Bacteria and Antibiotics: Revenge of the Microbes

What are bacteria? How do antibiotics work? And what can we do about increasing antibiotic resistance? Jenny Rohn, scientist and novelist,investigates the fascinating world of bacteria in this Friday Evening Discourse event from the Ri.  Bacteria are our ancient enemies, evolving ever more clever ways of outmanoeuvring our natural defences and scientific technologies. For millennia, a simple cut or cough could kill. With the development of antibiotics, it seemed we would reign supreme. But now the bacteria are again gaining ground. With antibiotic resistance on the rise, and the development of new drugs having stagnated for decades, we humans might be in a lot of trouble very soon. Why are bacteria so insidious, what tricks do they employ to get the upper hand, and what can we do to stop them? Join Dr Jenny Rohn to explore these questions.

Dr Jenny Rohn received a BA in Biology from Oberlin College, Ohio, where she developed an interest in viruses and cancer before moving to the University of Washington for her PhD research into the evolution of feline leukaemia virus. After working as a researcher at Cancer Research UK and working in the bio-techology industry in The Netherlands, Jenny gained a Wellcome Trust fellowship to study cell shape and architecture at University College London. She is now head of a cell biology lab where she studies how the cells of our body interact with invading bacteria.

This event took place at the Royal Institution on Friday 30 January.

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