Meet The Cave Dwellers Who Are Spelunking To Bring You Modern Medicine
It's no secret viruses are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Just when we've manufactured one medicine that seems to be working, a new virus spawns and outsmarts it.
Drug-resistant bacteria are on the rise, and that puts pressure on labs to create new antibiotics you can't easily synthesize.
Microbiologist Naowarat Cheeptham is leading the way in antivirus research by searching deep underground in caves. There, organisms evolve to survive uniquely harsh conditions and this could be the answer to our antibiotic-resistance problem.
Though, the search for alternative medicine is nothing new.
A Radiolab podcast recounts the story of a microbiologist obsessed with history and a historian obsessed with biology joining forces to test a 1,000-year-old remedy. By muddling onions, garlic, wine and copper pennies -- among other things -- they were able to come up with a concoction that actually cleared up staph in a lab sample.
While it's not something you want to try at home if you have a serious infection, it does shed some light on the adaptability of viruses.
Watch the video above to see the lengths scientists are going to keep us healthy and safe.