Antibiotics is chosen for Longitude Prize 2014

  • 26 June 2014
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Jenny looks at why antibiotic resistance is such a problem

Antibiotic resistance has been voted the biggest problem of our time and the focus for the Longitude Prize.

The £10million prize is offered for scientists to come up with a solution to the problem of bacteria being able to resist our medicines.

Antibiotic medicines are used to treat many diseases but become less effective as bugs develop resistance to them.

Now the people in charge of the challenge need to work out exactly what problem needs to be solved.

The danger of antibiotic resistance

If the current situation continues, antibiotics would soon become useless - which could be very dangerous.

The World Health Organization has warned that in future "many common infections will no longer have a cure" - meaning many people could die from infections and diseases that to us seem minor.

Announcing the result on The One Show on BBC One on Wednesday night, science presenter Dr Alice Roberts said: "There were some amazing challenges, but this is such an important one facing us at the moment."

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BBC science presenter Alice Roberts announces the focus of the prize on the One Show

Dr Jeremy Farrar, head of the scientific research charity The Wellcome Trust, agrees: "Drug resistance threatens the medical successes - from transplant surgery to cancer treatment - we currently take for granted.

"It is crucial we focus our collective global research efforts on this, one of the greatest public health threats of our time," he continued.

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