A true world-changer
Medical specialists have been raising the alarm about antibiotic-resistant diseases for years. But it seems that a new genetic mutation may finally spell the end for conventional antibiotics.
The MCR-1 gene prevents bacteria from being killed by even the most powerful antibiotics we currently have on deck (colistin). This gene most likely arose in China, in massive feed lots where pig are wildly overtreated with colistin in an attempt to keep them healthy enough for slaughter.
Agricultural overuse of antibiotics has been the main source of concern, and, it seems, rightfully so. The problem is that, unlike other antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, this is an antibiotic-resistant gene. And the nature of this particular gene makes it very easy for bacteria to share it amongst themselves.
The transfer rate of the MCR-1 gene is "ridiculously high." Once it goes global, which likely will happen soon, antibiotics may be done for. Ah well - we had a great run!