There's no shortage of science fiction movies featuring an engineered bacteria or virus that breaks out of a secret government lab and wreaks untold havoc on the unsuspecting public, sometimes causing worldwide devastation. That couldn't really happen, of course. Right? Well, there are some eerie similarities between those plots and antibiotic resistance. Switch "secret government labs" with hospitals, realize that our carelessness with antibiotics has indeed engineered dozens of species and hundreds of strains of microbes, and forget the thing about blood-hungry zombies. In about five to 10 years, things could really deteriorate into a global crisis. Seriously.  

Every year, tens of thousands of people die from infections caused by superbugs acquired in hospitals. Here's the scary part: This isn't occurring in some Third World country. This is happening in the United States, within miles of where you live. Similar statistics are reported for developed nations in Europe and Asia. The government has become increasingly worried about the prevalence of superbugs and the lack of drugs in development to fight them. In the following video, Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko explains a recent, perhaps last-ditch effort for a public-private partnership aiming to find a solution to the problem. 

Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check out his personal portfolio or his CAPS page, or follow him on Twitter, @BlacknGoldFool, to keep up with his writing on energy, bioprocessing, and biotechnology.

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