And the winner is … Antibiotics

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And the winner is … Antibiotics

For those who are not already aware, the 2014 Longitude Prize challenge is to create a cost-effective, accurate, rapid and easy-to-use test kit for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals to administer the right antibiotics at the right time. Scientists now have 5 years in which to come up with a solution and potentially claim the £10m prize fund.

25,000 Europeans already die each year from infections which are resistant to “drugs of last resort”. According to the World Health Organisation, antibiotic treatments add 20 years to each person’s life but in the 80 years since the discovery of penicillin, our overuse of antibiotics has led to the emergence of untreatable superbugs. The WHO now warns of a “post-antibiotic era” where key drugs no longer work and people die from previously treatable infections. A whole range of different infections could again become a problem for medical practitioners, such as skin infections, candida, tuberculosis, blood and urinary tract infections. But antibiotics, as we know, are not only for the treatment of deadly infections but also aid in everyday medicine: from cancer to Caesarian sections to organ transplants.

From autumn 2014 the scientific community can submit their entries/ideas by registering at

The Longitude Prize is run and developed by Nesta, with the Technology Strategy Board as launch funding partner.

In addition, last week the Government made anaerobic microbiology headline news by announcing a review into why so few anti microbial drugs have been introduced in recent years, putting up £1m for the idea that solved “the biggest problem of our time“.

Such financial incentives hope to encourage the scientific community to direct their attention to antibiotic research.

Is your institution looking to take up either of these challenges?

Don Whitley Scientific is a company at the forefront of innovation in the microbiology industry. Buying a Whitley Anaerobic Workstation will ensure that the bacteria you are working with are grown and maintained in the best possible conditions. All anaerobes and microaerobic organisms will benefit by being grown in the perfect anaerobic or low oxygen concentration specific to the species.

Contact the Don Whitley Scientific sales team for advice on the best Whitley Workstation to suit your needs:

Tel: 01274 595728




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