs live at the Science Museum - Cambridge Network
Football songs: Why are crowds so quiet these days? .. Could you give up meat and animal products? The increased study of extremophile microbes has revealed a lot about what is and is not Why are we so fascinated with the superheroes that populate our cinema screens and comic books?. a group of fascinating eukaryotic microbes with superhero, shape-shifting qualities, which is able to Council when they meet in September. Over 1, people came to meet some of the superheroes taking on the fight against the global threat of antimicrobial resistance. Barbershop-O-Gram performed an antimicrobial acapella song penned specially for the.
Tighter squeeze that I thought. I'm going to give you a little shove. On the count of three. And - do it. Just keep on pushing. That wasn't too bad. Coming in right behind you.
So what do you think of my home theater? You could fit, like, people in here. At first, I thought maybe it's a little too much. But then Reggie was like, please, I want to have my friends over to watch some old movie called "The Birds.
BBC Learning English - 6 Minute English / What makes a superhero?
You always get your way. This is so cool, Mindy. I'm back here, Guy Raz, in the projector booth. Somebody's got to run this bad boy. Just going to boot up the old projector here. Should be a business now. Thank you for joining us today. For updates on upcoming movies, special deals and discounts on food, please ask one of our attendants for information on how to sign up for our Tonight's film will be "Antibiotics: A History" with running commentary from yours truly.
Through speaker So sit back and relax as we take you through the history of molecular medicine. Through speaker The year is Alexander Fleming, a famous bacterialogamist ph. A famous bacterialalalogist ph. Groaning I practiced this word all night. Hang on a second, Guy Raz. Alexander Fleming, a famous bacteria - bac - Count Bacula ph. Are you trying to say bacteriologist? Through speaker Guy Raz, I had it that time.
But you did mean a bacteriologist - right? Through speaker Yeah, that's what I was trying to say. As audience member Who cares? Back to the film. When Alexander returned home from his summer vacation He found that his lab was a complete mess. As Alexander Fleming This lab is a complete mess. Through speaker And there he discovered that a mold called Penicillium notatum had contaminated - or poisoned - all of his petri dishes.
As Alexander Fleming Oh, no. And, Mindy, petri dishes are those little disks of plastic or glass that scientists put bacteria and other things on so they can look at them under the microscope. You got it, Guy Raz. Through speaker And when he put one of these moldy petri dishes under the microscope, he noticed that the Penicillium mold had completely stopped the growth of the bacteria that he already had on that petri dish. And what type of bacteria was that, Mindy?
Through speaker It was a bacteria called As Alexander Fleming Staphylococci. Mindy, isn't that a deadly disease? Well, technically, it's a big family of bacteria, Guy Raz. And just like in most families, there are some members that are totally fine but others - well, let's just say they're the kinds that can be a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, if you know what I mean.
You mean like your Aunt Mojo ph? But unlike my Aunt Mojo, these guys don't stay out singing karaoke until 3 in the morning. Instead, they cause all kinds of problems for us humans - everything from food poisoning to skin infections. They can sometimes turn deadly, especially before Alexander Fleming's discovery.
I can imagine because before the discovery of antibiotics, things as simple as a paper cut or a scraped knee could be deadly because open wounds could let infectious bacteria like Which is why Alexander Fleming's discovery was such a huge deal. So what happened next? Well, through speaker he spent the next few months just toiling away, creating more and more of this Penicillium mold. As Alexander Fleming Toil, toil, toil, toil, toil, toil, toil, toil. And eventually, he discovered that this mold could be used to create medicine that can not only stop staphylococci but all sorts of other infectious bacterial diseases, as well.
Creating the world's first antibiotic medicine. As Alexander Fleming I call it penicillin. But that's not the end of the story. Now let me just find the fast forward button here. When you said you had the entire history of antibiotics, I didn't think you meant you literally had the entire years on tape. I got everything from that day Alexander Fleming found a worm in his apple As Alexander Fleming Oh, yuck.
There's a worm in my apple. To us talking about antibiotics in your backyard just a few minutes ago. Let me just hit the rewind button here. We need to stop at around As Howard Florey Right this way, sir.
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As Albert Alexander Right-o. Through speaker Oh, that, Guy Raz, is Dr. He's just showing Mr. Albert Alexander into his lab. He's the first person who was ever treated with antibiotics. Through speaker You know it. He got pricked by a rose thorn in his garden. And then his cut got infected with Staphylococci. The bacteria from Fleming's lab. And even though Alexander Fleming had been able to combat small, microscopic doses of Staphylococci in his lab, to treat a whole person - that would take all lot more mold.
As Albert Alexander Oh, my cheese and whiskers. What on earth is going on here? As Howard Florey Well Oh, my gosh, Mindy. Look at Florey's lab. It's covered in bottles and flasks and tubes of - wait. Through speaker That, my friend, is beautiful, percent organic, certified-fresh mold. Florey's lab is completely covered in the stuff. Through speaker I know, right?
Turns out you need 2, liters or gallons of mold just to get enough penicillin to treat one person. Five hundred and twenty-eight gallons, Mindy? That's, like, three hot tubs' worth of mold.
And all for just one guy. Through speaker So obviously, they had to find a better way to make this much penicillin. Through speaker And that better way came in the form of a cantaloupe.
And for this, we're going to need to fast forward again to Hey, who's that walking into Florey's lab now? Through speaker Oh, that's his laboratory assistant Mary Hunt.
She's just returned from the market with a cantaloupe. As Mary Hunt I got that cantaloupe you asked for, sir. As Howard Florey Just in time for brunch. Through speaker And growing on that cantaloupe is a special kind of mold. Through speaker More mold, Guy Raz. But the fungus found in this mold produced times as much penicillin as that fungus Alexander Fleming discovered.
That's a lot of mold. Through speaker And that's not even the best part. With a little bit of tinkering As Howard Florey Tinker, tinker, tinker They were able to make this fungus produce 1, times as much penicillin as Alexander Fleming's original discovery. So that means they were now able to make enough of it to treat people? Through speaker Exactoritos, Guy Raz. And as they say, the rest is antibiotic history. And you know what?
It gets me thinking. Since that first antibiotic, penicillin, made its way to our hospitals almost 80 years ago, we've made so many more medical discoveries and developed a whole bunch more antibiotics. And so much so that when people have access to doctors and medicine, bacterial infections are pretty much a thing of the past. I mean, nobody freaks out about getting a deadly infection from a paper cut anymore.
BBC Learning English - 6 Minute English / Football songs: Why are crowds so quiet these days?
And it's probably also made surgery a lot safer, too. What are you doing? Man, it was so cramped in there. So, Mindy, as much as I enjoyed the movie, I still don't understand what any of this has to do with my gardening.
So as much as these antibiotics have helped us keep these nasty bacterial bugs away Well, these bugs have basically spent the last 80 years getting smarter and learning new ways to fight back. The bacterial bugs are trying to fight the antibiotics? And the smartest bugs - or at least the bugs that are winning the battle - are called superbugs.
And they are what scientists call antibiotic-resistant. Yeah, which is basically just a fancy way of saying that antibiotic medicine doesn't always work against these bacterial infections anymore.
And I was reading that some scientists are concerned that if more and more of these bugs become antibiotic resistant, then we'll soon go back to a world like the one before Fleming's discovery. Yeah, a world where a paper cut could be deadly. But have no fear, Guy Raz. Superhero scientists to the rescue. These super scientists, men and women, are on the case, searching high and low for new antibiotics to fight these new superbugs.
Well, where are they searching? Well, you know that dirt in your backyard? Scientists are looking for the next big antibiotic in the dirt in my backyard?
Well, I mean, not just the dirt in your backyard but dirt everywhere. Let's head back out to your backyard, and I'll show you. Plus, I think here the cleaning crew is about to come in.
Looks like it's time to get out of here. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Thank you very much.
Ah, back in my beautiful, pristine, well-kept Well, I was going to say horticultural display, but But nothing, Guy Raz. You are currently standing on a potential gold mine of medical wonders. But, Mindy, all I see here is my beautiful flower display and those pogo sticks you when Reggie left. I told you not to leave pogo sticks in my backyard anymore. So that's where we left them.
Superbugs vs Superheroes: Getting creative with antimicrobial resistance
Well, anyway, I don't see any antibiotics from mold anywhere. Well, the antibiotics that we're looking for aren't going to be found in some gross mold, Guy Raz. They'd be found in some gross dirt.
In my flower dirt? And like I said earlier, there are trillions of bacteria living inside this dirt. In fact, in just one ounce of dirt, there can be as many as 8.
That's like the entire population of New York City living in this tiny morsel of dirt. Those bacteria are at war. Every day, underneath our feet, millions of bacteria are clashing in epic, microbial battles.
And each of microbes uses a different type of microbial weapon to fight the others. And some of these bacteria are the ones that spread infectious diseases and make us sick. And so I'm guessing that these scientists are studying how these warring bacteria defeat each other, so they can try to use that same technique in hospitals, right?
These superhero scientists are trying to take the weapons that the good bacteria is using against the bad, infectious bacteria And then use these weapons to defend ourselves the next time the bad bacteria decides to infect a human. So how do they do it? Well, after inspecting soil samples sent in from other scientists from all over the world, the team was able to extract - or take out - 10, new microbial weapons that could potentially be used to fight superbugs. Super drugs for superbugs.
And one of these microbial weapons that they were able to get from these dirt samples has proven to knock out a nasty superbug called Streptococcus pneumoniae. So I guess there's hope for the future of medicine after all.
I mean, just think about it, Guy Raz. There could be a million more medical discoveries still waiting out there, some maybe even lurking right beneath our feet. You're absolutely right, Mindy. But, you know, in the meantime, there's a much more effective and potentially cheaper way to combat antibiotic resistance.
Well, it may seem like a pretty simple thing, Mindy, but washing your hands is actually the best way to stop these bacterial infections in their tracks. We've even got the science to back it up.
Join in the UK Research and Innovation UKRI superhero funfair for a light-hearted, hands-on experience to find out why public-funding is vital for the fight, and what you can do to help stop the spread of superbugs. Mega Magnification - Be transported into the hidden world of bacteria. Use VR to shrink yourself, meet mighty bacterial proteins and reveal their microscopic secrets.
Superhero Arcade - Roll up, roll up! Try your luck at the Superhero Arcade and survive the most dangerous game in the world. Using your skin as a shield, try to stay alive until Help us search for the next antibiotic producing microbe by taking part in Swab and Send. Carefully swab an area of the museum where you think lots of microbes may be living and we will see if we can find microbes producing antibiotics from it.
Antibiotic Hunters - Dig deeper into the hunt for new antibiotics. See the environments being explored for novel drugs and uncover the importance of soils in the quest for new antibiotics.