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This Animated Video Explains The Antibiotic Apocalypse

Be afraid, be very afraid.

“What would you say if we told you that humanity is currently making a collaborative effort to engineer the perfect superbug?” So begins this video that explains the “antibiotic apocalypse” in five minutes and 55 seconds of animation, suspense, and fascinating science.

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Even if you already know how bacteria become resistant to antibiotic after antibiotic, you’ll learn a lot. For instance, do you know how different kinds of antibiotics work? The explanations, created by the Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt and delivered in an earnest English accent, come over as something of a horror movie scene.

You’ll also find out how bacteria pass their immunity between each other. The process involves zombie cannibalism, with a bit of touching cooperation. The video also covers the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry for food production, and the role of modern infrastructure (planes) in the spread of disease.

In the end, though, it’s a depressingly familiar story. Science discovers a new wonder, and then the world ends up taking it for granted, to the extent that we destroy yet another resource. Well done, humankind. Well done.

About the author

Previously found writing at Wired.com, Cult of Mac and Straight No filter.

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