A new weapon in the fight against superbugs

February 1, 2018

Since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, we've tried to develop new drugs faster than bacteria can evolve -- but this strategy isn't working. Drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs killed nearly 700,000 people last year, and by 2050 that number could be 10 million -- more than cancer kills each year. Can physics help? In a talk from the frontiers of science, radiation scientist David Brenner shares his work studying a potentially life-saving weapon: a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC, which can kill superbugs safely, without penetrating our skin. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.

A new weapon in the fight against superbugs | David Brenner

  1.  David Brenner: TED Speaker Page 
  2.  David Brenner: Homepage 
  3.  Radiological Research Accelerator Facility
  4.  Men in Lead Aprons - A Podcast
  5.  Publication: Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases
  6.  Publication: Germicidal Efficacy and Mammalian Skin Safety of 222-nm UV Light
  7.  Publication: 207-nm UV Light—A Promising Tool for Safe Low-Cost Reduction of Surgical Site Infections. II: In-Vivo Safety Studies
  8.  Publication: 207-nm UV Light - A Promising Tool for Safe Low-Cost Reduction of Surgical Site Infections. I: In Vitro Studies

Topics

Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, Public Health, Global Health, Research